AdNews AdClub: Media investment and brand impact high on the agenda

By AdNews | 15 March 2023

Australian marketers are drilling down on the effectiveness and efficiency of media investment, as economic headwinds blow the industry into a fast start in 2023.

Chief investment, strategy and planning officers gathered at AdNews AdClub to discuss the implications for optimising media mix in a session delivered in partnership with ThinkTV.

The event included a keynote from Kantar director of media insights Sharon Hilton, who presented a study measuring the impact video and other media channels have on brand investment.

Hilton said while marketers are discussing the potential need to reduce advertising budgets, historical trends indicated the importance of continuing brand building activity.

“We know from previous moments of economic downturn that those brands that have actually maintained their spend, those brands that haven't gone dark, have actually recovered a lot quicker than those that haven't done that,” Hilton said.

For calendar Q1, UM chief strategy and growth officer Raj Gupta confirmed questions around optimising media budgets were top of mind.

“This has actually been the most asked question I've had in the last three months and asked more than I've ever had in my career before,” Gupta told AdClub. “I think a lot of our clients are actually dealing in a period where they've been more uncertain about their spend than ever before.

“I think the questions they need to be asking themselves is: a) what is the relative share that they've got with their advertising spend, but also b) what do they need to put into place to maintain that share within the market and take advantage of where the opportunities might be. An old boss of mine once said that in chaos comes great opportunity. That would be my recommendation to a client, in the impending chaos that might come, take advantage of that opportunity.”

Channel allocation, audience targeting and long-term investment are some of the considerations for marketers consolidating their advertising spend, said Gupta.

OMD national head of communications planning Thad King said media agencies are mitigating against a return to short-termism.

“I think there's definitely a push towards performance and short term, making sure that the bottom line is hit, especially with the economic headwinds. But I think it's our job as agencies and the clients and marketing teams job to make sure that we are continuing to get the budgets there for the brand side of things. So that the brand has the longevity and the relationship with the audience in the right way that's going to keep their brand equity and growth for long term.”

For the full range of insights, watch the full video below:

To investigate optimising client outcomes in the current macroeconomic climate, Kantar director of media insights Sharon Hilton was commissioned by ThinkTV to shed light on campaign synergies across channels.

The Kantar study consisted of a meta-analysis of 179 campaigns measured against four brand metrics: awareness, association, motivation and consideration. It also measured the performance of individual media channels on their own and in conjunction with others.

According to Kantar’s research, Total TV generated the greatest brand impact via both solus and interactive media effects. For top-of-the-funnel campaigns designed to generate awareness, the study claimed Total TV delivered a 13% higher interaction impact while generating twice the media-driven brand impact for bottom-of-the-funnel performance campaigns.

Social, OOH and YouTube all relied on the support of other channels to make a genuine impact on brand metrics, according to the study. 

Hatched Media chairman Mike Wilson said agencies will hone in on a broad range of metrics in allocating media investment this year. 

“As well as the macro questions about channel allocation and value focus in difficult times, I think there's a bit of micro focus as well as within channels. One of the things we're really interested in at the moment is the whole notion of attention and within channels where you're garnering the most attention, what are the components within a channel that mean you're more likely to get better impact for your money."

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