It is helpful to think about two types of contacts:
‘ATTITUDINAL’ contacts build awareness, interest and preference BEFORE consumers get to the
store. These are long term value creators because they support a brand’s premium (vs the
value brand). They can become durable assets if done well i.e. they keep contributing long
that activity has stopped (we all remember great TV campaigns for brands from months or
‘BEHAVIORAL’ contacts encourage consumers to try or buy a brand i.e. stimulates a personal
experience. These are critical to ensuring that consumers ‘complete the journey’. However,
are perishable assets i.e. as soon as you stop doing them, they instantly stop contributing.
Every brand needs to activate a combination of these,
and the best managed brands manage the balance
between them to suit specific marketing tasks (e.g.
different balance for launching a new product initiative vs
supporting a promotion).
The characteristic of food categories that needs to be
understood is that Behavioral contacts dominate the
ranking of most influential contacts. i.e. consumers are
prepared to ‘switch their journey’ based on the latest
Behavioral experience they have.
In fact, we usually
see that nine of the top ten influential contacts in food
categories include incentives, promotions, trial & sampling
opportunities. So what is the exception?
If you guessed Product Packaging you’d be right most of the
time. The single biggest contributor of Brand Experience ™
in food categories is packaging.
It communicates strongly
at purchase and at home, and delivers both brand and
If you guessed TV Ad, you are
probably managing in a developing market environment,
or in an Eastern culture. In Western developed markets
you would be wrong.
So, back to our original question...how does this help us
understand the challenges in Digital marketing better?
We provide a tool called MCA®, which provides quantitative
metrics to help you understand the relative influence of
your marketing communications activities.
It also tells
you how effectively you are deploying them relative to
your competitors and whether budgets are being well
spent. This allows you to make more informed decisions
to improve performance.
We looked at MCA Digital Deep Dive® studies completed in
the last two years.
These provide quantitative metrics for
digital contacts at a very detailed level, and benchmark
them in relation to other groups of contact (mass media,
point of sale display & promotion, word of mouth,
We found that the same dynamics are
as important in Digital as they are in the offline world. You
can use them to set priorities.
PRIORITY 1: BEHAVIORAL
CONTACTS HELP CONSUMERS
BE SMART SHOPPERS
DIGITAL CONTACTS THAT OFFER INSTANT BENEFITS ARE MOST INFLUENTIAL
Texts from retailers & brands (with coupons), online coupons & promotions
SHOPPING TOOLS ALSO INFLUENTIAL:
Daily deal websites, retailer loyalty app, comparison shopping app
PRIORITY 2: CONTEXT
IS CRUCIAL TO ENGAGE
BRAND WEBSITE IS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL ATTITUDINAL CONTACT
(it is the online equivalent of Packaging)
BRAND CONTENT IN RELEVANT CONTEXT
(e.g. recipe website, lifestyle & fitness etc) are higher influence than most
Social Media dialogue platforms
PRIORITY 3: ADVERTISING
FROM BRANDS ARE LOWER
INTERNET DISPLAY ADS, ADS IN SEARCH RESULTS ALL VERY LOW INFLUENCE
VIDEO ADS POSTED, GAMING WEBSITE OR APP ARE VERY LOW INFLUENCE
When your team recommends their digital strategy, use
MCA® metrics to make sure they have their priorities
straight. Challenge the assumption that because people
now communicate using Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp
etc, that brands should focus all their efforts to get into
these conversations. You can end up spending huge time
and money on the least influential activities.
Want a preview? Let us know which brand(s) you manage,
and we will check our database to see if we can show you
how your marketing communications are performing vs