Tom Roach and Dr Grace Kite speak about Marketing Effectiveness

Dr Grace Kite, Founder of Magic Numbers & Tom Roach, VP Brand Strategy at Jellyfish
Transcript (auto generated) Speaker 1: Good morning everyone. I hope you’re doing good. The skies are grey here but our hearts are full of sunshine because we have Grace and Tom and all of you with us this morning. Thank you all so much for being here. You’re absolute legends. Let’s have a lot a […]

Transcript (auto generated)

Speaker 1: Good morning everyone. I hope you’re doing good. The skies are grey here but our hearts are full of sunshine because we have Grace and Tom and all of you with us this morning. Thank you all so much for being here. You’re absolute legends. Let’s have a lot a lot of fun over the rest of this hour. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to pop where you’re watching from in the chat. I can see some of you have already done so, well already a lot of you in fact. I’ve seen folks in India, Italy, someone said Italia which really threw me there, Amsterdam, Cardiff, Australia, Nottingham, Dublin, New Zealand, Exeter, Derby. It’s going very fast now so I’m going to stop. While you’re there you’ll be able to see on my screen right now some instructions on making sure that you switch your messages from hosts and panelists over to everyone so everyone can see your messages. You just need to head into your chat feature, click that little toggle that says hosts and panelists and just move it over to everyone so everyone can see your messages. That way we can have a really great chat throughout the duration of today’s session. Today our guests are the incredible, couldn’t be nicer, couldn’t be smarter, couldn’t be more interesting, Grace Kite and Tom Roach. Grace is from Magic Numbers so I’m going to pop this up on my screen and is just the most lovely human being in the world. Tom said a very lovely line as he came on which was that Grace is the absolute embodiment of her brand and she just lives and breathes being very smart and very lovely. Grace has two upcoming courses and she’s actually given the Marketing Meetup community a £200 discount code for that. The first course is called Scaling Up Works and that helps you find the right mix of performance and brand marketing. Then the second course is called Data Works which helps you get to grips with data to give you your marketing the magic touch. Now I’ll leave those two QR codes up while I introduce Tom. If you’re interested in discount codes you just need to follow those QR codes. We also have Tom Roach who is the VP of Brand Planning at Jellyfish. He is an interesting, thoughtful human who’s a genuine industry leader. Evidence through his multiple gold IPA effectiveness awards and general industry legendary vibes. A very good human. Today we’re going to do something slightly different. Grace and Tom will be questioning each other after I’ve done the first leading couple of questions. It’s a really easy day for me. We’re going to be doing a session based on marketing effectiveness. It’s an ultimately an important topic because as marketers we need to be doing stuff that needs to be effective. This conversation will be sort of like intermediate advanced I expect. I’ll be doing my best to sort of jump in where needs to be to clarify any points. Thank you all, by the way, for your lovely chat comments. I can see them coming through. It’s just lovely. Hello to Sarah in Stoke-on-Trent. Lovely to see you and Gary in Northampton. Don’t forget to use the Q&A because we’ll take time at the end to answer your questions after we’ve done that. The last thing for me to do before we get started with the session is to say a big thank you to our sponsors. Now, this week, our featured sponsor is Frontify. They enable you to keep your brand consistent. They incorporate elements of DAM, so data asset management, to enable you to keep all your assets in one place. They also help you keep your brand guidelines in there and stuff like that. You’re ultimately able to collaborate with all of your team. Now, Frontify, in that QR code on there, have done a study of 450 CMOs about the right time to invest in brand. If you would like to get that, there’s no details required. You just need to press the button and you get the PDF. Head over to that link right there. Also, a big thank you to the rest of our sponsors. Exclaimer, Cambridge Marketing College and Redgate will feature each of those in the following weeks. Now, that’s my introduction done. The first question, and this goes to Tom to start off with. Can we understand what we mean by marketing effectiveness? Is there a bit of a potted history that you might be able to give folks just as they head into today’s session, just for some context?

Speaker 2: Okay, a potted history. I’m not so sure about the real, like true, deep history of it. I haven’t studied it, but I imagine it does go back to the 70s and the classic people like Kotler. If you if you want to get into your classic marketing textbooks, that’s probably where it all starts. The bit where I pick up, though, is the is 1980s onwards, where the IPA effectiveness awards were established in 1980. When you get into advertising effectiveness, which, of course, isn’t all of marketing, but part of it, the IPA’s efforts from 1980 onwards to gather as much data on the effectiveness of advertising, really prove the value of advertising, prove that it works, obviously from slightly selfish industry perspective. That body of case studies is now 2000 case studies with the data bank that comes off the back of those case studies. Those awards is unprecedented in the history of marketing and advertising. Really, it’s the thing that all of Les Burnett and Peter Fields work is based on. Whenever you get those shots, say IPA data, that’s where that data comes from. All of the history of what works or what has worked over history is in that is in that body of work. Then that sort of movement to prove the power and value and commercial value of advertising, I think goes hand in hand with the measurements, which, again, Les Burnett is fully wrapped up. He there’s a there’s a brilliant econometrician called Louise Cook, who’s really the doyen of economy, advertising econometrics. She actually she was a BNP DDB. I think it was probably called then or maybe in the previous iteration of DDB. She hired Les. She was an econometrician hired him, trained him. I think his degree was in, I want to say it might even have been machine learning or physics of some kind. Then there’s this canon of brilliant econometricians who essentially were from Louise to Les. A whole load of others, including Grace, who was, I think, in some ways trained by Les and introduced us. We were Louise, actually, Louise. Right. We and I can’t remember exactly when we worked together. It was on some IPA effectiveness awards when I was at Alabama DDB. Back end of 2019, 2020. That’s when Grace and I started starting to do stuff together. Not that we’re part. I would put myself in the history of mass infections in any way. There is this long line of brilliant measurement people who come up through the advertising world. It’s an interesting there’s this it’s quite bespoke, quite sort of small number of people who are really experts in it. Of course, that’s been sort of turned into an industry. The big media agencies have big econometrics and measurement capabilities that really have their roots in those individuals. It’s a it’s a really you did say geek out and we could.

Speaker 1: Geeking out is good. Even if you don’t put yourself in that bracket, then I’m sure we will. Tom, Grace, did you have anything to add there? Just on what Tom has just spoken through?

Speaker 3: Yes, and I think it is all about measurement and being able to measure. I remember in the 80s, actually, in the 90s when we were doing measurement for the first time. I actually in my first ever job had numbers on a dot matrix printer that I had to type into Excel version 1.0. It was a bit after Les and Louise, but I always picture them in the 80s with luminous pink socks and big dangly earrings. I’m sure they weren’t doing that, but that’s how I picture it.

Speaker 2: The history of it will be connected with the history of data and computing and computing power. That also suggests what the future of it’s going to be about with AI, whatever we think of that in measurement terms. When the other question, which was like, what is marketing effectiveness? I think it’s really simple. It’s having a really clear strategy and objectives for your marketing. Really strong approaches to measurement, which are going to help you understand how you’re achieving those objectives. Then using that measurement to understand how where you are on that journey and then feeding that learning back into back into the into the process of developing your marketing communication next time. It’s it’s all about strategy for me. It’s not whenever people talk about what does effectiveness mean, what does evaluation mean? I’m always keen to talk about how effectiveness is. It’s a cultural thing. It’s part of the whole process. It’s not something that just happens at the end of the process, because I think it probably goes wrong if you’re if you’re if you’re just talking to your measurement people at the very end. Once you’ve once you’ve developed your plans and your and your marketing material.

Speaker 1: I love that. Thank you for that. That last bit there as well, because I think that’s sort of certainly speaking from personal experience more than anything. there’s a lot of conversation around these things and sometimes it can feel quite inaccessible. Even as a starting point there just to sort of put a couple of sentences which are incredibly simple and clear really helps take us on the journey for the rest of today’s session. Let me make my last question and then I’m going to pass over to you Grace and Tom to take it from here. You both did a pretty cool thing not that long ago where you famously collaborated on the third age of effectiveness on a big cool stage in Cannes. Basically it was this idea that there’s never been a better time to be in marketing returns are on the up. I guess the question is, how do we know that? Why is it?

Speaker 3: I’ll take this one. Yes, leave this one. The first age of effectiveness when we were doing sort of traditional things like TV or posters, radio. The second age, I guess, was when we first started using online media and the third age now where we’ve been using it for a little while. I recently was doing a speaking at a big crowd and I said, hands up if you think the third age is better than it’s ever been before. Some of the audience put their hands up, hands up if you think the third age of effectiveness is worse than it’s ever been before. Quite a lot of people put their hands up there, too. There’s this thing where actually, do we know whether it’s improving or not, whether the world is improving or not? I went and looked at it and I got together this data source with the IPA. Actually, I’m sitting in the IPA basement today. They’ve got a really cool bookshelf behind me. I looked into this with the IPA, collected through loads of data from lots of different econometrics providers and looked at whether returns from advertising were improving or not. What you can see in that data is that actually the returns from advertising took a bit of a dive when we first started experimenting with online, when we were practising, getting used to it and we were moving away from things we knew how to do to experiment with these new things. Then after a while, somewhere around the middle of the 2010s, returns to effectiveness started going up again and they’ve been going up quite quickly. Actually, the third age is better than we’ve ever had before. We sort of dug into the arc data. That’s that econometric source I was mentioning to say, where is this recovery concentrated? It’s concentrated where people shop and research and spend time online. Where they’re reachable with online ads when they’re thinking about their purchase. That is where the learning has now taken place. We’re using online ads in quite a sophisticated way, getting the right options on things like objectives for social media channels and moving away from formats that can be gamed by bots or targeting in the right way. Return on investment has just reached a new, stronger level. In the CAN talk where Tom and I were very lucky to hang out with Les Binet, we also got a cut from the IPO data bank that Tom was talking about a minute ago to look at the long lens in their data. What we could see there was that actually in that second age when we were learning to use online ads and returns were sort of going a bit downhill while we were learning. Actually, the horizons for payback were really short and getting shorter. People wanted their payback now. There was a bit of a move away from brand building. Actually, that also had a turning point in the mid 2010s. Another part of the reason for the recovery in effectiveness is that people are starting to balance the long and the short or the brand and activation or brand performance or much better than they did before.

Speaker 2: That’s another part of the turnaround. I think it’s a brilliant story, isn’t it? It’s a really positive story. I sometimes feel like in these big industry narratives, there’s a bit of like, we used to be shit and now it’s great or vice versa. I get and whilst I was really a big advocate of the part of the story, which is we are learning better to use these tools that we’ve got. We’re getting better at combining the foundational knowledge of how marketing works with some of the new technology. I sometimes get nervous that we there’s too much nostalgia in the industry. A lot of the narrative that put out there, whether it’s there’s a crisis in effectiveness or the previous talk to ours the previous year had been called triple jeopardy. It was like, doom. I don’t really buy the nostalgia or it’s shit. It’s been terrible. Now, and we’re in we’re going to hell in a handcart, whatever the phrase is.

Speaker 3: It’s like progress, don’t we? We’ve got what’s going on, let’s throw away the good stuff and keep the shit stuff.

Speaker 2: I get I also I get quite like when there are people who just look back and just want to look back at the I love the TV commercials of the 80s and 90s is what I grew up with. Right. I would, of course, I’d love to live in a world where there was some of that great creative work out on our big screens in us in our sitting rooms. That’s not so much the case anymore. It’s happening elsewhere. Creativity is moving on. Things move on and we shouldn’t live in the past. I feel like I just want to temper the things were shit. Now the great narrative with a bit of reality of I think I suspect five percent of everything is or 95 percent of everything is mostly a bit shit. Five percent is really brilliant. That’s probably always the case regardless of the time. I do. I do. Having said that, I absolutely do. By the stuff we were talking about, which is these new platforms, we’re getting better at using them. The history of digital being initially and primarily a direct response set of platforms and channels that is that is disappearing as creative people get a handle on how to do things creatively with it. As video platforms become more the norm. Video is baked into it. Obviously, TikTok is video first and YouTube was born that way. Video is where brand building is particularly prevalent. I’m a big advocate for how we’re all getting better at it. We’re using the tools better. We’re using some of the intelligence and the history of what works better. Just that there’s a progress narrative there, which I like.

Speaker 3: Yes, no, I totally agree with that. I think when you talk about it in terms of both ism, which is a term that’s come about recently, it’s been used by Mark Ritson and others. It came. He riffed off your work with that, didn’t he?

Speaker 2: Yes. What does it mean to you? I wrote a thing called The Wrong and the Short of It. I actually wrote it in 2020. It was the first or second blog I published in the middle of 2020. It got a lot of reads and he read it and passed it around. Somebody in a comment when Ritson shared it on LinkedIn said that this thinking and the stuff you’re doing, Ritson, will become known as the both ism school. That term was coined then. Yes, but both ism. I was annoyed, actually, because I should have I should have called it that. It’s a really good. It’s a really good philosophy. It gets to the heart of what my bit, by the way, on The Wrong and the Short of It was really it was just a rip off of Benetton Field, which is my secret. My whole career is basically a little rip off of Benetton Field. Why? The both ism was really to go. There’s this word in the middle of Long and Short of It, which is obviously the great book by Benetton Field, which gets forgotten because Benetton Field get talked about as being. I even saw them described as the high priests of the long term, which is, of course, ridiculous and pretentious, but also is wrong because they both believe in both. The word and is in the centre of the title of the long and the short of it. That gets ignored and forgotten. They’re very famous chart that does that. That it says do both of those things and you will you will do really well. You can’t. Actually, the thing that I started to say was, I think sometimes in marketing advertising, we sometimes get it wrong, not only by being really short termists, but there are other people that get it wrong by being really wrong, but long termists and only wanting to do the big the big the big brand campaigns and creating lots of demand or future demand. They’re not actually harvesting that demand through tactical use and smart use of digital channels to really harvest the demand they’re creating. It is about balancing building future demand by creating the right brand associations for your brand and then harvesting that demand really efficiently in the right channels for those.

Speaker 3: There’s a few analogies for it, isn’t there? I use the one of there’s no point in having a really high tech fishing net if you haven’t got a pool full of fish and the brand building, putting the fish in the pool and then the performance or the direct response activation is like fishing them out and turning them into customers.

Speaker 2: It’s a great one. I like I think Britson talks about there’s two ones he uses. One is watering your tree and then picking the fruits. The other one, which I like is an alley oop in basketball. The long pass and then the and then the dunk. Two things that can’t be done separately. You can probably dunk alone. I don’t know. I don’t know about basketball, but you can’t. An alley oop needs both those things. It’s a really good thing to do in combination. I think all of this theory is basically trying to make sense of this big change we’ve seen in advertising, which was we used to have a couple of big tools to do the long and a couple of big tools to do the short. Now we have this vast array of platforms that were really have become started out being really good at the short. Now I think we’re getting better at combining them and using digital foot for both. Of course, digital can do digital means all sorts of things, doesn’t it? It’s particularly it is was more famous for the short. Now we need to get better at the longer bit.

Speaker 3: Yes, the two things do work together. that in the in the measurement as well. I see that through our work all the time that, actually, if you if you do brand building, the return on investment for your performance go up. If you do performance and direct response, the overall effect of your of your brand building be able to last longer and be activated more. It works. It’s because, you’re harvesting the demand that you’re creating from your brand building. Actually, it’s really helpful because that effect actually shows up in things that the performance marketing can see. That’s important, actually, because sometimes they can be a bit of a blocker to brand building. They can go, well, actually, I don’t really fancy this ethereal thing. I want to put a pound in and get 50 pound back. They think it’s really transactional. It’s just like putting money in a slot machine and outcomes more money.

Speaker 2: It can be like that. Right. Then those pesky brand marketers on in the other, maybe on the other floor sometimes with different objectives are seen in somehow in conflict or stealing their money or that there’s a bit of conflict. I love it when I talk to marketing people and they have a combined team. They’re unified. They have good relationships with their performance colleagues. They probably ideally got the same boss. They’re being led by somebody that understands both. Maybe there are individuals that understand both. They’ve got those are the most effective departments, aren’t they, where you’ve got people meeting at the corner. Totally. They’ve got metrics and objectives that they’re being set that are consistent and work together and not conflicting. Because, of course, we all know that pressure of short termism and sometimes putting off the bigger things you could do, which are about casting the net wider and doing something big for the future. That’s, in busy times, that’s that all effect that problem affects us all in everything we do,

Speaker 3: not just marketing advertising. Yes, you’ve got you just the thing where I’ve seen it work and getting past those blockages, it’s just pointing out to the performance marketing team that, things like your click through rate on your search ads is going to go up if you do brand and your dwell time on the site is going to go up. That means your conversion rate on site is going to go up. You’re going to you’re going to go up the organic rank rankings because of this brand campaign that you’re doing. All of that is going to make performance marketing teams job easier and better. They’re going to look good as a result of it. That’s something that just helps you move on a little bit.

Speaker 2: That data is so important, isn’t it? I remember maybe about 2018, I was trying to collate a sort of set of data and charts on the value of brand. It was unbelievably hard to gather the right sources, I suspect. Now, in fact, we should look at it and do it again, because I bet you there’s a load of great data points. You could pull out just the here’s a brand that was doing some brand stuff as well as some some more short term stuff. Here’s the click through rate on the short term stuff that was higher. This is the I don’t know, the base sales are higher or whatever that these are really interesting. there’s probably a load of very specific data points that you’ve got in your locker, Grace, that could be useful to people to see, I think.

Speaker 3: That’s a to do then, we’ll put that on a to do list.

Speaker 2: You can go back to these articles I’ve written and think, , that’s good. I wouldn’t write that now or that chart looks horrible or that data point looks about outdated or I’ve changed my mind now.

Speaker 3: These things that people are always still massively referencing because they’re really useful to everyone on your in your blogs.

Speaker 4: I need to need to update some of it because it goes out of date sometimes.

Speaker 3: Yes, I suppose. Talking about the to do list. One of the things we’ve been talking about as a sort of loose to do for this year is to solve brand building in the platform world. How do you do it? I think we sort of loosely sometimes work where you think about creative sometimes. I sometimes think about media. We sometimes work that way together. I think you’re further on thinking about how you do it in creative than I am. I’ve got some ideas about how you do it in media. Do you want to say a bit about how you do it creatively?

Speaker 2: Yes, it’s funny. The more I think about it and the more like so. That’s really what I did on the stage at Cannes. Last year that my bit on the third age of effectiveness was basically going. I identified that it’s not a new problem, but this issue around attention is an issue in digital channels, particularly because the screens are smaller and the formats we’ve got are shorter. There is an issue around how many seconds of attention you can get from people when they’re watching your advertising. Of course, we all know that the more that the more you engage with a piece of content, the more you’re likely to be to have your your memories of that thing enhanced or your perceptions of it reinforced in some way. There is a connection between the amount of seconds of attention. Sounds quite mechanistic. The amount of brand memories you’re able to create and the more memory you’re able to create, the more chance of future sales you can create. There’s there is an issue with digital channels being just not quite as good as some of it, as with a 30 second TV ad, you can get on average about 13 seconds of attention, apparently, according to some of the data with a 50 second YouTube ad. It’s about six or seven seconds with a Facebook ad might only be a couple of seconds. Bit of a problem, isn’t it? With this array of channels we’ve got, we need to be really I hate the word but choiceful about the platforms we use and the and the and the formats we use. I’m pretty big on TikTok. I’m not big on TikTok. I’m bullish about TikTok because I think it’s a really engaging and creative platform where loads of interesting things are happening. When people are on TikTok, they seem to engage that bit more with the with the content. That, I think, is a clue to what to what you need to be doing in digital. It’s about video. It’s about it’s about grabbing people. It’s about being native to the platform as best as you can be. All of the different platforms will tell you that the best way to be effective on their platform is to create content that’s bespoke to that platform, rather than doing what some of the big advertisers still do, which is make a big telly ad and then chop it up into bits and stick it on the stick it on the Internet. That is not best practice. It’s cheaper. It’s an easier job. You don’t need so many people to do it. It’s a bit easier to organize. The reality of doing creative work in each for the platforms is you do need to be pretty attuned to what works on each one creatively and in media terms. Probably starting with a couple of platforms which are video focused and getting really attuned to how your brand can operate in those in those in those platforms is the right way to do it. All the platforms talk about like grabbing people’s attention, not necessarily just by some of the old rules that Metta would say was like, make sure your branding’s up front. Make sure your key message is there. I actually think that’s a bit of a guaranteed way to only get two seconds of attention and not getting any more. Because once people know what brand you are and what you’re saying, they don’t need to watch anymore. If you start off by really engaging people and intriguing them and giving them a sense of the value or that there is going to be value from continuing to watch, then that’s a great way to start your story. Then and then the this classic learning where you should talk about emerging story arcs are creating a high level of attention to start with and then multiple peaks of emotion throughout video, however long it is. I think that’s something we can learn from in terms of the way we construct our stories and tell stories in video, particularly. That’s a bit of a positive. I do a think it’s ABCDE, so attention, branding, communicate through stories. Emotion is still really important. I just missed out D, which is difference is still really important as well. ABCDE in that case. I’m probably supposed to ask you a question now.

Speaker 3: I was going to I was going to have a go at what what’s the media thing for. Please. Yes. Yes. I must say that I think this is an area where we don’t entirely know the answer. How do we do brand building in a world where TV doesn’t get the reach that it used to? because it’s always been the history, isn’t it? You get a 30 second ad, you put it on TV, everybody sees it. You it signals that you’re big because everybody’s seen it. it signals that you’re good. Then, that’s a really rich media channel. It’s got sound. It’s got visuals. It’s got movement. That gets into people’s minds and they remember it. That was the way you do brand building, sort of beginners guide sketch out a brand building. It’s probably got TV in it. What about in a world where TV doesn’t get the reach that it used to? One idea is that because you can’t reach everyone with broad reach TV ad anymore, you have to use lots of different channels. You talked about different channels and how they’re different in terms of the amount of attention you get and the mode of the people, the mind people, mindset people come to them with and how different creatives have to be, have to be different. One idea I’ve got about the future of brand building is that actually that fragmentation isn’t necessarily a bug. It could be a feature like the modern stack of media channels. It’s a genius thing to be able to work with. The data shows consistently across a lot of different meta studies that if you use more channels, you get a higher return on investment. The more channels you’ve got in your campaign, the higher the return on investment that campaign will be. It’s in the art database that I mentioned earlier. It’s also in the work by James Herman and Walk on creative commitment. The idea there is that if we can use different channels to do different but related jobs, we build up more rounded campaigns that build brands in different ways that are appropriate for different people. We see it in our econometrics as well, that a lot of little works together to add up to more than some of the parts. there is an art to this route as well, as well as the science. It’s you have to get it right. You have to have something that’s very consistent across all of those different places so that you’re not confusing people or asking them to take on too many different messages. There’s a need for a look and look and feel consistency across the diverse platforms. Brand branding as well as brand building that matters.

Speaker 2: That’s one idea. I love that. because we’ve been talking about this idea of lots of littles for a while. I really like the justification for that being so important. Actually it has its roots in something we’ve all have known for a while, which is multiple channels are good. We’ve sort of maybe in the debate about what the hell do we do when linear TV reaches declining, this crisis. I think one of the big crises that people have had in the industry has been around that actually. I think that’s the worry. It’s the worry that, we used to have this big bazooka. We don’t have it. We still have it, but it’s not quite so effective in reaching some of our new audiences. We may not have the money for it. How do you when all the marketing science is trying to be always on rather than the big bursts? TV was obviously historically been quite good at big bursts. I think it’s really interesting, this sense of creating our brands out of loads of little pieces, so long as they don’t fragment and dissipate into nothing. I think that’s where the branding piece comes in. The consistency of making sure everything you do is orchestrated and telling the same story or telling a slightly new angle in on the same story,

Speaker 3: should we say? It’s a modern rationale for branding, a new a new reason for consistency. People have always talked about consistency over time, like keep the campaign for a little while so that it beds in. Also now consistency across patent, across platforms and all these little touch points sort of really matters.

Speaker 2: Yes, because the old when I was at BBH, we used to talk about moving it on without moving it off. There was always this crisis of you’ve done a big thing and it was on brand. It works and it’s begun to maybe work less well. When do we move on to the next thing? It was a linear progression. I wonder whether now we’re dealing with a situation we’ve got lots of things happening together. It’s more about the connection points and how you move things on and off brands within or across the across the platforms in some way. There’s a there’s a diagram that you and I need to create.

Speaker 1: Can I just jump in here because I wanted to ask a question about like I love this point. I think it’s really wonderful. To me, as someone who sits within a slightly smaller business, you look at people like the Paul Dyson study, which sort of says about like the size of your business, being one of the main determining factors of the success of your campaign. As I hear you speaking about like lots of little works, for me, that gets me quite excited in a way. As a small business, actually, we could be doing lots of little smaller things, delivered consistently. Granted, it’s all relative to bigger companies who potentially, can still do little but bigger, if that makes sense. I’m interested in your perspective here, Grace. does that does that open up a little bit of a gap for small businesses, potentially in the historic sort of world of marketing, literature and knowledge?

Speaker 3: Yes, I’m such a fan of small businesses. it sounds really weird because there’s so many of them and that’s almost all of the economy. The smaller businesses are growing faster and they are the driver of the economy and they are what contribute to how the country as a whole progresses, really. It’s a shame, I think, that many of the effectiveness the effectiveness speakers are actually relying on things like the databank or econometric studies and things like that only big companies do, really. We were really lucky at Magic Numbers because we had a spurt of growth around COVID. We worked with loads of scale ups during that time because we were quite small and they were quite small. It was a massive, it was a really good match and it just worked really well together. We’ve been sort of thinking about what’s the right thing for smaller companies. It’s part of what’s in our scaling up works course that you flashed a QR code for at the beginning. One of the things I wanted to pick up, because I think this is also a bit about the future of brand building, and it is something that’s accessible to smaller companies, is the role of influencers as brand building media channels. It sounds awful because they’re people you can’t call them a media channel, but, something that you might buy to help you get into brand building. Because influencers, they’re this new breed of, trusted people. The thought is that we’re smaller or sometimes bigger businesses to leverage their credibility for brand building. Actually smaller influencers, the evidence is that micro influencers get you more bang for your buck because every post that they do is more relevant for their smaller following. You do a lot of micro influencers rather than one big one. Again, that’s something that’s accessible to smaller businesses. I wanted to tell you about a survey that WALK did last year. I thought it was fantastic when I saw it because they interviewed and surveyed like huge numbers of people around the world and asked them what they thought about influencers. Three quarters of people, between 72 and 78 percent of people were super positive about influencers. They believe that influencers promote products and brands in the followers’ best interest. They believe that they promote products and brands that are reliable. They believe they promote products and brands that are good value for money. That’s what the followers believe about what influencers say. It’s no wonder, really, that spending on this has been growing quite rapidly. It’s also no wonder that we’re seeing in our econometrics and in a lot of places that this is actually working like a brand building channel, that the effects of doing an influencer campaign like that is long lasting. They’re not just now and gone.

Speaker 2: I think on this point. Sorry.

Speaker 1: No, go ahead, Tom. You’ve got good things to say.

Speaker 2: What you have to remember is that Google and Facebook Meta, they are basically funded by millions of small businesses. They’ve created, they’ve made advertising accessible to small businesses. The way they are actually set up is far more attuned to the simple, easy plug in and play approach that a small business needs than a big advertiser. In many ways that those platforms are better for small businesses. I think it’s probably part of this story is, is the way that small businesses are able to advertise and able to do something they couldn’t really do before. Because previously, what would they do? stick something in the yellow pages, something in the local post office. I’m being, local papers, not they didn’t have access to the to this much wider audiences and footprint that the digital gives them now. That’s a really big part of this. The other thing is, I just think this point about the IPA databank is and some of the data we use is based on the success of very successful companies. They are the 0.01% of all advertising spend, probably when it comes to the award winners at the IPA or CAN or somewhere. The vast array of the whatever it is, 700, 800 billion dollars worth of global advertising spend is not spent with those.

Speaker 3: there are some parallels that follow over. Right. TV might work for big businesses because it’s that rich media and you’ve got sound and movement and visuals. Online video is like that. For so you get the same longer lasting effect. Actually now small businesses can do it just with your phone, just do a TikTok.

Speaker 2: My 15 year old, he went into the local trainer store in Cambridge and he said, your TikToks aren’t very good. I can make them better for you. Has managed to be part of a little team there that grown their TikTok followers from 900 to 20,000 just in the local area. Which and half of those are like Cambridge locals, not like people globally who just sneak ahead. That’s one small store with a tiny turnover on a bad week. They will make more money from TikTok and views from TikTok than they will selling trainers. It’s unbelievable what’s possible. It’s that sort of, I think, bringing a lot of these different themes in. There’s a influencer creator led thing going on. Small business access to new technologies, to video. Almost free in terms of its ability to create content. he gets paid a tenner and then two quid fifty for posting video.

Speaker 3: I’m going to check it out now. I need some Boxpress trainers.

Speaker 1: Could I ask one follow up question? Because I know that we’ve got a lot of interesting things, a lot of open questions from the community as well. I saw a perspective shared by an influencer the other day who has accumulated a large following in TikTok. Their perspective was that when brands are working with individuals who are influencers or ambassadors, as the chat’s going on here, that the brand almost needs to throw away their brand guidelines and let the influencer be authentic and turn up as themselves and stuff like that. I don’t think there’s any better people to ask. I read that. As a traditional marketing person, I went, , God, that’s not a brand. Lose your brand if you allow folks to go completely off the rails.

Speaker 2: Are we entering a different dawn? I think it’s really, it’s a really tricky area. If you were to, you could go horribly wrong, right? By hire a thousand influencers, let them completely loose. A load of those will be rubbish. They won’t they won’t represent your brand in the right way. You will actually spend a load of money on not great reach and probably overlapping audiences. I think there’s something to do with making sure it’s it. Let’s not forget, this is really just a sort of modern, smaller version, democratised version of celebrity endorsement, which has been a classic marketing tactic forever. This isn’t new. It’s just smaller, more agile, a bit more easy to do from loads of different people out there on the streets.

Speaker 3: I think there’s a slight difference, though, isn’t there, in that, Influencers will do a better job for your selling your brand if they want to spend time with your brand. If you can build a brand that people want to spend time with, then your influencer is going to bring them their authentic self and your brand to this party. That’s what you want. One of our brilliant clients at Magic Numbers is Little Moons. They made a brand that people do want to spend time with because it’s like cool and like Asia and these funky little ice cream things. Actually, as a result, they were a TikTok sensation. It whooshed their business from being tiny to being in every Sainsbury’s and Waitrose and everything. At the core of that was making a brand that people wanted to spend time with. Then the influencers jumped on it and the content was authentic, but also branded.

Speaker 2: Exactly. I love that story because none of those, all of those videos have the product at their heart. Brand names there. You get people unwrapping them, defrosting them. The stories that are being told in all those videos, even though most of them are just UGC, they’re not being paid for, are incredibly authentic to that product. Demonstrate their product demos. That’s unbelievable. I love the next challenge that Little Moons now have, which is they gained loads of distribution as a result of that. How do they then keep that going? The answer is bound to be paid advertising because only paid advertising can guarantee you the reach. That all of that grassroots user generated stuff created for them initially. I doubt they can they can make that happen again in organic. We have a lot of conversations at Jellyfish about how we combine the power of organic and paid advertising, particularly in social. Organic is great for the testing things for little spikes of interest and sometimes for reach. I don’t think it’s very good for guaranteeing reach on a permanent basis in a big businesses need predictable sales coming in. They need they need that stability because they’ve probably got factories. You need to be planning ahead. Small businesses suddenly get overrun with that and then they need to scale up. I think it’s a I just think this thing about how you combine organic and paid and in social and we call it one social jellyfish. It’s a it’s a new thing. there aren’t very many people with experience of both. Again, it’s another form of both is in which I’m really interested in. Part of the new world of platform led brand building.

Speaker 3: We probably won’t solve it all before 10.30. We’ve got 12 more minutes.

Speaker 2: I don’t think that’s going to happen. I love that.

Speaker 1: Maybe if maybe if we take our last planned question and then we head over to the Q&A, because there’s some fabulous questions in the in the Q&A as well. Folks, if you want to give a thumbs up to any questions that you’d like us to prioritise, then we’ll make sure that we take those. I’ll jump in here and just ask the last question, because it’s an opportunity to throw it to both of you, which is where do the future? What still needs to be learned? Tom, maybe to you first.

Speaker 2: What still needs to be learned is the first answer. Part of the answer is the fundamentals continually need to be learned and relearned and relearned and retold because we forget them at our peril, because it’s very easy in any field, but particularly in marketing. We love shiny new things. By talking only about the shiny new things, we forget the fundamentals, the basics, the things that will always be true. I’m particularly interested in like the brain and the humans do not evolve very quickly. The brain doesn’t change very quickly. Understanding how we get at the unchanging person is a really fundamental thing. That would be my first part of the question. Then that’s exploiting what we already know. Then exploring the new stuff is we have to balance the old with the new, the known with the unknown. Exploring new stuff. That for me at the moment has to be around how we can use AI to do what we’re doing better and faster and maybe even cheaper. The thing I worry about there is I think we know that AI is going to make things cheaper and faster. Can it make things better? I think that is still slightly unknown. That will become better known over the next couple of years.

Speaker 1: Love that. Grace, over to you. Yes, I agree with that.

Speaker 3: I’m not sure about AI. We’re using it to soup up some of our processes. A bigger picture, I’m not sure where that’s going. That’s definitely interesting one to watch. I reckon the fundamentals, though, those unchanging principles you just put in the chat, that’s really important. Then a layer on top of that for me is skills in being able to read the outside world and go, how do I understand the data that I’m seeing to moderate those unchanging principles for my particular context? That could be, how do I get the right balance between brand and performance? How do I understand what the data I’m seeing is going to do to help me relieve any constraints that are holding back my marketing? These are these are really some of the areas that the two courses that you’ve put a QR code up for there. Thank you very much. A aiming that. I think there’s a lot marketing people can learn. We can get better at it. I want the whole world to be more effective. That’s why I started doing training. Not because I’ve got nothing to do. I’m quite chocker.

Speaker 1: Presumably so. I heard about you before we started today’s session. Thank you both. It’s been absolutely fascinating so far. we’ve got nine minutes left, so I want to make sure that we get to some of the questions from the community. Honestly, I think as you were speaking, my mind just sort of went through to like the world’s largest blog post where, there are so many rabbit holes that we could have gone down today. Thank you both for giving that. I think we definitely position today is like an opportunity to start at the top and then sort of follow down any rabbit hole that sort of takes your fancy. Let’s take some questions from the community just to make sure that we’re getting to what everyone would like to hear today. The first one comes from Sarah and Sarah says, I need to demonstrate the importance of brand to the shareholders in our organisation who want any investment to be tied to the bottom line. I don’t think you’re alone in that question. Could you share any examples or stats that could help that and gives additional context of working in B2B professional services? If you’ve got any broader examples of examples or stats that can justify investment tied to the bottom line. Indeed not. Yes. Yes.

Speaker 3: there are a lot of things that are out there in the public domain about what brand building generally does, about returns on investment that you might get from different types of media channels and different types of investments. There are also some fantastic case studies for from businesses that your CFO or your board might aspire to be like. We both love the Amazon one, don’t we Tom? Because it’s one where Bezos sort of said, , we’ll never do brand building. Then he turned out from his own data that he probably should. He does now. We love that one. Some of those types of evidences could be really useful for your CFO. What I found over my career is that senior people in finance and they’re answering to investors in the city need it for this business. Benchmarks and case studies are not enough. In that case, the thing that really works is market mixed modelling or econometrics. We offer that magic numbers and it’s something where, it’s part of my job to get the grilling from senior CFOs in big companies and smaller companies as well. Actually they do get it. They do get econometrics and they do get that as a method and they do buy into it.

Speaker 2: That’s really the gold standard. I agree with that totally. there are some general quite good blog posts about the value of brand, which might help. That’s only the general stuff. The sometimes like just getting hold of a really good bit of data that’s going to piss your CFO or finance people or investors off, like just how bad your awareness is often quite a useful one. Find just get a piece of basic data on the awareness of your main competitor or the leader versus your awareness. That will they’ll go, well, we only got 2 percent awareness. We’re not doing any awareness. We’re not doing that because we can’t afford it. We need some money to do it. That’s a really brutal basic thing. Sometimes just a really bad bit of data and admitting it may be quite a good way to poke the bear.

Speaker 1: I like that. It was a quote from Martin George from one of our webinars a couple of years ago now, which was speak the language of finance. It’s not the same as the answer which you’ve just given, but it does remind me of similar shades of it.

Speaker 2: That is a great bit of general learning as well. The IPA always talk about this particular issue and they have great training on this topic. There’s one there’s one thing I like, which is like ask them where and this is more of a personal thing, like ask them where they got their Rolex and why they choose their Rolex. Why did you choose that brand? Why do you drive that car? They understand just in personal human terms, the value of brands. It just takes them out of the spreadsheets a bit. That’s that.

Speaker 3: I’ll meet them in the spreadsheets. You take them away from the spreadsheet.

Speaker 2: It’s funny. We talk about system one and system two in marketing, don’t we? System. Our approach is to persuading people and selling them what we want them to do and to help us with tend to be system two. How do we find system one ways of tapping into their emotions, tapping into their more human side or their personal side? I think both examples I’ve given probably do come from that perspective.

Speaker 1: I like that. There’s a comment mirrored to that in the chat here from Paul, who says, I’m a strong advocate of in brackets, sometimes scaring the crap out of people to get action, which I like. There’s a follow up to this question, which is in a similar vein, but maybe asked in a slightly different way, which comes from a great strategist in Rob, who asks if both ism is so obviously effective. Why are so many CMOs, despite their brilliant communication and persuasion skills, unable to convince CEOs slash FDs to invest in brand? Which bit of convincing evidence is still missing? To offer a personal perspective, I wonder whether there is any evidence missing. It strikes me that there is quite a lot of evidence already. I definitely throw that to you first, maybe, Tom.

Speaker 2: Yes, it’s a it’s a brilliantly put question because it should because there’s just a ton of data and evidence out there. Clearly, the data is not enough in my in my view. I think we need to get better at storytelling and that the Amazon example is a great one. It’s this is somebody who is like the world’s most famous business person, was deeply sceptical about advertising and brand building. He used to say it’s tax on a bad product. We don’t do it. Then they learn from their own data that it did work. Now Amazon have built a brand that is probably one of the is one of the largest advertisers and one of the best advertisers and brand advertisers to boot. Also has an enormous advertising business. That in itself is a phenomenal U-turn, which should persuade somebody that this is this is a good thing to do. At the end of the day, different businesses will have different priorities. You do hear people saying, I don’t really need to spend money on a brand. I’ve got a perfectly successful business that is that is working without it. That’s a choice. Some businesses don’t want to grow. You’d be surprised how many, sort of data wants to set out, all businesses only, 30 actually want to wind 30 percent wind down, 30 percent want to stay the same, 30 percent want to grow. Maybe they’re in the in the camp that actually don’t want to grow. Maybe ask that question. Do you want to grow? Yes, interesting.

Speaker 1: I feel like you use the phrase poking the bear earlier on. Let’s take the next one for Layla, because I want I feel like this is a good one for you, Grace, hopefully. Who asks, what are your thoughts on the impact of Google’s third party cookie depreciation rolling out this year on measurement, showing effectiveness and being able to compare periods of before and after? I guess to a broader theme, even if you can’t answer to the specifics, the technological shifts which impact how we measure all of this effectiveness stuff.

Speaker 3: It’s such an important thing this year that, Google have been crying wolf about the deprecating third party cookies for ages. Now they’re actually doing it. The wolf’s with us. Some of those cookies have gone already. The rest are going to go by the end of this year for sure now. What it means is for performance marketing people, the signal that they’re getting is now degraded. It’s not as good as it used to be. You used to get quite a good signal to say, this person that I could serve a search ad to has seen a load of other interesting ads on their way to this point. Now I can serve them a search ad. They’re likely to convert. You could see who was the right person to target to. You don’t get that anymore because of the cookies going. all of the algorithms, whether it’s data driven attribution or multi-touch attribution, or even advantage plus and performance max, these AIs that sit within the platforms, they’re all now only able to see last click like signals. The signals are massively degraded. What people are turning to is econometrics and market mixed modelling. I think I’m quite a positive person, but I think this could be a really fantastic moment, because actually, if you don’t rely only on cookies to tell you which advertising work, it means you can do things that are untrackable and see whether they work or not so you can bring them into your mix. I think a lot of businesses that have been performance only will make this transition because of the cookies going and then suddenly start doing different and more interesting things and they’ll grow faster because of it.

Speaker 1: It strikes me that we need another session another day about modelling and stuff like that, because I think that’s endlessly fascinating and really optimistic, which is a fabulous outlook. I like the thought that our best days are ahead of us somehow and both as marketers and people, Thank you. I feel like, we carry on chatting all day, but we’ve taken our allotted time. I just wanted to say thank you so much. Thank you so much to both of you, Grace and Tom, for taking the time today. Thank you also to everyone in the chat for contributing your questions, your chat comments as we’ve gone throughout. It’s just really lovely. I also want to say a big thank you to Frontify. Once again, I’m going to flash their QR code up here. If you’d like the report on when to invest in brand from those 450 CMOs, do take the time to check out Frontify. They’re very good people. Annika there is just an absolute hero. Also a big thank you to all of our sponsors, Frontify, Exclaimer, Cambridge Marketing College and Redgate. Thank you all for lighting up the chat with your thanks. I’m going to send that through to both Grace and Tom after today for a big old ego boost. Grace’s course can be found here. Last thing is that I’m going to make sure we capture the questions and send them through to Grace and Tom, because Tom did a wonderful post towards the end of last year about the things that really matter on LinkedIn. I figure the things that you are actually asking are the things that actually matter. Thank you very much for today’s session. We’re back next week with Sir John Hegarty for a hell of an interview. With all that said, have a lovely time. Thank you for taking the time today. Appreciate you all.