Colleen Ryan explores the balanced diet of marketing

  • Voices
  • September 13, 2018
  • Colleen Ryan
Colleen Ryan explores the balanced diet of marketing

You can sympathise with people who want nothing more than to do the best for their families and themselves, but who are bombarded with advice from scientists, medical professionals and fitness gurus that can often be contradictory and even when it is single-minded is likely to pivot if not reverse next year. Fat causes heart disease vs dieters don’t get enough fat in their diet. Sugar is the new killer unless of course, you are consuming pesticides in your cereals. And, of course, the majority of us decide that moderation in all things is a safe strategy stirred in with a dose of the realities of minimising time invested in decision making, money and how value is assessed – what’s easily available, what others are doing, and ‘what they’ll eat’.

But contrary ideas, passionately argued and scientifically presented as the single truth are not just the domain of the food and health industry.

Instead of people in white coats or lycra, in the marketing industry we have men in dark suits. Ritson and Sharp have been slugging it out in the media lately along with a polite interjection from Koen Pauwels.

What these spats should do is raise debate and cause people to consider and review their ideas, but in a too busy world the easier option is to choose a side and ignore any challenges to it.

So how do we ensure that we get a balanced diet, neither taking too extreme measures that could kill our marketing efforts (or make us sick) nor doing nothing and thereby failing to optimise the wellbeing of our marketing efforts?

The power of ideas is to drive deeper understanding

What we should be doing is looking at the sector we are working in to understand the particular role that these marketing theories play in enabling us to maximise our marketing investment. We then need to layer on our understanding of human behaviour – which has also gone through its own rebirth based on new scientific evidence – and add the critical dimension of what’s going on around us. How is our category/social sector being affected by the cultural (political, physical, societal, technological) landscape?

This is no different from a deep understanding of people, taking into account their individual traits, the influence of their social networks and the context of the wider cultural environment.

The parallel for marketing is to first develop a deep understanding of the role that brand plays in creating connection and forming an emotional bond – in which case, easy recognition and distinctive assets are key. But we also need to understand how to nurture and evolve that connection beyond repetition and long-term investment in distinctive assets. And that’s where monitoring clarity, momentum and fit with people’s beliefs and values comes into play. This is not the same as measuring sets of promiscuously held attitudes (people’s attitudes change during the course of a single day). Instead, it is a measure of their perceptions of the brand – so the brand is the focal point, not the person’s stated attitudes. There is a crucial difference here.

Second is to also understand what levers can be pulled that will increase the chances that when people are faced by a choice – not a habitual purchase decision. It is important that we have in place a strategy that reflects how people make decisions at an unconscious and a conscious level. For example, what biases are at play that we can leverage to trigger the decision we desire. If we are going to make product/service claims that we believe differentiate us, we need to be very sure we know how that information is going to be processed by people, if at all. How will they slice the information for example? What will they anchor to? How will they relate it to other choices? What influence will social context have?

And thirdly we have to lift our heads and look around at what is happening in broader culture. For example, bottled water has been massively influenced by the fitness trend and by seeing other people carry water bottles. But before that bottled water, especially in the European markets where the dining experience was an important part of the social culture, was about status and it borrowed from food and wine signals. Now bottled water is being affected by the cultural movements around anti-plastics minimising consumption and sustainability.

If we pull these three components together we generally see that the emotional equity in the brand, expressed through its distinctive assets and reinforced through emotional connection is an overarching driver of choice. But, other factors clearly come into play along the way and we can influence these factors through our marketing activity.

A distinctive brand carries its differentiation in its assets

In the car buying market people will hold strong opinions about which brands offer reliability, low-cost parts and servicing, good mileage rates, second-hand value etc. We also know that when they consider a new car purchase they only shortlist a small number (usually three) brands – and the emphasis here is on the word brand.

They do not painstakingly compare these differentiating factors across all of the possible car brands – instead, they use the shorthand of the brand, that is the pre-set mental picture and connection they have to that brand. This connection is something that marketing can influence – it can use the levers of brand connection to strengthen and tweak the emphasis.

Having got our shortlist of three, does differentiation play a part in the final decision? Some aspects of differentiation probably will, but these are mainly rationalisations for deeper cognitive biases. If you park your car in neighbouring driveways and on the road around someone’s house, you will significantly increase the chance that a person will buy your car brand. Now I am not suggesting that you adopt that strategy, but so much for rational decisions based on product differentiation – even with a significant purchase like a new vehicle.

And culture will be playing a part too. All car brands are working on electric vehicles and the cultural tide is moving in that direction, even if people do not do so because they understand or care about carbon emissions. Electric cars are signals for a more fundamental and systemic change in creating better societies through car sharing leasing models, for example.

So what power will the Telsa brand have when all car companies have an electric vehicle and none is truly differentiated from another? Will it own the cultural movement? Will the value of a legacy car brand be stronger than the legacy of innovation and cultural relevance in the Telsa brand? What marketing strategy would you adopt – distinctiveness and availability or product differentiation?  

Or will it be a balanced diet of moderation stirred in with a dose of the realities of minimising time invested in decision making, money and how value is assessed, what’s easily available, what others are doing, and ‘what they’ll be willing to drive’?

This is article two in a series responding to the ongoing Byron Sharp versus Mark Ritson debate about the value of brand perceptions.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

From junk to jewellery: Design Junkies search for second crop of designers

  • Television
  • October 16, 2018
  • Idealog
From junk to jewellery: Design Junkies search for second crop of designers

Design and craft-based television show - Design Junkies - has been allocated its second lot of funding from TVNZ. The spend comes following a successful first series, produced by Warner Bros. NZ, which sees a diverse bunch of designers upcycle junk into coffee tables, photo shoot props, and various other installations. In light of the release, the show is currently on the hunt for the crop of next designers, makers and artists to feature on the next edition.

Read more

Whittaker's' Hannah Gray on working her way up in marketing

  • Marketing
  • October 16, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Whittaker's' Hannah Gray on working her way up in marketing

Whittaker's brand manager Hannah Gray knows the value of working her way up in the workplace. She started at the company in 2014 as the receptionist and four years on was one of this year's TVNZ-NZ Marketing 'Rookie Marketer of the Year' finalists. We chat with her about finding her feet in the industry.

Read more

Ads of the week: 16 October

  • TVC of the week
  • October 16, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Ads of the week: 16 October

A round of applause for Got A Trade, The Warehouse and Air New Zealand.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and StopPress have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

topics
Follow The Money
Follow The Money
Follow the money. It’s an axiom that journalists have believed in for years and a ...
Regional Rundown
Regional Rundown
StopPress takes a trip down the country to see who the audiences and agencies are ...
Beyond the Page 2018
Beyond the Page 2018
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Insight Creative
Insight Creative
Insight Creative specialises in shaping business stories out the core insights that often lie under ...
Beneath the Surface
Beneath the Surface
In this series, brought to you by Microsoft, we talk to a conceptual photographer, illustrator ...
20/20 (tele)vision
20/20 (tele)vision
Media consumption is changing. But by how much?
The Hot List
The Hot List
Our rundown of the hottest shows, brands and creators in New Zealand media. 1. magazine ...
Cannes Lions 2017
Cannes Lions 2017
All the winners, the shortlists and the drama from this year's edition of advertising biggest ...
Merger Mania
Merger Mania
All our stories on the nation's two failed mergers in one place
Bauer Beyond the Page
Bauer Beyond the Page
When it comes to creating branded content, there are few better in the Kiwi market ...
The Indies
The Indies
Over the course of this series of articles, we look at how always-nimble indy agencies ...
AdRoll on automation
AdRoll on automation
Marketing automation is tipped to eventually become the only way advertising is traded in the ...
Game Changers
Game Changers
It’s all about PEOPLE. Join us as we discuss global insights, ideas and innovations from ...
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
Celebrating all the winners of the 2015 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards.
Future Tense
Future Tense
In a new series, StopPress talks to a range of newsmakers currently trying to shine ...
Beyond the Page
Beyond the Page
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Up Country
Up Country
In conjunction with News Works, the Up Country series talks with some of New Zealand's ...
Sounding off
Sounding off
As part of a content partnership with MediaWorks, we've asked a few of the company's ...
StopPress Podcasts
StopPress Podcasts
We sit down for a chat with industry leaders to find out what they're up ...

ReachMedia secures The Warehouse Group's 'smart mailer' business

  • Advertising
  • October 16, 2018
  • StopPress Team
ReachMedia secures The Warehouse Group's 'smart mailer' business

The Warehouse Group has appointed data-driven letterbox marketing company ReachMedia to distribute mailers for the group's family of brands.

Read more

Got A Trade releases ad disguised as a music video

  • Advertising
  • October 16, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Got A Trade releases ad disguised as a music video

Got A Trade and Ogilvy NZ have created an interactive ad which looks like a music video with the aim of attracting young Kiwis into trades and services.

Read more
voices
Are loyalty programmes really worth it?
Sponsored content

Are loyalty programmes really worth it?

As every retailer offering a loyalty programme knows, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Truth Customer Academy shares how to consider the value exchange you’re really offering with your loyalty programme, and get the most out of your investment.

QMS NZ accelerates digital-first strategy with 19 new Auckland sites

  • Advertising
  • October 15, 2018
  • StopPress Team
QMS NZ accelerates digital-first strategy with 19 new Auckland sites

QMS NZ has announced an exclusive long-term strategic partnership with iSEE Digital, marking a significant step change in the New Zealand digital out-of-home landscape.

Read more

'Off with his head!': Pop-up Globe launches latest season

  • Advertising
  • October 12, 2018
  • StopPress Team
'Off with his head!': Pop-up Globe launches latest season

The Pop-up Globe has launched its latest season with a series of creative campaigns, the first touting Richard III as a serial killer.

Read more

Movings/Shakings: 12 October

  • Movings/Shakings, brought to you by Marsden Inch
  • October 12, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Movings/Shakings: 12 October

Industry happenings at Clemenger BBDO Wellington, Colenso BBDO, Ogilvy and Acquire.

Read more

Chur bro! The Warehouse launches a uniquely Kiwi Scrabble edition

  • Advertising
  • October 12, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Chur bro! The Warehouse launches a uniquely Kiwi Scrabble edition

The Warehouse has launched a 'Sweet As' campaign with familiar Kiwi legends for the new Scrabble edition, via DDB New Zealand.

Read more

Rufus Chuter and Kris Hadley launch new agency, Together

  • Agency
  • October 11, 2018
  • Caitlin Salter
Rufus Chuter and Kris Hadley launch new agency, Together

Former FCB Media managing director Rufus Chuter has joined forces with former OMD chief digital officer Kris Hadley to launch a new strategy, technology and media management agency, Together.

Read more
Streaming ahead – TVNZ OnDemand reaches record high
Sponsored content

Streaming ahead – TVNZ OnDemand reaches record high

TVNZ OnDemand has achieved a record 102 million streams in the last 12 months – the equivalent of every New Zealander streaming over 20 episodes of Shortland Street a year.*

The Warehouse Group's Michelle Anderson on the changing times

  • Marketing
  • October 10, 2018
  • StopPress Team
The Warehouse Group's Michelle Anderson on the changing times

The Warehouse Group's chief digital officer Michelle Anderson is an experienced marketer with years of experience on the group's different brands. As one of this year's TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 'Marketer of the Year' finalists, we spoke with her about how The Warehouse Group's approach to marketing has changed and the lessons learned along the way.

Read more

Designers Speak (Up) launches directory of New Zealand women designers

  • Idealog
  • October 10, 2018
  • Elly Strang
Designers Speak (Up) launches directory of New Zealand women designers

Following on from a protest on gender equality at the 2018 Best Awards, the organisers have created a directory that aims to showcase a diverse range of women designers from Aotearoa living anywhere in the world, of all social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. As well as this, a series of workshops on diversity in design being hosted by DINZ and Design Assembly are about to kick off around the country. We talk with the Designers Speak (Up) founders about the movement to make New Zealand’s design community more inclusive.

Read more

Designing for a university: Raph Roake shares his transition into the industry

  • Idealog
  • October 9, 2018
  • Findlay Buchanan
Designing for a university: Raph Roake shares his transition into the industry

Raph Roake represents one of many young talents in the design community who won accolades at the 2018 Best Awards. His work, ‘C.O.C.A Exposure Brand Identity and Website’ created alongside fellow students – Luke Hoban and Jeremy Hooper – was awarded two golden pins for student graphic and student interactive. And his solo project, ‘All design is a political act’, gained a silver in student graphic. Since these projects, Roake has stepped inside a few studios – Strategy Creative in Wellington and Inhouse in Auckland – and continues to craft his personal work during his spare time. Roake joins us over a measly cup of cold coffee to hear about the tensions and learnings from his transition into studio walls.

Read more
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2018 ICG Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit