Integrated marketing provides a consistent experience for consumers whenever they encounter a brand’s presence. According to a new study by Kantar Millward Brown, campaigns with both integration and customization perform better across all channels.
“AdReaction: The Art of Integration” found that well integrated and customized ad campaigns boosted effectiveness by 57 percent. The data is based on new research across 45 countries, multichannel copy testing of 12 campaigns from eight countries and analysis of Kantar Millward Brown databases.
Customizing content for different platforms is important, the study found, but must also be part of an integrated marketing strategy. Kantar Millward Brown found that 29 percent of the ads tested were integrated but not customized, while 26 percent of the ads were not sufficiently integrated.
While integration is key to brand recognition, marketers and consumers have different views on whether campaigns successfully fit together. Eighty-nine percent of marketers surveyed believe their campaign strategies to be integrated, but only 58 percent of consumers agree.
Integrated campaigns are 31 percent more effective at building brands, even without customization. Basic integration can be achieved with connective elements like the same logo and slogan across channels. If you want consumers to remember your brand, Kantar Millward Brown says, “the more cues used, the better.”
“There is a sweet spot between integration and customization,” Kantar Millward Brown said in a statement. “A strong integrated campaign must be flexible enough to enable novel, complementary content, but familiar enough to link the key campaign elements tightly together.”
The study found that consistent characters or personalities are the individual cues which most help brand impact, often differentiating the best campaigns.
While all channels benefit from integration, the report states, some work even better when combined. For example, the strongest overall synergy combinations are between TV and Facebook, and TV with outdoor campaigns.
Kantar Millward Brown advised that brands only use channels that have a clear role in the campaign and in reaching the target audience. Understanding what each channel can deliver in terms of impact and cost is also important, the company said. Online ads are cost-effective in extending TV reach and building brand metrics from awareness through to purchase intent, for example.
In today’s world, consumers are often painfully aware that advertising exists. Eighty-one percent of global respondents report that advertising has increased versus three years ago, and 69 percent agree that ads are more intrusive now.
“Consumers feel overwhelmed by advertising from all angles,” said the report.
Integration may seem daunting, but Kantar Millward Brown reminds us that every great campaign starts with a strong central idea. Campaigns with a strong central idea performed 64 percent better across all brand KPIs, especially brand image associations at 91 percent. Such an idea acts as “connective tissue” across all content, according to the report.
When asked if campaigns are doing a better job at storytelling and integrating across formats, responses varied by country. Marketers in Nigeria, India, Saudi Arabia, China and Brazil are making the most progress, according to consumers. Less progress is felt in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France and Czech Republic.