Why Online Ratings & Reviews Matter So Much for Brands 

March 23rd, 2020 | Denis Hancock, Vice President, Strategy, Brandspark

Increasing brand value is a key objective for most marketers. While the exact metrics used can vary, the ultimate objective does not – strengthening the brand to make it more likely that your product or service is selected by shoppers over available alternatives. Do that successfully, ideally including an increase in brand trust and advocacy, and business success will typically come.  

New technologies and platforms are continually evolving that change the way shoppers evaluate brands, and how marketers can influence them – thus impacting brand value. Of these, at BrandSpark we believe online ratings and reviews are among the most important, and often don’t get the attention they deserve.  

The reason they are so important is that they’ve fundamentally altered the brand value calculation – particularly by eroding the functional product and service quality cues that brands used to convey, and in turn taking much of the brand trust calculation out of marketers hands. Both online, and thanks to smartphones at the store shelf as well.  

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Why Online Sample Source Matters: Not All Panels Are Created Equal

March 11th, 2020 | Ed Morawski, President & COO, Angus Reid

In today’s digital world, online panels are a cost-effective and often essential method of gathering data through online surveys for primary research purposes. One defines the characteristics of the population one wishes to understand (the “universe”) and number of respondents appropriate for the objectives at hand and a survey is launched targeting said sample. For example, a sample of a few hundred Canadians will give marketers an answer that is representative of the country. Unfortunately, things are not so simple and the process is increasingly fraught with danger…

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The Secret Sauce to Creating an Influential Brand

February 27th, 2020 | Jessica Yared, Digital Marketing Manager, ACA

In a packed room of almost 400 marketers at The Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto this month, Steve Levy, COO at Ipsos, unveiled the Most Influential Brands in Canada of 2019.

“They are dominant, persuasive, important and prominent. They go beyond simply being a brand, as they possess the exceptional ability to connect with Canadian consumers,” explained Levy of the brands that made the list.

Now in its 9th year, Ipsos Most Influential Brands study was conducted in 16 countries and evaluated over 100 brands. A representative sample of almost 35,000 people worldwide were polled, with 6,000 of those being Canadian.

Here are the top ten Most Influential Brands in Canada of 2019:

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Five Tips For Creating Great Out-of-Home Advertising

February 11th, 2020 | ACA Team, Association of Canadian Advertisers

It may be an online world, but out-of-home (OOH) continues to shine.

At a recent ACA webinar, Lara Menzies, Head of Marketing at Canadian Out of Home Marketing and Measurement Bureau (COMMB), shared stats on the growth and effectiveness of OOH, as well as best practices for creating highly engaging OOH campaigns.

Global advertising revenues for OOH have grown 7.5% on average in each of the last nine years (2010-2018), reaching $56 billion in 2018, according to PQ Media. The Canadian OOH industry continues to see 5% growth year over year, reaching $745 million (measured and non-measured) in 2018. The estimated revenue for 2019 is $825 million.

“One reason out-of-home revenues continue to grow is because [out-of-home advertising] reaches consumers in their real world, where they are alert and attentive,” said Menzies. “Neurological research shows that when consumers are alert and attentive, they’re actually more likely to engage and respond to advertising.”

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Don’t Short-change Your Brand: The Case For a Return to Brand-building

January 28th, 2020 | Laura Baehr, VP Marketing, thinktv

There were many prominent themes in the marketing industry in 2019 – data privacy, AI, and social responsibility among them – but the concept set to have the biggest impact on marketing plans and creative choices in 2020 is the return to brand-building (and the shift away from short-termism).

Advertising effectiveness experts Les Binet and Peter Field were the first to introduce the now ubiquitous “60/40 rule”: To be effective, a brand should spend roughly 60% of its media budget on long-term, brand-building activities, and 40% on more targeted sales activations.* Their research also led them to the following conclusion: Short-termism is undermining advertising effectiveness. As the incidence of short-term campaigns has increased, advertising campaign effectiveness has steadily fallen…

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Marshmallow Metrics: How WhiteOps Uncovered Bot Infiltration in Conversion Metrics

December 17th, 2019 | Chris Williams, VP, Digital, ACA

“Reality is frequently inaccurate” — Douglas Adams

Digital media promised precision and has delivered something closer to a marshmallow. While media numbers are known to be susceptible to invalid traffic generated by bots, now WhiteOps, a cyber security company with a long history of fighting fraud, is uncovering vulnerabilities in the conversion metrics. Conversion metrics are the foundation of return on ad spend analysis such as multi-touch attribution.

In a recent ACA webinar, Dan Lowden of WhiteOps explained how bots are infiltrating the conversion events such as test drive bookings and credit applications used to calculate media effectiveness and Cost Per Acquisition. Additionally, marketers allocate media dollars to consumers who showed some interest in the product through re-targeting efforts. Marketers are seeing this as an increase in leads that never seem to convert.

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