Advertising Effectiveness: What’s Next for CPG Brands?

By Leslie Wood, Chief Research Officer, NCS

Consumer engagement is the most universal challenge for brands today. Expectations are high (getting higher) and attention is short. There are more ways than ever to engage with content without seeing advertising. And consumers likely don’t even notice irrelevant ads – who can blame them?

The best part about this challenging environment we all find ourselves in today is that brands also have an unprecedented opportunity to engage in an authentic conversation with their tribe.

For the past 10 years, we’ve engaged in significant R&D efforts – hand-in-hand with brands and publishers – aimed at figuring out how advertising works. Everything we’ve learned has shown us how to create and deliver more effective advertising. It’s also given us a glimpse into what’s next for the advertising industry.

1. Brands will refocus on loyalty, as engaging new consumers becomes more difficult and costly (and doesn’t necessarily pay off).

Over the last few years, CPG brands have largely shifted focus from building loyalty with their existing buyers to acquiring new buyers in pursuit of brand growth. But reaching the “next” consumer is becoming more costly and more difficult for brands. New research shows that the most effective way for brands to impact both current and future sales is to focus on the purchases they can influence now. And when advertising drives a purchase today, it drives the consumer connection into the future. This is because brands that can connect with consumers’ higher ideals cultivate a deeper relationship, creating more loyal buyers who are more likely to purchase the brand today and in the future. Using advanced audience technologies and transparent methods, brands can rely on data to influence consumers by giving them messages that connect to their higher purpose.

2. Brands will make quick adjustments to their campaigns based on effectiveness.

It’s not all just rainbows and Instagram likes and warm fuzzies and “let’s run this campaign and hope it works.” Today, it’s data and ROI and doing it at scale, quickly. Good creative doesn’t live up to its potential unless it’s driving revenue today. This year, brands want to be able to constantly gauge the in-market sales resulting from their advertising. They’re looking increasingly to third-party providers for help. This will allow them to: double down on something that’s working; change their creative; deliver the advertising to consumers who are more likely to respond.

3. Brands will demand comparable sales metrics across platforms.

Sometimes, the technology driving our industry is seen as “in the weeds.” It’s something we need to work on, but we don’t need to know how it works. When it comes to proving ROI or ROAS – the technology is the story. Different media with different platforms using different systems and different policies… all of this makes it incredibly difficult to measure in-store sales results holistically across all of a brands advertising. Without the most advanced technology, it’s a daunting task, to say the least. But with capabilities driven by machine learning and automation, brands can rely on actual sales data for quick decisioning.

Data – and the technology that relies on it – allows brands to create deeper, more authentic connections with their consumers. It allows brands to react quickly when something’s not working, and when it is. It allows them to view the results of their brand advertising holistically, and make better strategic choices. Soon, brands will be able to use this same data and technology to forecast the sales results of a campaign before it has even aired – and make changes to drive the best results. Has your brand embraced this new world of advertising?

Explore some of our research to understand more about the science behind driving sales for your brand.

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