Archive for March, 2021

Delivering Predictive Brand Growth in an Age of Continuous Disruption

March 26th, 2021 Comments off


There once was a day when the equity and health of brands were stable.  Brand teams could expect that the fundamental performance of the category and the competitive set changed little on a short-term basis.  Category reviews and brand tracking research reinforced this perspective as the numbers typically saw limited, significant change on even an annual basis.

Those days are gone.  The so-called ‘new normal’ is an environment of continuous disruption.

Global pandemics, elimination of cookies for performance measurement, massive fragmentation of media, rapid growth in DTC brands, wide-spread product access with corresponding expansion of consumer choices, and real-time content generation are among just a few of the many factors now disrupting market categories and creating continuous uncertainty for brands.

This growth in uncertainty means brand growth is at risk.  MSW exists to address this need.


Basic Research

MSW has found that brand metrics must be more sensitive than ever and be collected more reliably than ever to capture the insights into market changes.  But the need does not stop there.  Brand metrics must have a tight enough validity to actual brand performance as time becomes an opportunity cost that brand teams cannot afford.  No time for examining ‘ghost’ findings. No time to scrap marketing plans for complete do-overs.  Any marketing research must support a fast turnaround and exploration of many potential ideas with a rigorous understanding of market context.

Working with hundreds of brands across many categories, we have found that all brands share one thing in common.  Branding requires continuous, meticulous attention across the entire go-to-market process.  MSW clients have worked with us as partners to establish an approach to deliver to this need within the ‘new normal’, disruptive environment.


MSW’s Predictive Brand Growth Framework™

MSW’s Predictive Brand Growth Framework™ is a process of connected, proven and sales-validated metrics and in-depth diagnostic measures that delivers a balanced approach to insights and aligns with each stage of your brand development cycle.

Utilizing MSW’s Patented, independently certified, sales-validated measures of CCPreference™, CCPersuasion™ and Customer Acquisition Forecast™, it is the most accurate, proven and independently validated approach to identifying short-term sales and long-term equity for your brand.

STEP 1 – Foundation & Purpose

The first step in MSW’s Predictive Brand Growth Framework™ is Foundation & Purpose, which establishes the building blocks for brand growth; a complete understanding of the customer, category, brand, how they interact and strategic direction that will yield the highest brand growth. Learn more about this solution set.

STEP 2 – Targeting & Positioning

We support targeting and positioning with a process for classifying customers by their behavior, needs, wants, and desires and narrowing in on the those that represent the highest brand growth potential.  Then we identify actionable, brand messaging elements to achieve that potential. Learn more about this solution set.

STEP 3 – Screening & Development

Our approach to screening and development is The ONLY advertising development system that predicts the likelihood and magnitude of ad impact on future sales volume and market share.  We evaluate advertising from early-stage concept to fully finished executions of ALL touch points. Our methodology captures the “lifts” in brand preference from exposure to advertising or other brand communication.  This patented methodology has been validated to actual business results more than any other advertising measurement in the industry.  Learn more about this solution set.

STEP 4 – Modeling & Forecasting

To make all this actionable, we have built more than 50 years of experience into our patented Outlook®; an agile platform that enables scenario based learning and iterative what-if analysis to determine optimum customer acquisition, ad flighting, channel selection and media allocation. Learn more about this solution set.

STEP 5 – Tracking & Feedback

Once in-market, a suite of customizable tracking capabilities enables brands to measure advertising performance through brand equity tracking, made unique by our use of MSW’s Brand Preference as the one primary aggregate measure that is proven and validated to match in-market brand share.  Other KPI’s collected triangulate to this single trusted measure and lend to the reliability and insights.  These techniques capture advertising and environmental impact on brand preference and other KPIs while also identifying drivers of and barriers to preference changes across the competitive set.   And our unique and proven “TRIGGER ANALYTICS” technique powers an early warning system and separates true shifts from random noise.  Learn more about this solution set.

Contact us today to discuss it with one our senior executives.

Or visit our website to learn more.

The Alternative to the Post-Cookie World – creative is king once again

March 23rd, 2021 Comments off

Smart cookie-blocking technology led by Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) now block third-party cookies by default, and even Google’s Chrome will soon get controls that let consumers block cookies. Browser-level blocking, third-party ad-blocking apps, and new regulations like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are quickly relegating the old cookie to the internet dustbin.

Most digital marketing plans are built upon the use of personalized targeting enabled by cookies.  To enable these, companies will have to disclose every specific, possible use of their information by marketers.  Marketers are either going to obtain this opt-in on a narrowly defined use basis, or, form very specific consumer panels, or not pursue obtaining it at all to spare the risk involved.  One lawsuit in California for misuse could bankrupt a company.

While there are various digital techniques that do not require cookies that will be used, the consensus from those on the front lines is:

  • Privacy first in all creative development, delivery and measurement
  • Relevance without being personal (and creepy)
  • Engaging targets (there are messages that you won’t have to micro-target to be relevant)
  • Ad environments will become more important
  • Effective reach will be a critical measure
  • Good measurement, probabilistic models (rather than individual cookies) complemented by strong planning. (‘Everything old is new again’ stated by more than one panelist).
  • Testing creative is a must
  • Set a high bar for creative ads
  • Content is where the focus will be

MSW provides an alternative to a post-cookie world…

  • Test content before going to market
  • Effective creative enables you to be relevant without targeting each individual
  • Targeting research will be more critical than ever to successful creative
  • MSW has unique measurement and analytic tools to develop your segments, targets and positioning
    • No advertising campaign can be created without a strong foundation in these three areas
    • Our probabilistic models are predictive and validated
    • Our accompanying models are build to include effective reach
    • Our models recognize various ad environments and platforms

Contact us today and let’s talk about the implications for your brand in a Post-Cookie world.