How on earth to ‘do’ integration?


The IPA has recently published another book based on analyzing in new ways their extensive database of IPA Effectiveness Awards papers. This one is about different models of communications integration:

 

They’ve back-coded 256 case studies from the last seven years with respect to the models of integration and channels they use, and then analysed the scale and nature of the business and brand impacts achieved against that.

Their conclusions are numerous and quite interesting. For instance they challenge the assertion that integration is always best and highlight successful examples of non-integrated campaigns where there is more than one channel but they are treated separately. Given the greater time/cost/ resource required to integrate it’s useful to be reminded that sometimes it may not be worth the effort.

They highlight the growth in campaigns orchestrated more loosely around a shared brand idea (e.g. Johnnie Walker ‘Keep walking’, HSBC ‘The world’s local bank’) as opposed to the more traditional model of a common creative idea being applied more-or-less uniformly across media.

And importantly they demonstrate that the former campaigns are no less effective than the advertising idea-led cases – indeed they appear to be slightly more effective – hence the classic ‘matching luggage’ of integration is not required to generate a hard business response.

Within the more traditional advertising idea-led cases it appears that using a brand icon as the ‘glue’ to link campaign elements is particularly powerful (think 118 118, Felix catfood or Kerry Katona for Iceland).

The results indicate that campaigns orchestrated around participation
(e.g. Walkers ‘Do us a flavour’, the Wispa relaunch) are less effective at achieving against harder business measures but can be very good at rewarding existing users. [Having said that there are less of these kind of case studies in the database.]

When it comes to multi-channel advertising campaigns the analysis shows that three advertising channels was the optimal number for effectiveness within these examples – beyond that diminishing returns set in for the harder measures (although it seems the more the merrier for the softer metrics).

While TV is the most effective medium at driving both hard and soft measures, press and outdoor can also be really powerful as a lead medium.

The addition of a sales conversion channel to advertising (e.g. direct marketing or sales promotion) enhances hard business success. Advertising coupled with sponsorship or PR is particularly effective at driving intermediate metrics such as brand affinity.

The book goes on to look at which integration models are most effective for different stages of a brand’s lifecycle and for different product categories. It’s a slightly challenging read but if you’re a planner, media planner or client seeking empirical evidence and best practice advice about how best to handle the whole can of worms that is multi-channel communication, then the £85 (£75 for IPA member agencies) is worth it.

However I would still recommend this book’s predecessor, ‘Marketing in the era of accountability’, as a more fundamentally revelatory purchase.

This book takes 880 of the Effectiveness Awards case studies and assesseswhat is correlated to greater business and brand success. It highlighted a number of things which have more recently been confirmed by other sources …

E.g. the wisdom of aiming to increase penetration rather than loyalty
(cf. Byron Sharp’s book ‘How to grow/What marketers don’t know’)

E.g. the effectiveness of emotional campaigns, especially those focused around building brand ‘fame’ (cf. all the stuff coming out of neuroscience and books like ‘The advertised mind’ by Erik du Plessis)

Go to www.ipa.co.uk/Content/The-IPA-Shop to buy either of these publications.

Anyway, that’s quite enough of that now. Must stop being such a flipping nerd.

 

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