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#BizTrends2023: Memories not clicks, the impact of 'short termism'

At the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2022, Warc presented data that indicated that a decade or so of brands focusing on short-term performance marketing has resulted in 85% of ads sitting below the attention threshold. This was analysed from data extracted from 130,000 ads over five years*.
Ann Nurock, the Africa partner of Relationship Audits and Management, examines what brands need to do in 2023 to stick in the memories of consumers
Ann Nurock, the Africa partner of Relationship Audits and Management, examines what brands need to do in 2023 to stick in the memories of consumers

This ‘short termism’ is halving business impact, which is really challenging for marketers who need to justify their budgets and investments, particularly in tight economic environments.

This is not to say that performance marketing is not important, but that marketers need to find a balance. Creative approaches to brand awareness that elicit an emotional response and trigger empathy can help drive longer-term effectiveness and it’s been proven that creativity is the greatest contributor to brand sales and profitability.

At the Nedbank IMC Conference 2022, Tyrona Heath, director of market engagement at LinkedIn identified the key insight, that most purchases start by someone searching their memory not Google and the importance for marketers to focus on generating memories, not clicks! Therefore, you need to build the memory bank by brand building.

Another key issue marketers are facing in building brands is ‘fragmentation of message’. To achieve desired memorability, marketers and agencies need to be disciplined and intentional, investing in fewer messages to achieve consistency of campaign over time.

5 points for marketers to deliver value

  1. Invest based on your share of market.
  2. Balance spend between short term activations vs: long term brand building. They must work in unison.
  3. Impact is about attention more than viewability.
  4. Apply emotion and distinctiveness to supercharge your advertising messages.
  5. Build the memory bank via mental availability.

Rock polishers

In what was one of my favourite presentations from Cannes Lions, Ryan Reynolds, co-owner of Maximum Effort, added to the case for creativity and brand building by stating that many advertising practitioners have become ‘rock polishers’, a situation whereby everyone is striving for perfection, when they should rather be focussing more on authenticity.

Reynold referenced TikTok, where messages move at the speed of culture. Via his work for Aviation Gin and Mint Mobile we see examples of this cultural speed.

If a campaign takes nine months to produce, he says, you’ve lost out on the cultural element. Agencies need to create a system that allows you to move at speed.

Marketers and agencies also have to become more risk-averse. To be good at something you have to be bad too. Cultures of fear want everything to be perfect rather than the ‘fail fast and move on’ approach.

Over the last few years, advertising has become so gloomy, says Reynolds. Ads should be fun. Spend the time on creating work that is emotionally charged and builds the memory bank.

(*Source: Warc Anatomy of Effectiveness)

About Ann Nurock

Ann is a Partner at Relationship Audits and Management, a global consultancy that measures and optimizes client /agency relationships. Her proprietary Radar tool is used by 30 corporates globally and as a result she interacts with over 80 agencies of all disciplines. Ann spent 25 years plus in the advertising industry as CEO of Grey Advertising South Africa, and head of the Africa region followed by President and CEO of Grey Canada. Contact details: moc.stiduapihsnoitaler@kcorun.nna | Twitter @Annnurock
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