Letter from the CEO
Advertising Works: 80 Years and Counting
In 2016, the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) will celebrate its 80th anniversary and the 55th anniversary of the Journal of Advertising Research. “Such milestones reinforce the importance of our aligned mission to investigate and find solutions that prove that—quoting from a seminal paper and our current initiative—’Advertising Works’,” writes Gayle Fuguitt, CEO & President. JAR readers, in fact, should
take better advantage of the ARF’s expanding network and intellectual capital, Fuguitt adds.
How Does Cross-Platform Advertising Work?
“Marketers have never had more means to engage with consumers. That’s the good news. The bad news: There’s no demonstrable way to measure the multiple points of connection in a cross-platform ecosystem.” Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Precourt makes this observation as he highlights the articles from December JAR’s special package, “How Cross-Platform Advertising Works,” starting with the revelation by the current Speaker’s Box column of a disconnect between academics’ and practitioners’ work in the field.
Is the GRP Really Dead in a Cross-Platform Ecosystem?
Why the Gross Rating Point Metric Should Thrive in Today’s Fragmented Media World
Over the past 15 years, U.S. spending on digital advertising grew sixfold to reach $49.6 billion in 2014, observes Gian M. Fulgoni, co-founder and chairman emeritus of comScore, Inc. That growth, plus a host of computer-driven measures, have caused some in the industry to suggest that traditional metrics, like the gross rating point (GRP)—are no longer relevant. Fulgoni objects: “Driven by rapid advances in technology, it’s clear that consumers’ consumption of television content has fragmented … however, media researchers can expect the GRP to become even more important. In particular, reach and frequency—the underlying components of the GRP—will be vital in the measurement of unduplicated reach and frequency across platforms and not just within individual media silos.”
Current Practices and Issues for the Future
Both legacy and digital media are being reshaped and refocused through any number of shared configurations, write Peter Neijens, chair in Media and Persuasion and Hilde Voorveld, assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam’s Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR). But the authors assert, “our literature study shows that academic and industry research are not connected.” Neijens and Voorveld propose that “academia could contribute to the industry by developing theories about cross-platform advertising effects, providing tools for better and cheaper measurement of these effects, by educating new generations of media planners and serving as knowledge brokers.” And, at the same time, practitioners must “overcome their self-interests and realize that only a joint effort can help further the profession.”
Quota Controls in Survey Research:
A Test of Accuracy and Intersource Reliability in Online Samples
As described in this latest excerpt from the ARF’s “Foundations of Quality 2” (FoQ 2) initiative series, authors Steven H. Gittelman, president Mktg, Inc.; Randall K. Thomas, vp, online research methods, GfK Custom Research; independent consultant Paul J. Lavrakas; and Victor Lange, research analyst, Catalina Marketing—worked with FoQ 2 committee members for a full year on the final written product of their study. Leaving no stone unturned in exploring new model-based ways of selecting sample, the researchers used additional variables other than demographics, but a fourth model category led to differences of interpretation. In the end the FoQ 2 committee agreed that publishing the work in its entirety was in the best interest of generating expanded research on this controversial topic.
Coming in March 2016: How Consumer Engagement Is Reshaping Marketing
Co-Executive Editor (North America) John B. Ford (Old Dominion University eminent scholar and professor of marketing and international business) looks ahead to the March 2016 Journal’s special package on consumer engagement. “Keeping up with the ways marketers stay in touch with their key customers is much like tracking the course of a snowflake,” writes Ford. “The entire customer experience with the brand is regularly molded and reshaped by dynamic changes in media habits and preferences.”
Why Marketers Should Be More Transparent with the Ad Agencies They Hire:
Media Planners Say Their Relationships with Clients Suffer from Gaps in Marketers’ Information
“The agency-client relationship is like a marriage: Without nurturing, it falls apart,” write Jun Heo, assistant professor, Louisiana State University and John C. Sutherland, professor and chair emeritus, University of Florida. Agency-client relationships, in fact, have a much shorter life span than they used to, so Heo and Sutherland surveyed U.S. media planners to find out why. The consensus: “Marketers need to do a better job communicating with the agencies they hire” about their needs and other marketing tools and information they provide elsewhere. Building mutual trust and satisfaction on both sides through “improved transparency should foster a long-term relationship—a more preferable outcome for the agency and the client.”
Does Traditional Advertising Theory Apply to the Digital World?
A Replication Analysis Questions the Relevance of the Elaboration Likelihood Model
How relevant are traditional advertising theories to today’s digital marketplace? Five authors located in three different time zones across the globe empirically tested the long-used Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM). Their collective conclusion: “Practitioners should question planning frameworks that use traditional advertising models such as the ELM, as they likely do not reflect how consumers think in a digital world.” (Gayle Kerr, professor at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia; Don E. Schultz, professor at Northwestern University and president of Agora, Inc.; Philip Kitchen, research professor of marketing at ESC Rennes School of Business; Frank J. Mulhern, the Hamad bin Khalafi Al-Thani professor of integrated marketing communications and associate dean at Medill School, Northwestern University; and Park Beede, chair of graduate business programs at the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates).
Do Consumers Avoid Watching Over-the-Counter Drug Advertisements?
An Analysis of Cognitive and Affective Factors that Prompt Advertising Avoidance
Jisu Huh, associate professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication/University of Minnesota; Denise E. DeLorme, professor of advertising at the University of Central Florida; and Leonard N. Reid, professor emeritus at the University of Georgia surveyed a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults about their reactions to ads for over-the-counter analgesic drugs. They analyzed a set of factors—two cognitive (perceived utility and skepticism) and two affective (irritation and attitude toward advertising)—to see how they influenced avoidance behaviors. “Consumer avoidance of (OTC) drug advertising is more directly and strongly influenced by affective reactions…and attitude …than cognitive reactions,” the authors found. What’s more, “irritation and perceived utility are inversely linked, hence irritation could be mitigated by making advertisements more informational and useful to the target consumers.”
How Publicity and Advertising Spending Affect Marketing and Company Performance: Print Media Publicity about Durable-Goods/Services Brands Has a Stronger Impact than Advertising
In this study, a research team led by Harlan Spotts, professor of marketing at Western New England University’s College of Business sought to help C-suite executives and marketing-communications professionals connect advertising and public relations efforts to a company’s financial and nonfinancial measures of productivity—specifically in the understudied durable goods and services brands area. This analysis “modified the earlier models by adding the variables of positive and negative publicity (via newspapers and magazines) as well as advertising spending to test the specific effects of these communication inputs along the chain of marketing productivity,” explain Spotts and co-authors Marc G. Weinberger, professor emeritus in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst; and Michelle F. Weinberger, assistant professor at Medill School, Northwestern University.
How to Use Multichannel Behavior to Predict Online Conversions: Behavior Patterns Across Online Channels Inform Strategies for Turning Users Into Paying Customers
Standing up to the challenges of cross-platform advertising, authors in Germany and Switzerland reported on the analysis of a click-stream data set that they believed could demonstrate that consumer reactions—to advertising messages through multiple channels—were strong predictors of purchase propensity. With such data at hand, advertisers can begin to predict purchasing behavior based on prior reactions to multichannel online advertising and develop individualized targeting strategies. (Sebastian Klapdor, associate principal at McKinsey & Company, Munich; Eva Anderl, senior consultant at FELD M, Munich; Jan H. Schumann, professor of marketing and innovation at Universität Passau; and Florian von Wangenheim, professor of technology marketing at ETH Zurich)
Mixed-Media Modeling May Help Optimize Campaign Recognition, Brand Interest: How to Apply the “Mixture-Amount Modeling” Method to Cross-Platform Effectiveness Measurement
Thinking outside the box on the subject of cross-platform measurement, four authors in Belgium applied “mixture-amount modeling”—a statistical approach used most often in biology, agriculture, and food science—to measure the impact of advertising effort and allocation across different media. In their analysis of Belgian magazine and television data on 34 advertising campaigns for beauty-care brands, the authors sought to maximize desirable outcomes for campaign recognition and brand interest. “The optimization of the media mix is especially important because the optimal allocation of advertising effort across media could boost campaign recognition by up to 33 percent and can improve brand interest scores by up to 0.19 scale points in the current data set.” (Leonids Aleksandrovs, researcher at University of Antwerp, Belgium and data scientist at Twoo [Massive Media]; Peter Goos, professor University of Antwerp/University of Leuven; Nathalie Dens, associate professor of marketing University of Antwerp; Patrick De Pelsmacker, professor of marketing at University of Antwerp/Ghent University)
What Makes Brands’ Social Content Shareable on Facebook?
An Analysis that Demonstrates the Power of Online Trust and Attention
Only a small percentage of brand-related social media involve actual sharing of content, says Tania Yuki, founder, CEO of social content analytics firm, Shareablee in New York City. “From January to October 2015, U.S. brands published 35 million posts across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, sparking 65 billion actions with social audiences (i.e., comments, shares, re-Tweets, etc.),” Yuki observed. “Yet just 7 percent of these actions involved sharing of a brand’s content … despite what is increasingly recognized as the value of shared content for building brand equity.” Yuki tracked the 2,000 most-shared social posts over a 12-month period on Facebook and then surveyed more than 10,000 social-media users about what might drive them to share that content online. She proposes: “Consumers are taking more actions than ever with brands and publishers across social channels, but … more conscious design of posting strategy is needed if brands are to reap the full benefits of social media and its viral potential.”