Brand as Performance Research Initiative | MMA Global

The Need for a Comprehensive Growth Framework Has Never Been Greater for Brands

Digital marketing has ushered in an obsession with immediate measures and short-term focus, making it increasingly difficult to justify an allocation of marketing dollars to longer-term brand-building. Even when marketers judge advertising by its ability to lift brand KPIs, there is no solid evidence of the performance value of these metrics over time:  Does brand lift translate into business outcomes and how sustainable is it?

Similar to the above, marketers are faced with contradicting information in other decision areas, particularly in respect to the balance between reach and targeting in their media.

Existing growth frameworks still advise marketers to solve for maximum reach with their media buys, thereby avoiding targeting altogether. Still, marketers know that this runs counter to documented evidence that targeting existing heavy and medium buyers can lead to high ROAS.

At this time, it is unclear and unproven what the right balance is on these factors (brand vs performance, reach vs targeting) so marketers are unsure how to best balance their media resources for the present and the future of the brand.

Initiative Objectives

  1. To introduce a comprehensive new growth framework for maximizing multi-year returns.
  2. To provide scientific market research evidence and guide marketers to achieve the right balance on two important dimensions:
    • Balancing brand vs. performance marketing initiatives
    • Balancing media strategies on reach vs. targeting
  3. To map and assess key media tactics in relation to their brand-building vs. immediate performance benefits.

How to Get Involved

The MMA is forming a consortium of marketers and media companies who are interested to take a leadership role and address these important marketing questions.

  1. Participating marketers will receive proprietary insights at a fraction of the cost. Furthermore, they will be brought together with other marketers who feel the same urgency to address this issue so learning will be multiplied.
  2. Participating media companies will substantially offset the cost of the research to marketers. The MMA has already raised nearly a three-quarters of a million dollars to support the funding of this program and is actively identifying three marketers to participate.

To learn more or get involved, contact Vassilis Bakopoulos, SVP – Head of Industry Research for MMA Global, or fill out the form below.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024 - 11:00am to 12:00pm EDT
The challenge of balancing between brand and performance is probably as old as marketing itself.
Executive Director, Digital Strategy & Growth Marketing
Ally Financial Inc.
Media Director
SVP – Head of Industry Research

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Study Approach and Methodology:

While there is no “off the shelf” ready-to-go commercial product to address this gap, the MMA has created a methodology that has been vetted by marketers, publishers, academics, and MTA providers. The consensus is that this study will effectively help marketers identify the optimal mix of performance and brand marketing as well as the balance between reach and targeting for a more complete ROI from Marketing investment.  This new approach has been designed around the following pillars:

  1. User Level / Deterministic Data: We believe that aggregated brand metrics don’t move, so our approach needs to use bottom-up, person-level data (unified IDs, not cookies)
  2. Employ MTA With the Use of Test vs. Control: We believe in the power of MTA to assign credit to media tactics and control for exposure over time, but we need to start with a clean data set that a true experimental design can provide.
  3. Measure Sales and Brand Metrics: We need to be able to collect and analyze both types of metrics, using survey data to measure band favorability and actual sales conversions over time.
  4. Assess a Compete Range of Marketing Tactics: We will design an experiment that assesses the contribution of different tactics, targeting approaches, and creative intent.
  5. Big Scale and Pre-Matched: We need to ensure that we start with enough users given attrition over time, as well as the need to drill-down into sub-groups.

An Industry Consortium to Lead Marketers to the Right Answer

The insights from this research will be highly valuable to both marketers and media companies. Without this research:

  • Marketers will continue to base media planning on precedents and short-term tools that lead to media decisions that might not be serving the brand’s best interests, all told.
  • Media companies will remain pigeon-holed as performance vs. brand plays without solid evidence, preventing their ability to effectively compete for more parts of the marketer’s ad budget.