leveraging data

2023 TOP MEMBER QUESTIONS with ANSWERS

The ARF Knowledge Center provides secondary research services for ARF and ARF-MSI members on a broad range of topics. Analysis of ARF member questions posed to the Knowledge Center in 2023 shows distinct trends and interests posed by different constituent members. As always, most questions tend to be specific to the unique business needs of each member, but there were some overarching trends, which highlight the evolving landscape of the marketing and advertising industry. This FAQ discusses these trends alongside sample member questions and Knowledge Center research reports.

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Experimentation Unleashed: Driving Transformation Using Cutting-Edge Data

Cesar BreaPartner, Bain & Company

James SlezakCEO, Swayable

Cesar Brea (Bain & Co.) and James Slezak (Swayable) shared the lessons they learned using and experimenting with RCTs (random controlled trials) in trying to transform organizations by taking advantage of new data technologies. They contributed their experiences with CPG, online, event and retailer clients to best exemplify how organizations need to embrace the process of transformation using experimentation and data. Their resulting experimentation maturity framework outlines important conditions for success. Key takeaways:
  • Orchestration is more important than sophistication—think end to end from problem formulation to alignment on execution and measurement with the CFO. Are the conditions right to have a successful experimentation program? What are the underlying organizational and political dynamics that need to be managed? Does the organization have the right tools to support interpretation and adoption?
  • Work with the data that is going to be useful to the company from practical sources to help decision making.

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Tune-In to Discover What is Making Audiences Tune-Out

Travis FloodExecutive Director of Insights, Comcast Advertising

Duane Varan, Ph.D.CEO, MediaScience

Travis Flood (Comcast Advertising) and Duane Varan (MediaScience) presented research, which explored improving ad pod architecture, aimed at better engaging audiences by understanding what makes them tune-out. To provide framework to their research process, Travis indicated they started with a literature review, to understand the existing viewer experience. Focus was placed on the quantity, quality and relevance of the ads, in addition to media effectiveness studies (e.g., pod architecture, ad creative, getting the right viewers, etc.). Duane indicated that the literature review unveiled gaps, particularly in the examination of the content within the middle section of an ad pod. Based on this, the goal of the subsequent research was to understand the optimal duration of ad pods to optimize both the viewer experience and brand impact, difference in impact (e.g., more ads vs. fewer ads in the same break duration) and the impact of frequency on viewers and brands. The research included 840 participants who watched a 30-minute program with structured ad breaks. Feedback was measured using a post-exposure survey, neurometrics and facial coding. Results revealed that shorter pod length, grouping consistency in ad length and capping frequency at two to three ads per program as most effective. Key takeaways:
  • Optimal pod length: Two minutes or less leads to better results. After viewing 2 minutes of ads, recall begins to decrease. Recall is 2x higher at 2 minutes vs. 3 minutes, and after 3 minutes, recall is at its lowest point.
  • Viewers are more engaged as ads begin. Using facial coding data showed that for a heavy clutter cell, there was marginally less joy in the first 5 seconds of the ad, indicating that ad load impacts how viewers experience ads.
  • Facial coding data revealed that ad clutter can diminish how funny scenes are for viewers.
  • Consistency is key in ad lengths within a pod. Viewer testing showed that when ads had different lengths in a pod, it made the ad break feel longer compared to pods with ads of the same length.
  • Ad frequency was optimized at two per program. There was significant boost in ad recognition and purchase intent going from 1 to 2 exposures in a program. Capping frequency at 2-3 per program can positively impact recognition and purchase intent.

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2023 Attribution & Analytics Accelerator

The Attribution & Analytics Accelerator returned for its eighth year as the only event focused exclusively on attribution, marketing mix models, in-market testing and the science of marketing performance measurement. The boldest and brightest minds took the stage to share their latest innovations and case studies. Modelers, marketers, researchers and data scientists gathered in NYC to quicken the pace of innovation, fortify the science and galvanize the industry toward best practices and improved solutions. Content is available to event attendees and ARF members.

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How Do You Stimulate Great Creative and Measure It?

  • CREATIVE EFFECTIVENESS 2023

At our second annual Creative Effectiveness event, industry visionaries discussed the perspectives, theories, and resources they employ to develop and measure great creative. Attendees joined us in New York City or via livestream to hear fresh insights on the advertising landscape: from using AI as a stimulus for creative to extracting behavioral data and using that to try and inspire creative. Immediately after, we honored the teams behind insights-driven advertising with the ARF David Ogilvy Awards ceremony and dinner. The Gold, Silver and Bronze winners were announced, as well as the reveal of this year’s prestigious Grand Ogilvy Award recipient.

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FORECASTING 2023: Managing Risk — How Businesses Can Get Better Visibility into the Near and Long-Term Future

Managing business risk involves having a rational, data-driven view of the future while simultaneously being as prepared as possible for external shocks — from a global pandemic and the ensuing supply-chain disruptions, to inflation, data signal losses, war, and great power competition. At our annual Forecasting event, held virtually on July 18, leading experts shared how businesses can adapt forecasting techniques to manage risk.