The invaluable ingredients to measure marketing and media effectiveness

It’s no secret that marketing delivers sales by creating immediate lifts and building stronger brand equity over time. Both components must be evaluated to fully understand how marketing impacts sales. Creative quality also matters but is often overlooked when evaluating media effectiveness – a big omission because there is conclusive evidence that strong creatives get higher ROIs. To leverage advertising effectively, it is imperative to apply as much focus in what you say as how much you spend. So, how can you best measure your marketing and media effectiveness?

It’s all about adopting a total marketing ROI (TMROI) approach

TMROI offers a holistic effectiveness framework to evaluate your marketing impact to maximise ROI and drive future marketing optimisation. It is the complete impact on sales of your marketing investment. Brand equity drives sales today and its effects last for the long-term. It accounts for a large part of base sales, but it is slow to grow and slow to erode. Adopting a TMROI provides a measure of each marketing lever in driving direct impact and incorporates the impact of each on building brand equity and baseline sales. It also provides the impact of paid media on creating owned and earned media engagement and integrates these components to provide a holistic tool to optimise budget allocation.

Marketing delivers sales by creating immediate lifts and building stronger brand equity

Traditional marketing mix modelling is limited. It mainly quantifies the immediate impact of marketing investment on sales by controlling for other variables, such as seasonality and competitive activity. Brand equity metrics deliver the best surrogate for long-term effects of marketing. Brand equity matters. There is plenty of evidence of the value of investing in strong brands as a predictor of exceptional business returns.

There are three key reasons to include brand equity impacts in assessing marketing effectiveness.

  1. Brand equity provides a holistic picture

By quantifying the long-term effects of marketing activity and combining it with short-term effects from your mix model, a holistic picture of sales impact and ROI is revealed. Our data reveals that on average, media investment helps explain about 13 per cent of short-term sales, but rises to 28 per cent when including brand impacts. This helps balance performance marketing in the short term and brand building in the long term. And ultimately, to maximise ROI of marketing budgets by driving sales growth today and creating demand tomorrow.

  1. Brand equity guides marketing and media channel choices

Marketing levers that build brand equity and produce sustainable long-term effects are generally different from those that drive short-term effects – meaning balancing has major implications for channel and budget allocation. Our extensive data reveals that marketing levers such as TV, OLV, paid social and non-media levers such as PR, experiential and sponsorships are effective and efficient in brand-building. In comparison, trade communications and promotions drive short-term effects but do very little to build brand equity. So, it’s important to understand the role of your marketing channels and campaigns in driving both short and long term to decide on how best to invest going forward.

  1. It provides the ‘why’ to the ‘what’
    Brand equity data is collected for a range of metrics from upper funnel metrics to primary attributes like affinity and brand imagery to salience-based metrics like brand awareness. This data delivers an understanding of the past interactions that have created success and predict those that will create success in the future – imperative to guide brand strategy and provide your analysts with vital information to diagnose why a marketing or media channel succeeded or failed, and what to focus on to drive equity or sales.


Multiple factors drive media effectiveness, but creative quality is by far the biggest

Applying a TMROI approach to measure creative effectiveness both in the short and long-term ensures a holistic view of creative performance and its role in driving media effectiveness. Our data from the testing of thousands of ads proves that creative quality can account for as much as 50-60 per cent of total media effectiveness. It amplifies advertising ROIs and drives short-term sales and long-term brand equity. Ultimately, creative driven by higher quality copy scores lead to higher in-market sales.

But remember, creative quality does not work in isolation

Creative quality can have varying influence on sales impacted by:

  • Advertising objectives

Is the ad trying to generate impact, drive persuasion or build imagery? Importantly though, while an ad has not necessarily ‘failed’ just because indications are that sales don’t immediately or dramatically rise, it very often is an important indicator, especially because longer term changes will often start to show up in the shorter term.

  • Media strategy

Who are you targeting? How much are you spending? How many people are you reaching? How often is your ad being scheduled? And what length is appropriate? Reaching a sizeable percentage of the target audience as often as possible helps drive broader awareness and therefore sales.

  • Media context

The environment that your ad runs in does impact its cut-through. The medium is the vehicle to convey the message. The same video ad running on different social media platforms or on different TV program genres will cut through

  • Ad message

When the ‘message’ is generic or similar to other brands in your category, it can have little or no impact on sales. For example, ‘refreshment’ or ‘taste’ in beverages are category entry points as opposed to attributes that differentiate your brand.

Remember, outlining why measuring both direct and equity impacts, and ROI is critical to providing a holistic story for your brand, guiding media marketing channel choices and diagnosing why marketing channels have or haven’t been effective. And make assessing creative quality mandatory as part of your media effectiveness assessment – it is by far the biggest driver of your media ROIs. In turn, it needs to be evaluated in line with your advertising objectives, the media strategy and the message.


Straford Rodrigues – Head of Media and Marketing Effectiveness, Kantar Australia

Kantar is the world’s leading data-driven analytics and brand consulting company. We have a complete, unique and rounded understanding of how people think, feel and act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks, our innovative analytics and technology, we help our clients understand people and inspire growth.