Volume 18 No. 3: What data says about marketing's biggest dilemmas

What’s the overlap between brand and performance marketing? How do you prove marketing’s value to the business? And does brand loyalty still matter? 

With the help of Kantar, we’re taking a data-driven look at the biggest debates in modern marketing. 


Modern marketing's 7 biggest dilemmas

Each week, we break down another marketing concept so you can skip the hype and get directly to what works. 

Global data and consulting company Kantar recently published “Modern Marketing Dilemmas,” an evidence-based report digging into some of the most contentious and widely debated topics in marketing.  

Here’s what you should know.

ROI only tells half the measurement story. Perhaps the top metric businesses use to judge marketing’s effectiveness, ROI is so popular, it has almost become a buzzword. However, ROI only sheds light on part of marketing’s impact, leaving out long-term brand results. Kantar’s research makes it clear... we need both brand and performance metrics to accurately judge success.

Brand is more than flashy logos. Kantar divides brand’s role into three categories: experience (triggering repeat sales), equity (triggering future sales), and activation (triggering current sales). All are important, but brand equity is especially crucial, influencing consumer choices both in the short- and long-term.

Differentiation drives pricing power. Distinctiveness is what makes your brand recognizable and captures attention. But differentiation takes a brand’s value to the next level, impacting pricing power and profitability. Being "different" enables a brand to stand out in ways that are hard to replicate and create a unique space within consumers’ minds for your brand.

Prioritize profitability in an inflationary environment. During periods of high inflation—and the economic uncertainty that often results—focusing solely on growth can be detrimental. Instead, brands should pursue profitability and pricing power. Later, this can help brands resist the urge to discount, even in the face of tightening budgets.

Prove marketing’s value through four key metrics. These metrics include:

1. Demand power: How much consumers want your product correlated with market share. 
2. Pricing power: How well you can justify charging premium prices. 
3. Future power: How likely a brand is to grow in the next year. 
4. Activation power: How well you’re converting customers thanks to strong physical availability.

Advertise, don’t panic, during a recession. When times get tough, it’s more important than ever to continue investing in marketing, pursuing your target customers, and focusing on profitability. Memorable brand advertising can help achieve this.

Brand loyalty still matters. But it’s not everything. Is loyalty a golden ticket or an outdated concept? Possibly neither. Contrary to the belief that it's easier to keep a customer than to capture a new one, Kantar suggests a balanced approach with separate advertising strategies for light and heavy buyers since both are valuable, just in different ways.


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