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November 19, 2019
By Mike Bambrick
The problem we have all faced at some point is figuring out where to find the money we need to invest in growth and innovation.

It isn’t always easy to decide what to stop doing, because everybody can ‘prove’ that their activities are important, and somehow everything has a 'positive ROI'. So how can you identify the ‘non-working funds’ in a way that clearly cuts through the fog of tactical metrics and gives you confidence witch resources out of under-performing activities?

The key is finding a measurement of outcomes that reports all activities with a single comparable currency. Note that impact on sales is not the currency you need, because it only tells you about the last stage of the consumer journey. You need, instead, a currency that shows how activities contribute to Brand Health (equity, attributes, preference) as well as Brand Wealth (sales, market share). If you don’t have the complete picture, you run the risk of leaving your brand vulnerable.

Market Contact Audit (MCA®) is a tool we use which, through Voice of Consumer (VoC), measures Brand Experience Points. It is a powerful single currency metric that shows how each activity is contributing to the total consumer experience of your brand. It reads across the complete consumer journey and benchmarks your brand’s performance versus competitors, making you capable of taking decisions based on both consumer and competitive perspectives.

is a powerful single currency tool that measures how each activity is contributing to the total consumer experience of your brand.
Moreover, the single currency metric of Brand Experience Points allows you to combine it with the total costs of each activity to then apply a few simple analysis frameworks or matrices to reveal the answers you need.

For example, the Effectiveness/Efficiency Matrix shows marketers what they need to know to set important priorities focusing on:
  • Which activities are critical to protect and deploy
  • Where to focus on finding cost efficiencies
  • Where to explore scaling up
  • Where it is essential to either improve performance or re-direct resources

This supports the marketing team to make a clear recommendation on how they are prioritizing resources, and where they are focusing on performance improvements. For example, in a recent project with a Beauty Care brand, the matrix below was designed to help derive an analysis focusing on moving the brand’s resources out of under-performing activities (like their social media and influencer programs) into activities aiming to properly fund brand support such as in key retail channels. 

Another model is the 80/20 Analysis Framework.

Finance and commercial managers often need a more direct answer to the question ‘Where can we cut costs to have the least impact on top-line results but make a real difference to the bottom line?’ Using Brand Experience Points, you can identify the activities that deliver the top 80% of your communications outcomes and the last 20% that aren’t delivering much. Then, you identify which of those activities are also getting significant budget support (and are taking up time and energy to execute) and you can demonstrate to the business how to either cut or free up significant resources with minimal risk.

This is a powerful approach.

In another example where we worked with an automotive company in their top 16 markets and over three years, they were able to free up over $66 million to re-direct towards their innovation programs and to properly fund their ‘must win battles’. 

By Mike Bambrick
Global Client Service Director