Calculating return on investment of brand advertising is an art. When a commercial is run on electronic media, whether it is TV or radio, the methods used to calculate return on investment include ratings that measure viewers or listeners vs. sales in the relevant period following the promotion. Since I work with companies on more objective ROI calculations based on direct response marketing techniques, you might imagine I question the effectiveness of brand marketing.
An ad agency executive would probably give me a dissertation on what I am missing and it is doubtful we would ever reconcile. I remember the discussion with the Vice Chairman of a major international retailer on the topic of decentralized organized structure vs. a centralized one for administrative services common to multiple companies operating under the same corporate umbrella. It is an issue that is never reconciled. You either have one point of view or the other. There is no middle ground on some issues. I think brand advertising vs. direct response marketing falls into the category of irreconcilable differences between marketers. Back to Coke.
I must admit the most recent ad campaign is awesome. The scenes make me want to go out and buy the product. Correction, they make me want to go out and live the scenes. This is particularly amazing, since I watch very little TV and rarely react to an ad in terms of thinking of making a purchase. One of the current ads being run by Coke is where a senior citizen is shown experiencing Coke for what is supposed to be the first time. The experience of drinking Coke for the first time motivated him to call a childhood idol for the first time and tell her he has always loved her. It also motivated him to run with the bulls for the first time. All first time acts for him. Very well done.
Congratulations to Coke. This is a campaign that links the emotional response to the product. If others have similar reaction to this as me, then the sales numbers should being increasing for Coke during the running of the ad campaign. On the other hand, if I am a competitor I would quickly mass out an end cap displays in my A category stores in A category markets, with pricing at about $1.00 less per 12 pack of Coke and diffuse their entire campaign. Of course I would also attach a bounce back coupon on that same display and link it to a customer contact page on line. When the contact information is filled out, the customer receives additional promotions and gifts on line. Once I have that contact information, I then know I have a person who bought my product and that is a customer whose loyalty I can now nurture and strengthen. This is a strategy that capitalizes on the media ad campaign of a competitor and turns it to your advantage.
Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies. Today Steve is an expert business consultant focused on helping companies improve their business performance including growing profits, revenues and customers. For a FREE 6 week mini course where you will receive 10 easy to implement action steps guaranteed to increase business revenue and profits by at least 30% in the next 90 days, please visit www.StevePohlit.com All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.