Towards Greater Accountability Marketing Communication

Tomi Ogunlesi
May 31, 2011 — 1,593 views  
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Advertising is just one of many brand-building initiatives. The ultimate goal of any advertising campaign is to first generate awareness about a product or service, resulting in sales and ultimately a positive contribution to the brand's bottom-line. If the ultimate goal behind investing in any ad campaign is to guarantee sales and consequently profit, then the conventional media eyeball measurements of advertising exposure will no longer suffice as satisfactory bench-marks for measuring and evaluating the success of campaigns. As a matter of fact, with the onset of advances in the field of campaign evaluation and media tracking, engagement metrics are gradually starting to replace those traditional audience reach and frequency metrics as standard tools for the measurement of advertising ROI.

Another critical factor is the increased emphasis being placed on the delivery of clearly measurable results and figures by agencies as far as marketing communication campaigns are concerned. This is where the issue of the limitations of advertising as a tool for influencing desired consumer action set in.

Traditional advertising has been likened to waving at an audience from a distance. Brands therefore essentially desire a way to get in closer contact with their publics/targets and embrace them, as it were, particularly at a more optimal cost such that resources are not literally thrown down the drain. Equally importantly, it has been observed that BTL (Below-the-line) encourages the ‘less-is-more' approach, in the sense that it enables brands to define and specifically target marketing tactics at specific segments and channels, with a higher potential to drive consumer demand/action. These can be taken through a multiplicity of channels which range between experiential, retail, POS (Point-of-Sale), Digital, Mobile, One-to-one marketing, e-mail and so on.

As against applying a strictly traditional approach that's characterized by a campaign hinging off an array of separate visual (Television), Audio (Radio) and print executions, an unconventional BTL strategy may incorporate tactics such as flying a hot air balloon over targeted geographic areas, offering consumers instant gratification via an in-store retail promotion, the creation of an animated poster or production of engaging content that spreads virally using the consumers themselves as the media.....the through-the-line shopping list is virtually endless and relatively economical. The objectives of a particular campaign will however have to be clearly outlined and taken into consideration as they will inform the type of strategy which will be employed to drive the campaign.

While TV, radio and print will remain particularly important media, particularly where mass awareness is required to support marketing and also for the ‘entertainment' value they add to the art of advertising, the future of advertising is about consumer relationships, conversations and influence. This is why Below-the-line has started to and will increasingly take larger portions of campaign budgets and enjoy greater recognition for efficiently delivering integrated campaigns that create tangible value for all stakeholders - brand, client and the consumer.

Tomi Ogunlesi, a professional member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK) is a strategic planner at Bates Cossé, Lagos.

Tomi Ogunlesi

Bates Cosse

A consummate marketing communication professional with experience spanning diverse brand categories ranging between corporate, FMCG, financial services and aviation, among others. A member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM, UK) He is also an alumnus of both Vega, the Brand communications school and the Wits Business School Product Strategy & Brand Management Programme. He is currently a brand strategist at Bates Lagos, where he works as Brand Manager responsible for Segment and Product marketing for a leading African Financial services brand. He is also presently an MBA candidate at the Lagos Business School.