Branding implication from latest research

Television still delivers strong brand associations.

But word-of-mouth is stronger in actually influencing purchasing.

These two conclusions come from a research project conducted by ZenithOptimedia in which over 300,000 people were interviewed about more than 4,000 brands.

Ad Age reported the highlights from ZenithOptimedia the project called project “Touchpoints ROI Tracker”. (Read the entire Ad Age article here)

“Consumer touchpoints were each given a “contact clout factor,” a number on a scale of 1 to 100 that indicates the relative influence of the touchpoint on purchasing.

“The ROI Tracker also measured brand association, or the percentage of consumers who say they have seen or heard of a brand though a touchpoint in recent months.”

Here’s how the data shapes up by touchpoint:

Relative strengths of various touchpoints

Bruce Goerlich, ZenithOptimedia’s president of strategic resources, North America, made this statement: “Word of mouth is incredibly powerful, but we as an industry are not doing as good a job as we could do in generating it.”

That may be true, Mr. Goerlich, buy the thing for branders to realize is that they do not control word-of-mouth. Nor can they much influence the brand experiences consumers relate to one another. Can they entice people to sample product viral programs and engagements? Yes, that’s done all the time these days, and often in unusual and headline-grabbing ways. Experiential marketing is a valid activity.

But Mr. Groerlich, advertisers and branders are not the source of word-of-mouth. They are the beneficiaries or the victims of it. All we as branders can do is make the products, the branding elements and the messages simple to convey and interesting and relevant.

And it’s good to remember why people will refer products one to another: to look good in the eyes of the referee.

Martin Jelsema

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