Long-term brand building: is it possible with digital?

  • It's not about digital versus traditional
  • Long term brand building is vital
  • The use of technology in brand building

One of the central themes during PandaCof, Web Summit Rio’s content track focused on marketing, will be building strong brands. On May 2 at 4 pm, System1 will host a masterclass on “Building brands in digital: Engaging principles and data”, led by Jason Chebib, System1’s General Manager for the Americas.

Jason began his career in advertising agencies in London, spending time at top firms including Ogilvy, Publicis and BBDO. He then became a brand consultant and marketing trainer, working with clients including Mars Inc., Danone and Cadbury. From there, Jason spent 8 years client side with Diageo, first in Amsterdam, then in New York, where he oversaw Consumer Planning for North America for five years.

In this 45-minute masterclass, he will examine building brands in the digital space and the critical role that data plays in creating the most successful brands. With digital ad spend in Latin America predicted to increase by 14% in 2023, it’s never been more important for brands to understand how to successfully approach digital advertising.

It’s not about digital versus traditional

Digital channels present unique challenges for advertisers. How can you best capture audience attention and build your brand? What nuances do brands need to be mindful of when advertising across these new channels that may differ from traditional media?

There’s no denying that social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok present opportunities for brands to reach consumers. But with social media feeds intentionally designed for users to quickly swipe through content, advertisers often wonder how they can be seen and remembered.

While the investment can convert into a relatively affordable reach on digital channels, there is a lack of user attention, and consequently unpredictable engagement: 85% of digital ads do not exceed the 2.5-second attention memory limit, as described in the research by Professor Karen Nelson-Field of Amplified Intelligence. Meanwhile, a 30-second TV ad achieves around 14 seconds of attention. Since attention is linked to increased sales and brand building, brands need to capture and maintain attention.

Investment in digital channels also creates a desire for more short-term results. Yet brands should also be concerned with their long-term growth potential. The companies that make the most of this changing environment will be the ones that understand the long-term impact their content can have on their brand.

Long term brand building is vital

Executing several marketing campaigns that produce short-term results does not automatically generate the long-term results that are essential for a business to grow. Today, many companies are too focused on short-term results and ignore long-term results. The ability to measure ever-increasing pools of consumer behavioral data allows organizations to track how campaigns are performing. And A/B testing tools allow anyone to optimize campaigns at scale to maximize ROI.

It’s what some call “output-based marketing”, where the only thing that matters is the outcome. For System1, there are two problems with this vision: first, it only works well in the digital world, and for most big brands, the offline media world is still very important. Second, and more importantly, it assumes that all the effects produced by a campaign can be observed in the short term, immediately after its launch.

System1’s Test Your Ad platform helps marketers predict and improve the short-term sales potential of their creative, but it also enables brands to understand the impact that campaigns will have over the long term. It takes time for the positive outcomes created by successful marketing campaigns—hearing about a brand, feeling good about it—to convert into new patterns of behavior. But when they do, people are more likely to choose the brand over competitors.

So, if brands want to use real-time behavioral data to measure success and optimize marketing campaigns, it’s important to lean into solutions that capture both the anticipated short-term and long-term results for the business.

The use of technology in brand building

As advertising spend increasingly moves online, marketers need to understand the differences between digital ads that drive short-term sales and those that drive long-term, profitable brand growth. Which features will be more successful at achieving the latter goal?

There are numerous tools available today that can analyze ad performance. However, many fall into the trap of providing an overwhelming amount of data that marketers then need to digest to understand the impact of their creative. At System1, we know that emotion is an essential factor for building a strong brand. We continually consider the latest and greatest in behavioral science, psychology, marketing, and fields of inquiry related to the human mind.

The power of emotion is why we developed our Test Your Ad platform to measure how advertisements make people feel. This may be fear, sadness, happiness, surprise, anger, contempt, disgust or even neutrality. Our emotional response rating system grades the creative from 1.0 to 5.9 Stars. This predicts long-term market share growth (after 12 months) while a separate Spike Rating details short-term sales potential.

Growing within this Star Rating classification means long-term results and, therefore, greater market share. To validate our Star Rating, we started with the established marketing principle that any brand that has extra voice share (ESOV) can expect its market share to increase in the following year.

We performed validations in the US and UK to understand the extent to which the Star Rating improved the correlation of ESOV with year-over-year change in total brand sales. The results clearly demonstrated how introducing this score provides significantly greater levels of prediction. In fact, System1’s Star Rating is validated by The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Are you responsible for demonstrating the long-term impact of your advertising? Click here to request a Test Your Ad demo and see how your recent campaigns have scored.

If you are attending Web Summit Rio, be sure to check out System1’s masterclass.

Masterclass: Building brands in digital: engaging principles and data

Presenter: Jason Chebib

When: May 2, 4-4:45 pm