Strategy & Planning - Course

Traditional Communications

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Perform customer research as a measurement tool

Once you’ve executed your campaign, you need to understand how it has performed. Otherwise, you won't know whether you’ve achieved your campaign objectives.

With traditional media, most times you need to conduct customer research to measure the effectiveness of the campaign. With digital media, every interaction has data attached to it. But traditional channels are very difficult to measure. There are no devices, for example, with every television in your target market, that will say whether somebody’s watching that advert at that time. The television may be on, and your advert is playing, but that consumer may be in the kitchen getting a drink. Or they may be talking to someone and ignoring and not even paying any attention to what is going on.

Performing customer research enables you to measure:

  • The effectiveness of the ad
  • Awareness of the campaign
  • Emotional response

One thing sometimes you can’t measure with digital – because it is quite binary in nature – is the actual emotional response to the brand. Performing customer research allows us to understand that and measure that.

Brand equity

With traditional communication channels, it can be difficult to measure return on the investment. You don’t know, for example, when you launch a television campaign are advertising a specific product, whether there has been an increase on sales. You might have a discount code. Or a special telephone number for people to call. There are the perhaps the only measurements you have.

When measuring performance for a brand, you need to understand your brand equity. And a really useful tool is Keller’s Brand Equity Pyramid.

Step 1: Brand identity

Who are you? What do you stand for? And this is the very foundation of the pyramid because the goal of your organization and your goal is to create brand salience or awareness. In other words, you need to make sure that your brand stands out and that customers recognize it and are aware of it.

You’re not just creating brand identity and awareness at this stage. You’re trying to ensure that brand perceptions are correct at key stages of the buying process. So you need to control the consistency of the brand at every point of the experience.

Step 2: Brand meaning

What are you as a brand? The goal in this step is identifying and communicating what your brand means and what it stands for. The two building blocks in this step are performance and imagery. Imagery helps communicate what you do, what your brand is, what your brand stands for.

Step 3: Brand response

What do consumers think or feel about the brand? And your customers’ responses to your brand fall into two categories: judgments and feelings.

Your customers constantly make judgments about your brand. And those judgments can fall into four categories:

  • Quality: How do customers judge your product? Based on its actual quality or its perceived quality? Remember the importance of what other people are saying about your brand.
  • Credibility: Customers judge credibility using three dimensions. Expertise (which can include innovation), trustworthiness, and likeability. All of these contribute to the credibility of your brand.
  • Consideration: Customers judge how relevant your product is to their unique needs. You may treat customers as part of segments but every customer feels that they have unique needs. That’s how you need to serve them and how you need to treat them.
  • Superiority: Is your brand superior compared to competitors? That’s what customers are assessing at this stage.

Step 4: Brand resonance

How much of a connection would the consumer like to have with you? And this sits at the top of the pyramid because it’s the most difficult and the most desirable thing to achieve. You’ve achieved brand resonance when your customers feel a deep, psychological bond with your brand.

And Keller broke this resonance down into four categories:

  • Behavioral loyalty: Regular repeat purchases.
  • Attitudinal attachment: Your customers love your brand or your product and they see it as a special purchase.
  • Sense of community: Your customers feel a sense of community with people associated with the brand including other consumers and representatives of the business.
  • Active engagement: They’re engaging with the brand constantly.

Case Study: Rapha

Rapha are an amazing example of a brand that has achieved brand resonance. After Rapha launched, they created a secret club called Imperial Works named after their offices, which they invited their very best customers to join. They created special products that only these customers could purchase.

But what Rapha then understood, through carrying out continual insight research, is that actually this behavioral loyalty, this brand resonance, stretched far beyond this small group of customers that they thought they were the most loyal. And it’s got to the point where they’ve created a cycling club to create that sense of community. And people are paying £150 – so, about $250 – to join the club when actually all they’re getting is the ability to purchase very different unique Rapha products! They’ve been able to take advantage as a business of this brand resonance and create even more value for themselves. Whilst at the same time they're delivering a sense of value to their most engaged and active customers.

Research techniques

In order to understand the effect of traditional communications, you need to carry out research.

There are a number of online research techniques we can use:

  • Quantitative surveys: These include online surveys.
  • Real-time chats: These enable you to gain real-time insights online through chat functionality.
  • Bulletin boards: These give insights through bulletin boards online.
  • Quant-Qual Hybrids: These generate both qualitative and quantitative insights online using techniques like surveys that are followed up with in-depth questions.
  • Webcam focus groups: You can hold online focus groups gaining views from people around the world in real-time.
  • Video journals: You can create short videos of insights on a regular basis that are used for insight purposes.
  • Research blogs: Ask respondents to write short blogs about their experiences.
  • Mobile qualitative: You can gain qualitative insights through a mobile phone.
  • Research communities: These are groups of individuals that can be used to test out new ideas.
  • Immersion insights: Get insights while someone is going through the experience.
  • Web intercepts and chats: Chat with individuals when they are going through an online experience.
  • Social network monitoring: Monitor what people are saying about your brand on social media.

Today as a business you need to have someone responsible within your department to monitor social networks, to hear what people are saying about your brand. The purpose is not only to collect the good things, but to be able to respond when people are saying negative things about your brand. And save those moments.

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John Makin-Shaw

John Makin-Shaw is the Head of Marketing at Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance. For over 15 years he has been designing, launching, and managing customer propositions for some of the UK’s biggest brands.

John Makin-Shaw

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

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ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE

Traditional Communications
John Makin-Shaw John Makin-Shaw
Skills Expert

This module introduces fundamental marketing principles and tools including the value proposition, the classic marketing mix, market research, the customer journey, communications planning, creative planning, media strategy, and amplifying brand performance. By referring to current and recent examples, it illustrates how digital technology and changing consumer behavior and lifestyles are altering the consumer decision-making process and disrupting traditional marketing models and strategies.

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