ARF: Reinventing Marketing -- The Investment Imperative

By ARF InSites Archives
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Marketers are spending more on analytics now than ever before, yet still they struggle to answer the simple question: Do my marketing dollars drive growth and sales? To make sure the response is a definitive "yes" the successful marketer must be able to answer the question: How does advertising work in today's complex marketing and media environment? The answer to this question unlocks key insights and clear "rules of the road" that will actually improve advertising and its impact.

Today's consumer is mobile, global and bombarded with messages.  Rather than making trade-offs, marketers need to double down now to build brand relevance and connect with today's consumer. In fact, today marketers face an investment imperative: Invest now or risk diminishing returns from investment and even brand obsolescence.  Marketers need to pull up from their impressions and GRPs and focus on the consumer -- their needs and values, who they are, what they buy and then and only then how to reach them.  The days of starting with last year's plan and tweaking and shifting are over.  Planning needs to start with a clear strategy based on keen and deep insights on target audiences vs. screens, headsets and magazines.

To crack the code on consumer connections today, the ARF is just now completing a trio of breakthrough studies that will deliver a roadmap for this new investment imperative.  Through this groundbreaking work, we definitively answer the question: How does advertising work today?  Marketers will now have a definitive new actionable roadmap for investments proven to build brands and loyalty and drive greater sales growth through smarter spending in today's environment.

Currently under embargo, the key insights from our "How Advertising Works, Today" original research initiatives will be presented for the first time on March 14th at our annual Rethink Conference, where we will answer the key question posed by today's C-suite:  If I have a dollar to spend, where should I spend it next?  As well as definitively connecting advertising to sales growth, firmly establishing the links between marketing dollars across platforms and screens and building brands.

  1. The work demonstrates action plans for better investing across multiple platforms including traditional television, print and radio, digital and mobile
  2. New insights demonstrate how new media be it mobile or digital actually complement traditional media vs. duplicating
  3. Finally, for the first time ever we unlock powerful emotional connections that show how consumers process advertising in their heads and heart -- literally -- using neuroscience delivering new insights and a set of clear actions for today's marketer

This is a groundbreaking study, the scale of which has never been seen before. Over 5000 campaigns across television, print, radio, digital and mobile representing  $375B in advertising spending were analyzed.  In addition, we conducted meta analyses of hundreds of studies and original neuroscience experiments to achieve conclusive findings and to deliver to the industry an immediate action plan. 

The ARF last undertook a project on the role of advertising in consumer's lives and its ability to drive sales growth almost 30 years ago.  With the complexity and choices that consumers face every day, we set the highest priority on new original research to clearly deliver actionable, simple steps that will build brands and drive growth.  We led these major initiatives and today the unprecedented results are available for the first time.   The C-suite is ready and waiting.

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