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WHITTY WORLDWIDE product launch for Marvell at The W Hotel in Hollywood

Entertain For Commercial Gain

Most branding experts and advertising people make a living by convincing business people that marketing communication is a deeply specialized practice or dark art; and they do their best to complicate the shit out of it.

 

For example, before launching a campaign, they'll spend months boiling the ocean, trying to define what their brand should stand for. Ignoring the fact that real people are annoyingly impervious to marketing drivel, let alone the finer points of brand meaning.

 

Don't agree? Stop someone on the street today and ask them what the difference is between two big brand names? I will bet you their response will have little to no correlation to each brand's strategic documents.

Still not convinced? Well, thankfully, research has at last come to our aid.

A study of the IPA Marketing Effectiveness Awards has managed to plot the difference in effectiveness between overwrought marketing campaigns, and the sort of distinctive, fame-driving work we do at Whitty Worldwide.

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Point made. Yes, but, while the marketing and advertising business has been wringing it's hands waiting for the IPA's paper to garner global attention, a new wave of messianic digital ad-tech entrepreneurs have convinced many a nervous marketer that the clear path to brand success is now built on precision targeting, promotionally driven, lowest-denominator 'content' and immediate feedback. Now they're addicted.

And, with more granular short-term data that comes through faster and faster, it's easier and easier to see why even large brands, in mature categories, have increased their use of performance marketing techniques.

They want to believe that technology has finally answered their prayers for predictability and accountability. A scientific method for transforming a real world of difficult decisions and uncertain evidence into a comfortingly simplified one, where data, represented as hard fact, will reduce risk.

 

Well it's certainly cheaper and faster. But, is it better? 

 

Let's dig into that IPA research, and put it in financial language. 

 

By definition, promotional activation is about getting an immediate response and, ideally, an immediate sale from existing customers, but maybe nothing more. Eventually, a brand will run out of steam as it grows.

 

"Brands need the oxygen of fame to scale and deliver new and light buyers, and a much stronger long-term sales stream, fatter margins, more revenue, more free-cash-flow and, therefore, more shareholder value."

 

Les Binet & Peter Field

 

It's true, even for brands that are already famous. And it's why successful advertisers split their campaign budget across emotional, brand-equity-focused, long-term communications ['upper-funnel'] and short-term promotional activities that convert brand preference efficiently into cash.

 

In short, they express and synthesize a brands total character over time. 

 

And it's why famous brands can sell both immediately and forever. 

Mark Whitty