I stumbled (there's a business idea in that statement!) across this piece of research aimed at educating our next generation of marketing folks, and what the authors also term 'higher Ed' marketing people, presumably they know more than the first group?.

To say this is supposed to 'educate', is in my experience and opinion somewhat flattering, it certainly informs, and it does have some interesting 'tactic' examples, but its also highly flawed - why?

Spoiler Alert: Reach, Impressions, and getting Attention seem to be key - very little if anything about engagement, they also describe 'social media' as a passive channel, and Gen Z a distraction!.

Lets start with this snippet about the importance of 'frequency' with your advert, something I have a hell of lot of experience with having spent many a marketing budget testing all kinds of brand messaging across a variety of different mediums.

"Brand prominence within a channel is important. Research from ThinkTV found that ads that produced greater sales impact showed the brand at twice the size of poorly-performing ads, showed the brand almost twice as often, and were 25% more likely to display the brand within the first two seconds".

I would certainly have to agree that frequency in 'branding' is key to maintaining a front of mind approach, this also applies to multiple channels, but it also depends on many variable factors including the end objectives. What I mean by this is a campaign designed to generate brand recall is usually the real objective of a TV advert (other channels apply) and is about subliminally injecting that brands solution to your perceived problem into your subconscious, so when you're looking for 'the solution' the objective is you think of them first. Infomercials are a completely different blog altogether.

Today they can measure that 'recall' after your ad has played out via a number of different ways, here's two of them, if your a marketing guru apologies this is nothing new;

  1. Direct Traffic spikes into your website a short time after the ad is played out suggest that you remembered the brand, your curiosity kicked in and you went straight to their website - your ad agency will always claim this as the ad attribution in action. This is called 'direct traffic'.
  2. Search Driven traffic spikes which are seen as assisted visits from other sources, these tend to be from our friends at 'Google' (other search engines are available), what happens here is you can't recall the brand name but something in the ad creative stuck with you, lets say the advert was about 'buying your old mobile phone' but you couldn't 'recall' the brand name, so you type into 'Google' 'sell my phone', and if the brand has done its job right they will be in number one position for that set of key phrases and words.

So, just pause, have a think about that entire process, from the initial idea for the campaign, all that cost to produce the advert, then the even greater cost of 'buying' that media space, only to cross your fingers that your prospects are then prepared to do the extra mile, go and find you, work out how your website works, and then decide if they can 'trust' you - it's exhausting, and extremely expensive.

Being 'front of mind' in today's 'ad intrusive world has become faster and cheaper for brands, all due to the invention of 'programmatic ad buying exchanges, thankfully its counter measure is 'ad skipping, and ad blocking' for you and me. Again in my experience frequency only works if it resonates with the intended audience, and can be equally effective in pissing off those that simply find it intrusive, which given the continued rise of ad blocking and skipping is quite a lot of pissed off people.

Another Spoiler Alert - they can now invade you with more frequency and cheaper adverts using programmatic via your Smart TV or Set Top Box, and the ad industry think they have 'our attention'..

As you can see the guys who commissioned that bit of research are none other than 'Think TV' which is set up to extol the virtues, sorry 'promote' TV advertising, and designed to help your media buying agency part you with more from your marketing budget.

The other showstopper in this piece for me is they're actually saying that Gen Z are nothing but a distraction - WTF!!

And then this;

"To be successful, advertising needs two critical elements: solid branding and the ability to stand out".

With mobile continuing its dominance it terms of device of choice there's nothing in this 'educational' piece about great creative design and user experience, nothing about how people are using 'Ad Blockers' at a rate so fast it's killing the industry they are teaching about. Also nothing about Ad Fraud, which is still climbing towards the $100bn mark by 2023

I'll let you make up your own mind with the link to the 'thought' piece below, however if this is what we're educating the next group of marketing people with then the industry is going to continue on downward spiral into oblivion with its '3 Wise Monkey' approach.

"Social Selling" - What's that all about?