‘Please sir, may I have some more’…….money for my marketing budget

Published by Kelly West – Student ID:  500122265

oliver

During recessions marketing budgets top the list for dollars to be cut from their budgets. Is this fair? Money has to be saved from somewhere for organisational survival right? Well this now avid ‘expert’ marketing blogger (self-proclaimed) argues that marketing is just as critical as any other organisational department such as Human Resources, Finance or IT. To be balanced though I also argue that like any other organisation departments, the marketing budget and spend must be justified and the effectiveness measured. In the Marketing Department metrics can be used to just this.

This blog discusses the following:

  • The importance of marketing metrics,
  • The different types of marketing metrics and,
  • Marketing metrics strengths and weaknesses

 

Why are marketing metrics important?

Let us start with the basics, what are metrics?  Metrics are defined as a wide range of tools that managers can use to evaluate performance (Investopedia, 2007). As described by Sharp (2013, p. 81), ‘marketing metrics let managers know how the brand and business is performing.’ If my argument above that marketing is just as critical as any other organizational department then marketing managers need a way to justify organizational spend on marketing and at the risk of putting it simply, this is why marketing metrics are so important.

If we think about it there are many other reasons for why marketing metrics are important, as metrics allow for the measurement of performance, there are many other benefits that managers could realize from using marketing metrics.  As stated by Iacobucci (2014), ‘you can’t manage what you don’t measure.’ Some other benefits managers could realize from using marketing metrics include:

  • The ability to track performance and identify areas of improvement,
  • Make measurements to allow managers to make marketing decisions and,
  • Assist in reporting of performance to key stakeholders

Now that we have discussed and all understand why marketing metrics are important, let’s focus next on the type of marketing metrics.

we-love

What are the different types of marketing metrics?

Many people, including myself before I really understood this topic, saw financial metrics (the measurement if financial performance) as the only metric that mattered. Amber & Roberts (2008) challenged my view and question if a single financial indicator, also known as a ‘silver metric’, can provide an adequate report on performance.

Sharp (2013) identify various types of marketing metrics that could be used, these include:

  • Financial,
  • Customer Profile Metrics,
  • Behavioral Metrics and,
  • Memory Metrics

Financial metrics include:

  • Profit Margins,
  • Return on Investment (ROI) = Returns – Investment/ Investment (Burrows, 2014),
  • Profit Contributions and,
  • Customer Life Time Value

Customer profile metrics include:

  • Customer demographics/ descriptors of customers
    • Gender
    • Age
    • Income

Behavioral metrics include:

  • Sales,
  • Market Share and,
  • Purchase Frequency

Memory metrics include:

  • Brand Awareness,
  • Attitudes,
  • Brand Image Associations and,
  • Net Promoter Scores

The conceptual model as show in figure 1 below is identified by Mintz and Currim (2013), this model supports Amber and Roberts (2013) view that managers should not just focus on financial metrics.

Capture 1.JPG

 

What are the strengths and weaknesses of marketing metrics?

Many of the positives of using marketing metrics have been discussed above such the ability for managers to have data to assist in their decision making, enabling reporting to key stakeholders and justifying increases in marketing budgets.

There are also some limitations with marketing metrics and it is important that these are recognized by all of you budding marketing gurus so you will be able to be aware of them and implement strategies to counteract the limitations.

A major potential limitation of metrics is if only one type of metric is used, such as financial. Whilst financial metrics are important they must be used in conjunction with other metrics such as customer profile or behavioral. Another limitation of metrics is the quality and integrity of the data used, as the saying goes, rubbish in = rubbish out. It is critical that the data used for metrics is quality and the interpretation is unbiased and the metrics speak for themselves.

albert

Australian business are predicted to spend in excess of $13.5 billion in 2016 alone. With businesses investing this sort of money in marketing it is easy to see why marketing metrics are so important as they assist managers evaluate, justify if you will, this necessary spend! If managers use marketing metrics effectively they may even be able to justify increases in marketing budgets and no longer have to beg like Oliver Twist for more  $$!

Student ID:  500122265

References

Clark, B. and Ambler, T., 2011, ‘Managing the marketing metrics portfolio’,   Marketing Management, 20 (3), p. 16-21.

Burrows, D., 2014, ‘Too many metrics: The perils of training marketers to calculate ROI’  

Iacobucci, D., 2014, Marketing Management (MM4). Mason: South-Western, Cengage Learning.

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/metrics.asp [Accessed 3 October 2016].

Sharp, B., 2013, ‘Marketing Metrics Marketing: Theory, Evidence, Practice’, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Australia.

http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/australian-advertising-market-to-hit-135-billion-in-2016-20151220-glrs3i.html [Accessed 2 October 2016].

Advertisements

‘Branding doesn’t impact my purchasing decisions’….. She said naively!

Kelly West – 500122265

 

I have always viewed myself as a smart consumer who makes choices to buy products or services because I wanted to and not because a company’s ‘branding’ of said product or service has influenced me. You know, ‘you can’t out smart me’ sort of attitude (insert self-inflated ego here)! Then I diligently participated in my Marketing Management Topic 6 class which covered brand and that’s when I realised not only have my perceptions of my purchasing behaviours been wrong this whole time but I also discovered the following 4 things;

  1. What a brand actually was – as in not just a name;
  2. The importance & function of branding;
  3. That there are different branding strategies; and
  4. Branding matters… BIG TIME.

So, it is the above four key areas that I found myself particularly interested in and will explore for all of you blog fanatics!

 

Let’s begin with the basics, what is a brand?

Simplistically a brand begins with a name that a company uses to label a specific product, however good brands are ‘portfolios of qualities associated with the name’ (Iacobucci, pg. 77, 2013). The portfolio includes elements such as:

  • The name
  • Product packaging/ shape
  • Brand logo
  • Colours
  • Tag line/ slogans
  • Spokesperson(s)

These elements assist to create brand association in consumers and organisations need to ensure that all of the above, which are forms of outgoing messaging to the market place about the product/service are positive, intentional and excellent (Iacobucci, 2013).

 

So now that we know what a brand is, why is branding important?

Good branding helps position the product/ service in a consumer’s mind to differentiate it from other brands in that industry (Tsai, Y, 2015). If we think about this further, it is a huge competitive advantage for organisations, particularly in markets that have a number of service/ product providers.

There are advantages for both the consumer and the company as a result of branding as seen in the image below.

Capture 1

Source: Iacobucci, 2013 pg. 78.

I was particularly interested in the status a brand can convey to consumers and the reduced risk factor consumers also may associate with brands. This lead me to ask a number of colleagues in my organisation why they fly Qantas and ‘only Qantas’ and 8/10 of those I surveyed stated it was because they “knew” or “trusted” that Qantas were most likely to, in their experience, leave on time and not cancel flights which meant they would eliminate the risk of missing meetings due to flight delays which aligns with the view that a brand can reduce have a perceived risk factor for a consumer. A majority also admitted that they viewed Qantas as “the premium” Australian airline and they “enjoyed the Qantas lounge over other lounges.”

 

Different branding strategies

Many company’s produce multiple products and ask themselves (well, should be asking themselves) what their branding strategy for each of these products is and there are a couple of common strategies they can consider;

  1. The Umbrella Approach which is the strategy to use the same brand name for all products it creates and releases to the market, and
  2. The House of Brands Approach which is the strategy to use a new brand name for each line of product it creates and releases to the market (Iacobucci, 2013)

Nike

Samples of Umbrella Brands

Pacific

 Samples of House of Brands – Pacific Brands incorporates all of the above brands

Does branding matter… you bet!

Qantas as an example of the correlation between brand value and profitability.  According to analysis by Brand Finance in 2016, ‘Qantas recorded the largest percentage increase in the Australia 100 bands with an 83% rise in value to almost $2.97 billion.’ This coincided with Qantas’s return to profitability after a well-publicized financial loss in previous years.

2

Source: Brand Finance

The results of my mini office survey about the purchasing behaviour of my colleagues for flights also highlights the significance of branding. As our corporate travel agent continuously points out, more often than not Qantas is the more expensive national airline. However, this financial driver is outweighed by the status and risk factor that our organisation associates with Qantas and therefore Qantas is the “only airline” we fly with.

Sticking with the aviation theme, Richard Branson recently posted his own blog about the importance of brand and for those of you, like me, with a particular interest for the marketing strategies that underpin the multi-billion dollar aviation industry his blog makes for a good read.

Now I am off to go and book my Qantas flights because I will admit…. I, like my colleagues, like the status!

 

References

Iacobucci, D., 2014, Marketing Management (MM4): Student Edition, South-Western: Cengage Learning, Mason.

TSAI, Y et al, ‘What’s in a Brand Name.’ Journal of Marketing Research (JMR). Dec2015, Vol. 52 Issue 6, p865-878

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/qantas-profits-soar-no-dividend-yet-but-a-share-buyback-2016-2  [accessed 28 August 2016]

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/these-are-australias-10-most-valuable-brands-in-2016-2016-4 [accessed 28 August 2016]

https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/richard-branson-how-virgin-became-way-life-brand [accessed 28 August 2016]

For a hard earned thirst the best cold beer is Vic, Victoria Bitter.” Or is it?

 

VB

Kelly West – 500122265

Light beer, draught beer, full strength beer, specialty beer, low calorie beer… Carlton Draught, Fosters, Victoria Bitter, Pure Blonde…the list is endless!

In an industry where consumers are spoiled for choice (like the Australian Beer market) how do companies fight for and maintain competitive edge and market share? Well, marketing strategies go a long way and any good marketing strategy should have a focus on segmentation, targeting and positioning.

The Australasian Beer Market had total revenues of $10.3 billion in 2014 (Beer Industry Profile), who wouldn’t want a piece of that pie! Competitors in this market must understand the industries segmentation which will enable them to target and position their marketing strategy. Now, let’s explore how the Australian Beer Industry has done just that.

Segmentation

Segmentation as defined by Iacobucci as “A group of customers who share similar inclinations towards a brand.”   (Iacobucci, p27, 2013). Segmentation enables organisations to understand customers in terms of demographic, geographic, psychological and behaviours.  Why is this important and how does segmentation help the beer industry market?

Companies in the beer industry must understand consumer behaviour and demographics, the main customers in this market is predominantly male between 18-45 who enjoy consuming beer when being social and watching sport (Pettigrew, 2002).

Supporting the idea that beer is predominantly a male drink, the 1989-1990 National Health Survey found 65 per cent of males consumed beer during the week prior to the survey and only 14.3 per cent of females had consumed beer during the same time frame (Pettigrew, 2002).

Studies into the Australian Beer Industry Profile also indicates that as at 2014 standard lager is the most popular category of beer, see figure 1 and figure 2 below.

Fig 1Figure 1 – Australian Beer Market Category Segmentation: $ million, 2014 – Source Marketline

 Fig 2.jpgFigure 2 – Australia Beer Market Category Segmentation: % share, by value 2014 – Source Marketline

 

Targeting

Once the segmentation of the beer industry is understood those companies with a desire to hold market share should ‘target’ their desired consumers by ‘positioning’ their marketing material, via the appropriate channel, based on the information provided by understanding the beer segment.

Targeting in its simplest form is ‘selecting’ the ideal customer segment(s) to target (Iacobucci, 2013).  Others have defined targeting as “the development of the marketing mix for one or more segments of suppliers identified following the segmentation…” (Claudiu, S. p791, 2008)

There are different strategies organisations can adopt to target segments in a market place, these include targeting multiple segments (breadth strategy), choosing to serve one segment well (depth strategy) or choosing to deliver different products/services for different segments (tailored strategy)  (Iacobucci, 2013). The strategy each organisation chooses forms part of their overall positioning strategy.

Positioning

So now that the giants of the Australian beer market have understood the markets segmentation and chosen the ideal segment(s) to target along with the right segmentation strategy, what is next? Now it is time to bring it all together and define your position (position statement). Positioning is determined by the marketing mix and is communicated via a number of elements including price, distribution, product offered and message communicated (Iacobucci, 2013).

Let’s take a look at how a few of the players within the Australian beer industry have positioned themselves.

Pure Blonde have focused on the low calorie conscious consumer with the tag line “Ultra Low Carb. Full Flavour. No Compromise.” (© 2015 Pure Blonde). The most recent Pure Blonde advertising (click here to see the ad) campaign clearly delivers the messages to males and females that there is a choice for an alcoholic beverage that won’t weigh you down.

Pure Blonde

Carlton Draught have chosen to focus on the dominant market segment of ‘standard beer’ with the tag line “A traditional, full strength Lager.” (©Carlton & United Breweries, n.d.) Carlton Draught have strategically chosen to premiere new ad campaigns during peak sporting periods, uploading their 2012 Big Ad campaign to YouTube in late August, just before sporting codes final series,  receiving over 2 million views in 6 days. The premiere of the ads to TV coincided with the AFL & NFL finals of 2012 proving hugely successful for Carlton & United Breweries (click here to see the ad).

Big Ad

 

The continuing success of Carlton Draught and growing success of Pure Blonde demonstrate the critical need for a clear marketing strategy encompassing segmentation, targeting and positioning.

Now it is time for a beer!  

References

Claudiu, S, (2008). Segmentation, Target and Positioning: Basis Element in Strategic Planning On Business to Business Marketing, Annals of the University of Oradea, Economic Science Series. 2008, Vol. 17 Issue 4, p790-795. 6p.

Iacobucci, D., 2014, Marketing Management (MM4): Student Edition, South-Western: Cengage Learning, Mason.

https://prezi.com/bmt53ubprnyo/ad-campaign-analysis-carlton-draught-beer-chase/ [Accessed 7 August 2016]

Pettigrew, S. (2002). A Grounded Theory of Beer Consumption in Australia. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 5(2), 112-122.

2014 Beer Industry Profile: Australia. 4/1/2015, p1-34. 34p. Database: Business Source Complete