What are the key findings from media industry body research in Australia over the last 5 years?
In researching your request, I could not find any independent study undertaken in the last 5 years on advertising success across a range of media channels. Even research undertaken by Australia Post showed a bias because they only polled their existing customer base. Whilst I could not find robust research for out of home or online advertising, I can present key findings for newspaper, television, cinema, radio and magazine media channels. These results support your hypothesis that studies undertaken or commissioned by media channels show the value and importance of their channel either in standalone or when used in a multichannel campaign.
NEWSPAPER — NewsMediaNetwork and AdTrust
The Company You Keep survey of 2,863 people in August 2017 by Galaxy Research was commissioned by NewsMediaWorks and AdTrust. It looked at a range of media channels to show the level of “consumer trust in media”. Whilst you weren’t necessarily interested in research by NewsMediaWorks, I have provided this study here as it provides the consumer perspective based on trust.
Marketers look to various media channels when pitching their ads to find the best fit for their client. They highlight three key elements they look for in making their choices — engagement, value and trust — with trust being the most important criteria [Slide 2]. Lack of trust in a media channel can impact on how successful the campaign is and a company’s return on investment (ROI). Where consumers have trust, 50 percent were more likely to buy the product or service. Community newspapers garner the greatest level of trust from all age groups, whilst social media is the least trustworthy [Slides 13 & 14].
The survey highlights the risk of “online misinformation” with people more than ever concerned with “fake news” and the broader impact it has [Slide 11].
Those aged 35 and over were more likely to distrust social media and the older a person the greater that level of distrust. Respondents in the 18 to 34 age bracket tended to neither trust nor distrust social media advertising. However, online searches and any online website were thought to be untrustworthy by respondents across all age brackets. Cinema, regional papers, national papers and community papers all met with neutral to positive trust indicators.
Age was a contributing factor for this survey with those aged 55 and over having the greatest tendency towards advertising distrust, whilst those aged between 18 and 34 had far less trust issues. Respondents between 35 and 54 years of age were comfortable in trusting most forms of media advertising.
I found it interesting that digital news media, identified in the survey as “Newspaper based websites/apps e.g. news.com.au, smh.com.au, theage.com.au, dailytelegraph.com.au,” had mixed results with those over 55 not trusting it at all, whilst those aged between 35 and 54 have a lower level of trust than those between 18 and 34. This result was not replicated for the actual print versions of those papers [Slide 14]. It appears that the overall distrust in social media taints a viewer’s perspective of the online version of print media.
TELEVISION — THINKTV
In a 2015 study undertaken by Deloitte for ThinkTV key takeaway messages showed that whilst television was still preferred entertainment, how it was delivered was broader with pay television and paid online streaming increasingly used. “1 in 5” people would browse and shop online whilst watching TV.
The influence on purchasing behavior per media channel was reported as:
63 percent television
47 percent cinema
46 percent product placement
42 percent newspapers
41 percent magazines
38 percent radio
37 percent out of home
31 percent social media
ThinkTV commissioned Ebiquity in 2016 to find the most efficient media channel for providing consistency in outcomes for businesses operating in “fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), automotive, finance and e-commerce.” Pitched as the largest and most comprehensive independent study, Payback Australia identified television as leading other channels in advertising efficiency. Ebiquity’s Managing Directory, Richard Basil-Jones, noted that efficiency by media channel is on a par with ROI results and that “on aggregate TV emerges as the clear winner across all of industry.”
Results came in two tranches, FMCG in November 2016 and AUTO in May 2017, before the final report was delivered at ThinkTV’s “annual marketing forum” in September 2017.
The study used quantitative data from 21 advertisers whose combined advertising spend in 2016 exceeded $500 million. When econometric modeling was applied to this data, Ebiquity found that television had a retention rate of 68 percent in FMCG, automotive and finance whilst its nearest competitor, out of home, achieved only 36 percent. In e-commerce television lagged behind other channels as it lacks the ability for consumers to search.
In the first tranche of the study, the ROI for every dollar invested by 9 FMCG brands, including “Unilever, Pfizer, Lindt, Kimberly-Clark, Goodman Fielder, Sanitarium, and McCain”, across all media channels was:
Television — $1.74
Print — $0.79
Radio — $0.71
Online video — $0.72
Out of home — $0.62
Online display — $0.41
Retention rates show that television advertising has the greatest impact for longer than other media types:
Television — 65 percent
Print — 19 percent
Radio — 17 percent
Online video — 23 percent
Out of home — 28 percent
Online display — 22 percent
The average value of sales from “short to medium term advertising” was 3 percent or $96 million. When aligned with in-store promotions, the average value reaches 4 percent.
As with the first report on FMCG, the next for AUTO advertising affirmed television as delivering the best results across media channels. Media advertising delivers 12 percent of automotive sales and in that context, television is the best performer accounting for 81 percent of media driven sales. Media advertising on car sales for 2016 contributed to the sale of 140,000 vehicles.
This part of the study had results for five of the six media channels observed in FMCG, with three other channels. For every dollar invested, the ROI was:
Television — $8.90
Radio — $5.00
Search — $3.20
Cinema — $3.00
Print — $1.60
Social — $1.60
Online display — $1.50
Out of home — $1.40
In the final report, Ebiquity aggregated data from across the four business sectors FMCG, automotive, finance and e-commerce, and identified that media advertising delivers positive ROI across four sectors:
FMCG — $1.30
Automotive — $5.90
E-Commerce — $1.80
Finance — $2.00
Television remained the most efficient delivery method:
Television — 100 percent
Search — 57 percent
Radio — 52 percent
Print — 29 percent
Out of home — 22 percent
Online video — 22 percent
Online display — 18 percent
The findings show that not every channel is efficient in all business sectors. Whilst finance was similar in ROI to FMCG and AUTO, it saw poor returns in out of home and online display. E-commerce had an unexpected result with a negative return for online display (and television):
Radio — $1.90
Search — $1.50
Online display — $0.70
Television — $0.60
In response to the final report, CEO of Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) found the report data lacking because it only focused on short term ROI. Vijay Solanki found it overlooked the multiplier effect and that “it also totally fails to address the speed and inevitability of consumers' changing media consumption behavior.” He felt that the overview provided at the presentation may not have fully reflected all the findings of the study wondering why “high caliber [...] marketers [...] would continue to reinvest in [...] strategies” that do not deliver the results they want.
Whilst the above data focused on short and medium term campaigns, this 2017 study by Accenture included long term results which shows television advertising to “drive significant returns beyond year 1.” Data over a three-year period showed that on average there was a 22 percent increase in “key brand health and awareness” with television advertising (pg 14). The study identifies multi-platform television as free to air and pay TV (either streamed or via subscription) where the format is long-form (pg 2).
CINEMA — VAL MORGAN
A study commissioned by Val Morgan and undertaken by Kantar Millward Brown and published in June 2017 identifies that cinema has a unique voice in media channels, with a greater range of marketers looking to incorporate cinema advertising into their campaigns.
Kantar Millward Brown used a cross-channel impact model to look for insights and found that campaigns including cinema advertising achieved on average 8 percent incremental reach to television or digital channels. The study found cinema useful for people who watch little to no television, a “hard to reach” audience.
Campaigns including cinema advertising had:
78 percent greater awareness of brand and product.
210 percent greater association of product to brand.
220 percent improvement to brand equity.
53 percent greater consideration in purchasing a product or using a brand.
As with other research, multichannel exposure improves advertising outcomes by a further 20 to 35 percent. A key factor in this success is ensuring that ads “resonate” with cinema goers to be used over a longer period before reaching “saturation point.”
The retention rate for cinema was higher with less frequency than other media channels:
RADIO — RADIOALIVE
In a study by Colmar Brunton for Radio Alive, advertising on radio as either a single or multichannel campaign had an ROI of 17 percent, whilst television and online channels were 13 and 14 percent. Focusing on 21 national brands and reviewing “116 campaigns across 2,310 data points between January 2013 to June 2014,” the study showed that including radio in a multichannel campaign “consistently increases ROI.” Radio is referred to as a “safe bet.”
Where using radio and online channels together as opposed to television and online channels, the comparative ROI is 23 percent versus 9 percent. The study found that whilst the average media campaign resulted in a positive ROI, the proportion of ROI varied greatly which highlights the need for accurate and independent data for brands and marketing companies.
Taylor said: “The study found that on average media, irrespective of the channel used, resulted in a 15 percent increase in sales or inquiries. The really interesting finding was that impact ranged from a high of 57 percent increase in sales or inquiries to a low of -10 percent.”
MAGAZINES — MAGAZINE NETWORK
In this study by Fiftyfive5 and published May 2017, it was that using magazines as a part of a multichannel approach to an advertising campaign helped improve brand trust by 22 percent whilst seeing engagement increase 2.6 fold. A brand which is already preferred has that relationship became stronger by 55 percent. This leads to further engagement where people are 2.3 times more likely to tell others of the brand and 5.9 times more likely to recommend it. People new to the brand are 7.8 times more likely to want to try it. Overall, 29 percent of people who see the ads in magazines are more likely to buy.
This survey discusses the multiplier effect which I mentioned earlier. On Slide 9 magazine only advertising metrics are:
14 percent are more likely to buy
8 percent would recommend the brand to others
37 percent would tell others about it
47 percent notice everyone else is talking about it
23 percent find the brand interesting and engaging
23 percent find the brand trustworthy
Across other channels including online, radio, OOH and newspaper not all metrics were higher than the baseline. Particular combinations show the impact of multichannel advertising with some having better outcomes than others. When adding television to the mix, the campaign metrics show an even greater efficiency in the campaign.
22 percent are more likely to buy
49 percent would recommend the brand to others
94 percent would tell others about it
100 percent notice everyone else is talking about it
76 percent find the brand interesting and engaging
31 percent find the brand trustworthy
A magazine and newspaper combination has higher returns in some areas over that a magazine and television blend, including 76 percent recommending it to others and 107 percent wanting to tell others about it. The incremental uplift is 9.2 fold.
When added to OOH, people are 3.2 times more likely to want to learn more about the brand or product and 43 percent are more likely to buy. This combination between magazine and OOH drives greater engagement with “incremental uplift” up to 3.88 fold. The incremental uplift for radio and magazine campaigns is 6.7 times more for those wanting to learn more and 5.75 times more for those recommending it.
In 2014 Australia Post published results from a poll of their customers and identified interesting discrepancies between what consumers found effective versus what marketers found effective in terms of media channels.
On page 3, consumers found catalogs and fliers to be the most persuasive at 62 percent whilst marketers ranked email campaigns as most effective at 69 percent. Television was similar in 2nd place around the 52 to 56 percent, as was telemarketing in at last place.
Consumers ranked press in third place, then radio, direct mail, email, OOH, social media and online, in 4th to 9th place. Marketers ranked direct mail third and then catalogs/fliers, social media, radio, online, OOH and press from 4th to 9th place.
On page 4, the thoughts behind those rankings such as ease of understanding, interest and relevance were very similar. The importance placed on these reasons may be “underestimated by marketers” resulting in the discrepancies noted earlier.
The research shows the “path to purchase” on page 5 and whilst some media channels may start the journey, those most likely to aid in completion are websites (around 60 to 68 percent), television (40 to 46 percent), catalogs/fliers (35 to 43 percent), direct mail (40 to 65 percent) and press advertising (23 to 38 percent).
In an updated survey in 2016 the contribution to purchase mix was lower and had minor movements in preferred channels. The aggregated data from a range of age, family, employment and other demographics shows that websites continued 35 percent, direct email at 21 percent, only 19 percent were persuaded by television, whilst catalogs and fliers had dropped to 17 percent, with radio having an 8 percent impact.
Overall the Australia Post survey identified websites, direct and personalized emails, television advertising and catalogs/fliers as being the most successful in engaging with consumers.
In searching for robust research on the success of a variety of media channels, I could affirm your hypothesis that studies undertaken or commissioned by media channels will show a bias to their own position, whether as a single channel or multichannel campaign.