It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Binet & Field framework for long-term marketing value
Shrinking budgets, short-sighted CEOs, and the quest for immediate sales performance are killing the effectiveness of advertising and branding. The importance of creativity in ad communications has been sidestepped, and the average lifespan on the job for a corporate marketing leader is less than 18 months. The marketing world sits in disarray as it struggles to turn a fast buck even faster but at what expense? Can this be sustained? What is the long-term impact on brand value and customers?
Les Binet and Peter Field are marketing and advertising professionals who have developed a framework for thinking about marketing effectiveness. Their ideas are based on the notion that marketing should be focused on long-term brand building rather than short-term sales activations (think 3–6-month ad campaigns). “Digital has spent a decade telling us you can measure everything instantly and that it’s a good thing. The reality is it’s a very bad thing,” explains Field.
Binet and Field argue that to be most effective, marketing campaigns should focus on building brand equity over time, which is the value of a brand in the minds of consumers. This long-term stream of branding should be accompanied by short-term sales activations. To maximize profits, the duo recommended a split of 60% brand campaigns to 40% activations. Companies need both efforts, but most of the focus needs to be on brand building.
“Digital has spent a decade telling us you can measure everything instantly and that it’s a good thing. The reality is it’s a very bad thing.”
Peter Field, marketing consultant
Binet and Field first collaborated on an analysis of 880 marketing and advertising case studies with The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) in the UK. In 2007, the pair published the result of their analysis in a work entitled Marketing in the Era of Accountability. At the time, big brands and small businesses alike were embracing digital marketing with gusto, going all-in on self-managed paid Google ad campaigns while doubling down on the latest booming DIY digital trends and tools. For a time this approach seemed like the Holy Grail, and it appeared ready to change marketing and advertising forever.
In 2013, Binet and Field updated their research and thinking on the tensions between the value of long-term brand building and short-term advertising activations in their new book The Long and the Short of it: Balancing Short and Long-Term Marketing Strategies. The new research analyzed 996 IPA cases over a 30-year period, including 700 brands in 83 categories. Binet and Field discovered that the marketing world’s short-term myopia negatively impacted long-term brand value. They explained that you cannot build long-term customer trust solely with 3-month performance campaigns, “stacking” them in an effort to create brand value over time. While it is true that brands need periodic sales activations, these smaller, shorter campaigns need to fit under the umbrella of the main brand message.
Some of the key ideas that Binet and Field propose include:
- The importance of setting marketing objectives: Marketing should be focused on achieving specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives.
- The role of creativity: Creativity is important in marketing because it helps to differentiate a brand and capture the attention of consumers.
- The importance of context: Marketing campaigns should be designed to fit the context in which they are being delivered. This includes considering the medium, the target audience, and the competitive environment.
- The role of integration: Marketing campaigns should be integrated across all touchpoints to create a consistent and coherent brand experience.
- The importance of measurement: Marketing campaigns should be evaluated and measured to understand their effectiveness and make improvements.
Overall, Binet and Field’s ideas are focused on the long-term value of marketing and the importance of building strong brands to achieve sustainable business success.
Peter started his career in advertising as a strategic planner and has served as a marketing consultant for over 20 years. Effectiveness case study analysis underpins much of his work, which includes a number of important marketing texts written in partnership with Les Binet including Marketing in the Era of Accountability, and The Long & The Short of it, Media in Focus, and Effectiveness in Context. His latest publication is The Crisis in Creative Effectiveness.
Peter writes and speaks regularly around the world about marketing effectiveness. He is an Honorary Fellow of the UK Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.
Les Binet is currently Head of Effectiveness at adam&eve DDB, and runs DDB Matrix, the network’s econometrics consultancy. Over the years, Les has worked for a wide range of blue chip clients, including AXA, Barclaycard, Heinz, Nestlé, Phillips, Unilever, Virgin and Volkswagen.
VIDEO: Les Binet on why Advertisers should Measure Effectiveness Differently in the Digital Era – The Marketing Institute of Ireland @ DMX Dublin March 7, 2019.
INTERVIEW: Les Binet on brand building: “60/40 is not an iron rule.” – May 16, 2022
© PHD Media, May 16, 2022
The downside of “short-termism” with marketing expert Peter Field – thinkTV (Canada)
Download presentation (free) in pdf
About Hallaron Advertising Agency
Mike Hallaron is founder and principal partner and has served as director of accounts at Hallaron Advertising Agency in The Woodlands, Texas since 2003. The agency works closely with clients supplying branding and advertising strategy and implementing effective, award-winning campaigns. More than just an idea shop, Hallaron is a full-service agency focused on increasing client’s sales using branding, marketing, and media services.
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