Vanity metrics are so 2013
In a world where we can measure anything and everything in real-time, using the latest technology, measuring branded content still remains a challenge for the marketing industry.
Why is it so difficult?
Well, the simple answer is that it shouldn’t be. Today we are somewhat spoilt for choice with the amount of data that is available, predominantly from social media platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Due to this we have witnessed a trend towards the industry relying on 'vanity metrics' to determine whether a campaign has been successful or not. This can sometimes be misleading and often does not reflect the true impact or effectiveness of the branded content.
“Too often we produce crap. Craft or crap,
that’s our creative challenge. Technology enables both”
Marc Pritchard, Global Brand Officer, Proctor & Gamble
This is the reason why it has been somewhat of a crusade for the BCMA to develop a measurement tool that proves the effectiveness of branded content.
We believe that it is imperative that the marketing industry agrees to a universally accepted methodology to measure branded content. Pretty much every type of media has its own accepted ‘gold standard’ metrics, e.g. BARB, rajar, comscore, Nielsen, Route, ABC, NRS – so why not branded content?
Some of the other challenges surround the setting of objectives or KPIs and agreeing them prior to undertaking any branded content activity.
The other area of concern that needs some attention is how the data is interpreted. The majority of brands, agencies, media owners and platforms, such as Google, are inundated with data. The default response to whether the content has been a success is often, “Well it has achieved X million views on YouTube.” Well we believe that this is no longer good enough.
The default response to whether the content has been a success is often, “Well it has achieved X million views on YouTube.” We believe that this is no longer good enough.
Back in 2010, we set out to develop a measurement tool for branded content that focused on effectiveness and how the content had changed the behavior of the target audience. The ‘contentmonitor’ tool took several months to build and test.
To counter the ever-changing world of branded content, we knew it needed to be as future-proof as possible, so with our global research partner, Ipsos MORI we made it a modular and flexible system.
The real advantage of contentmonitor is that it can show you how the campaign is performing against key brand metrics, allowing ROI to be determined. Which elements of the campaign are performing the most strongly in meeting the campaign objectives. What could be done differently to support the campaign more strongly and optimise its ROI.
The original version of contentmonitor has been used by a number of leading brands, agencies and media owners, including, Morrison's, Toyota, HSBC, Shell, Mindshare, MediaCom, ITV, CNBC and BBC Worldwide. Through learning from the case studies we have produced, we know what success looks like:
It is a ‘decision support system’ for brands giving them confidence to invest in branded content for the right reasons.
As a result of extensive research in improving the framework for evaluation, the BCMA has recently launched contentmonitor 2.0 that features new techniques for measuring the effectiveness of branded content. It will help brands plan for success and help them evaluate it’s potential for ROI.
In a 'Call to Action' (see below), the BCMA is urging the Marketing Industry to work together to develop a universally accepted methodology to measure branded content:
- Urgent requirement for a ‘Universally Accepted’ method to measure branded content effectiveness
- Work together to achieve this
- Need support from all areas of from the industry
- We have an opportune moment