Creative Branding - 2
Creative advertising has proven to be more effective than standard advertising even within the B2B environment. Creative advertising can result in more favorable attitudes toward the ad, produce stronger changes in attitudes toward the brand, and lead to stronger changes in behavior. Below is an overview of the importance of creative advertising, as well as relevant statistics.
Due to the type of product being offered, we made an assumption that the type of advertising in question would be business to business. At the very least, the product would be advertised to a niche group of professional consumers. With that in mind, we focused our research on the importance of creative advertising in the B2B setting, although some of our findings can apply to creative advertising in general. While B2B advertising can be different from B2C advertising, in the end, all advertising is geared toward a person, whether that person is an individual or business manager.
There have been very few studies concerning the impact of creative B2B advertising. The most recent in depth study was performed by the University of Denver and Texas State University. It was published in 2015. We have also included a 2013 article from the Harvard Business Review that gives relevant information on the impact of creative advertising. It may also be useful in your other request regarding target markets.
Traditionally, it has been believed that organizational buyers are rational, unemotional, and objective. However, studies in 2011 and 2014 suggested that successful advertising to businesses looked much like advertising to consumers. Organizational buying seems to have more in common with consumer advertising than originally thought. Social influences within the buying team are similar to social influences of family and friends. In addition, there may be a perceived risk in organizational buying that may move a manager to look at subjective elements, such as branding, to legitimize their decisions.
The University of Denver and Texas State University study, published by Industrial Marketing Management, surveyed a group of 169 business buyers. They were asked to watch a series of creative and non-creative ads and score them from 0-100 depending on their level of creativity. They were then asked to respond to a series of questions regarding their attitudes toward the ads and brand. The results were tabulated using the ANOVA statistical method. The study found that creative ads elicited more favorable attitudes toward the ad, stronger changes in attitude toward the brand, and stronger changes in behavior.
Favorable Attitudes Toward the ad
The Industrial Marketing Management study found that creative ads result in more favorable attitudes toward the ad (low creativity-3.75; high creativity-5.54, p<0.00). This is not surprising as almost 20 years of research has supported this claim. Other studies dating back to 1995 show that consumers find the core message of a creative ad more pleasurable than non-creative ads. Creative advertising causes the audience to focus more on ad content resulting in more message processing, more understanding, better message recall.
The IMM study also found that business buyers felt stronger positive attitudes toward the brands in creative advertisements. They felt the brands could offer: more resource advantages (creative -.34, non-creative --.05, p<0.05); more market advantages (creative-.54, non-creative-.12, <0.05); more efficiency advantages (creative-.70, non-creative-.05, p<0.01); and more strategic advantages (creative-.55, non-creative-.08, p<0.05). In fact, there is a 42% lift in perceived benefits by B2B buyers with "professional, social, and emotional benefits" marketing messages.
At least one-third up to one-half of a company's worth comes from its brand. It is the company brand that can put them in front of clients. The brand can help minimize the feeling of risk. It is also the brand that can close the sale.
B2B companies that have a strong brand image generate a higher EBIT margin than businesses with a weak brand image. While 93% of B2B brands focus specifically on advertising their products or services, 75% of buyers would rather have branded content.
Other key statistics supporting creative branding include:
-B2B buyers are two times more likely to choose a brand that focuses on personal value over business value because there is little difference in the business value of suppliers.
-62% of B2B buyers say that brand content has a 'significant impact' on buying decisions.
-Brands that connect with their buyers on an emotional level see twice the impact over brands that focus solely on the business function.
Participants in the IMM study showed stronger changes in behavior with the creative advertisements. The creative ads moved the buyers to: seek more information about the company (creative-.58, non-creative-.24, p<0.050); contact the company (creative-.65, non-creative-.18, p<0.01); and engage in business with the company (creative-.61, non-creative-.11, p<0.01).
The 2006 Apollo Project by Nielsen Catalina Solutions found that creative advertising contributed to 65% of a companies sales revenue. In a similar study by Nielsen in 2016, the creative advertising sales revenue contribution fell to 49%. This decline is mainly due to the rise in impact of different media channels on sales revenue. It does not diminish the fact that creative advertising is still the most important factor in most buying decisions.
Though it is an older article, a European study published in the Harvard Business Review in 2013, shows that the importance of creative advertising has not changed. Based on a review of ads by 437 campaigns, the study found that the creativity of the advertisement was extremely important. "A euro invested in a highly creative ad campaign had, on average, nearly double the sales impact of a euro spent on a non creative campaign."