Brand growth is a priority for any marketer. Respected and renowned academics continuously highlight the key factors that are required for successful growth and how marketing plays a crucial role in pursuit of it. When marketing science is applied, brands will start to see their green shoots appear.
These rules for brand growth are very familiar to anyone in a marketing role.
What’s more, with mobile having exploded over the last decade, it has become a dominant media channel with enormous potential for reach, creativity and commerce. The opportunities for advertisers with mobile are endless. It therefore needs to play a key role in any brand’s growth strategy. But can these rules for growth be applied effectively in a mobile environment?
Audience and environment
If you want to catch fish, fish where the fish are.
According to GWI, daily average mobile usage increased by 13 minutes in 2020 and mobile now demands 30% of consumers’ daily media time. Mobile ads placed in premium editorial environments achieve deeper memory encoding on both the left and right brain (the rational and emotional response to an ad, eg ‘I understand the message and I feel positive about the brand’), and deliver higher emotional intensity and engagement.
Premium environments are also inherently more viewable and brand-safe than social environments, which has a halo effect on brand impact (source: GroupM, 2018 and Newsworks & AOP, 2018). Much research has taken place over recent years that links the impact of premium environments with brand impact. During July 2021, Think Premium Digital released a significant piece of research, aiming to prove the hypothesis that when people are consuming quality news and entertainment, their memory passageways are more open to brand messages. The results were telling, finding that premium environments drove 2.4 times greater unprompted recall. Furthermore, it also conducted the research on light buyers and established that this effect was even greater, with three times the unprompted recall, highlighting the importance of a premium environment for brand growth.
Additionally, we found from our Teads Brand Pulse AB testing that ads placed within contextually relevant environments deliver an overall branding impact of +35%. Context is the media magic that makes a good campaign an extraordinary campaign and will continue to have greater importance as the cookie fades away.
Creative is key
Creativity is the most important factor that a marketer can influence. Our in-house creative team, Teads Studio, works closely with advertisers to ensure that brands adapt their marketing strategy, and reach their audiences effectively through their mobile phone devices.
Cannes Lions and Warc’s paper, ‘The Effectiveness Code’, identified that video-led creative is still the best way to connect a brand with a consumer. Storytelling and emotive strategies are also best for brand-building outcomes. A mobile-appropriate video should capture attention from the first frame, be 15 seconds or less, and be able to tell the story without audio. Traditionally, storytelling creatives are not built for mobile; relying on length and audio (dialogue or voice over) to tell the story.
Mobile ads placed in premium editorial environments achieve deeper memory encoding.
Teads Studio treats every video uniquely, using techniques such as 3D effects, clever branding, creative captioning and responsive elements to emphasise the creative and enhance the impact significantly.
We design for attention; our formats are 10 times more viewed and deliver +53% longer viewing times than standard formats (source: Dentsu UK In The Wild Fieldwork Q4 2020, 1,038 panellists, 63,640 ad impressions). This matters because the longer an ad is viewed, the more likely it is to be remembered and the greater the impact on brand choice.
Les Binet and Peter Field’s seminal study ‘The Long And The Short Of It’ highlights the importance of investing in brand long-term; emotional strategies with long-term commitment. A 60:40 balance of brand and activation strategies is widely accepted, but in practice difficult to adhere to. Success relies on doing both jobs well, and finding the right balance for your brand.
Strong emotional responses build memory structures, giving your brand mental availability with the audience. To build brand bias, positive memory structures must be reinforced and maintained through long-term brand building creative, media investment and measurement.
Although decisions link to emotion, they are driven by goal or need. For a purchase to occur, the customer’s goal must align to the product. If the right message does not land in the peak of the need state, a sale is less likely to take place, even if there is an existing emotional connection.
As a medium that delivers strong results for both short-term and long-term outcomes, ‘outstream’ (video advertising served within the flow of a site’s content) is the perfect channel for full-funnel solutions.
In ‘The Effectiveness Code’, James Hurman and Peter Field urge marketers to invest in creative commitment; for creativity to deliver significant business impact, it needs to stay in the market.
Marketers have three key activation levers (spend, duration and number of media channels) and pulling any of these will give their work an effectiveness advantage.
Digital advertising reveals results very quickly. It can be tempting to pull the breaks on a campaign if immediate results are not as positive as hoped for straight away. But short-term results are not always indicators of the potential of the creative.
A long-term commitment to a mobile strategy that employs a robust test-and-learn agenda across audiences, environments, creativity, activation and measurement is key to establishing and maintaining brand growth for the long term.