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TBSM Chart of the Week 2022 Review

December 8th, 2022 Comments off

The MSW TBSM tracking service collects a variety of metrics across a wide range of categories. Throughout 2022, we published Charts of the Week using data drawn from the TBSM survey.  Six different categories and multiple measures within each category have been explored.  The categories were:

• Subscription Streaming Video Services
• Cryptocurrency Exchanges
• Domestic Airlines
• Meal Kit Services
• Body Moisturizers
• Fast Casual Restaurants

To illustrate the utility of some of the metrics available from the TBSM service, we will review some of the charts published over the past year.

One core question included in the TBSM survey is Brand Franchise. This question efficiently gauges the relationship of consumers with the major competitors in a particular category. The results can be used to quantify a wide range of concepts, such as awareness, consideration, usage, loyalty, conversion ratios, etc. One interesting analysis we like to focus on in our Charts of the Week is cross brand consideration – that is the overlap in consideration among brands. This analysis allows us to create a consideration map which helps to reveal which brands are closest competitors, the composition of market niches and brands that may be perceived as unique versus the competition. An example is the Airline Cross Brand Consideration chart which shows the overlap among the three traditional major airline brands, the close proximity of the two ultra-discount carriers, but the greater dispersion among the three discount airlines.

 

 

Another portion of the TBSM survey focuses on product characteristics that play a role in decision making when choosing a brand in a particular category. Respondents may identify multiple characteristics that are important to them and which one of those characteristics are most important. This information can be crossed with other metrics such as demographics, usage levels or brand relationship status to generate important insights. One example Chart of the Week from the Body Moisturizer category shows how skin rejuvenation is particularly important to the 55+ age group, among other insights.

 

 

Trends in important characteristics can also be informative. One interesting example comes from the Cryptocurrency Exchange category. We compared characteristics of primary importance before and after the high profile Crypto Super Bowl advertisements. The only item to gain, with an increase of 4 percentage points, was “From a Brand I Trust”. This seemed to indicate that the advertising and associated hype had a positive effect on branding in the category.

 

 

TBSM also collects information on the level of category usage. This information can provide insight into the most important consumers in a category – those who use, and hence purchase, in the category the most. An example Chart of the Week from the Fast Casual Restaurants category reveals that these all-important heavy users tend to be male, age 18 to 34, higher income and have children in the household.

 

 

Finally, TBSM also captures Brand Preference as one component of the survey. Brand Preference is the gold-standard metric for assessing a brand’s strength in the hearts and minds of consumers. In fact, independent studies conducted by the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) have found that preference proved to be a better fit to market share than any other standard research question examined. Brand preference has been adopted as the cornerstone of all MSW research systems due to this strong relationship with market share. Several of our Charts of the Week illustrate the utility of brand preference in different applications.

First, results from the Fast Casual Restaurants category illustrates the utility of brand preference as a proxy for market share and hence an unparalleled measure of brand strength. As the following scatterplot shows, the brand preference penetration metric is strongly related to systemwide domestic sales levels for Fast Casual Restaurants (as published by Nation’s Restaurant News), with an overall correlation of +0.93.

 

 

Next, changes in brand preference are reflective of actual changes in business results for a brand. An example Chart of the Week illustrating this application is drawn from the Subscription Streaming Video Services category. In March of 2021, ViacomCBS expanded its CBS All Access service and rebranded it as Paramount+. In the extremely competitive and dynamic online video streaming services category, Paramount+ saw a 67% gain in brand preference in 2021 versus CBS All Access preference in the pre-pandemic time-period (last quarter of 2019). While ViacomCBS doesn’t separately report Paramount+ subscriber numbers, total ViacomCBS subscribers (which also includes Showtime and other services) jumped to 47 million in Q3 2021 versus 17.9 million in Q3 2020 and 10.4 million in Q3 2019. According to ViacomCBS, this surge in subscriptions was driven by strong growth in Paramount+ sign-ups.

 

 

In addition, brand preference can detect changes in brand strength attributable to marketing activity. This is illustrated by returning to the example of the effects of the 2022 Super Bowl advertising on brand preference for Cryptocurrency Exchanges. All four brands that advertised in the Super Bowl saw at least some level of positive movement in brand preference. FTX was the winner with a jump in brand preference of 2.6 percentage points.

 

 

Finally, brand preference levels can be examined by target groups, defined by dimensions such as demographics or usage level, to understand where a brand’s (and their competitors’) strengths lie. An example from our Chart of the Week series shows brand preference by usage level in the Domestic Airlines category. One insight from this chart is that discount airline Southwest has by far the highest preference level among light users. On the other hand, the brand’s preference level among heavy users is exceeded not only by the three traditional major airlines, but also by fellow discount brands JetBlue and Alaska.

 

 

These are but some of the many applications of the data provided by the TBSM tracking service. We look forward to sharing more such insights in the coming year. In the meantime, have a Happy New Year!

Categories: Chart of The Week, Uncategorized Tags:

The Crypto Bowl: How Crypto Exchange Super Bowl Ads Affected Awareness and Brand Preference

February 24th, 2022 Comments off

As usual, there was almost as much hype about the ads in the Super Bowl this year as there was about the game itself.  And one of the advertising storylines this year centered around Cryptocurrency Exchange ads.  This represented a coming-out party for Crypto Exchanges on the year’s biggest advertising stage.

While the four Crypto Exchange ads were superseded by the number of ads in some of the more traditional Super Bowl ad categories (automobile companies led the way with 7 spots), they still managed to steal much of the pre and post-game discussion about the advertising.  However, to a large extent the verdict was less than positive.

At Yahoo! Sports, Liz Roscher provided commentary and grades on all the big game’s ads.  While garnering some positive comments from Roscher, the FTX spot featuring Larry David only managed a D grade.  However, that made it the winner of the Crypto Exchange category as the other three spots all received an F.

Over at USA Today, Super Bowl ad meter results were based on the ratings of nearly 150,000 panelists.  The final tally again showed FTX as the leader in the Crypto Exchange category, with the brand’s Larry David spot finishing a very respectable 17th out of a total of 66 rated ads.  Crypto.com rode LeBron James to a mediocre 49th place overall, while eToro only avoided last place due to even fewer viewers liking the somewhat head-scratching bouncing QR-code approach taken by CoinBase.

While ratings are fun, ultimately the true measure of the success of an advertisement comes from what the ad does to bolster the business results of the brand itself.  MSW’s TBSM tracker incorporated the Crypto Exchange category in January, which provided a baseline read on the brands in the category.  Then the survey was run again in the week after the Super Bowl, with an aided advertising awareness question added at the end of the survey.  What were the results?

The 71% of respondents who indicated they had watched the Super Bowl were asked if they remembered seeing any ads for Cryptocurrency Exchange brands during the Super Bowl and if so, they were asked to indicate which brands they saw an ad for out of a list of 13 major Crypto Exchange platforms.   The ghost awareness level (average misattribution to unadvertised brands) was 10%.  All the advertised brands were able to comfortably surpass this level with the exception of eToro at only 10.4%.

It is also interesting to note that while claimed advertising awareness levels for Coinbase, Crypto.com and eToro are all highest among respondents aged 18 to 34, FTX really popped among those aged 35 to 54.  In fact, FTX ad awareness of 23.9% among those aged 35 to 54 more than doubled the level among the younger age group.  Chalk that up to the Larry David effect!

Next, the survey results showed an overall lifting of brand awareness levels for the entire category in the week after the Super Bowl versus the January baseline.  But the advertised brands in particular saw a very strong lift in the level of aided brand awareness.

However, the key metric collected by the TBSM survey is brand preference.  This metric has been shown to be strongly related to actual market share and

it underpins most of MSW Research’s primary research methodologies since movement in Brand Preference is validated and proven to corelate to actual in-market business results.  So, while awareness can certainly indicate that the advertising was having an effect, the true winner is that brand that sees the strongest movement in share of Brand Preference.

While all the advertised brands saw at least some level of positive movement in Brand Preference, FTX again is the winner with a jump in Brand Preference of 2.6 percentage points.  Again, this gain was driven by respondents aged 35 to 54 among whom FTX realized a Brand Preference gain of 4.3 percentage points.

Beyond the effect on the individual brands, these high-profile advertisements can have an effect on the category itself, particularly given the nascent nature of the Crypto Exchange category.  One sign of this can be seen in claimed category participation.  The percent of respondents claiming to not be buyers or sellers of cryptocurrency dropped 6 percentage points to 37% in the post-Super Bowl read.

In addition, there is evidence that the advertising and associated hype had a positive effect on branding in the category.  The TBSM survey asks respondents to select the one characteristic (from a list of eight choices) that is most important in deciding on a method to buy or sell cryptocurrency.  The only item to gain, with an increase of 4 percentage points, was “From a Brand I Trust.”

Despite the snap reviews of the Super Bowl Crypto Exchange ads which were not favorable, to say the least, TBSM tracking data suggests the advertising has been effective at raising awareness and building brands in the category.  This is particularly the case for FTX.  And the use of Larry David as spokesperson – that could never be wrong!

please contact us for more information on the MSW TBSM survey and what it can reveal in your category.

Assessing the Utility of MSW’s Insight Rabbit Copy Testing Scores in Predictive Analytics: A Validation Case Study

February 2nd, 2022 Comments off

Copy testing has been utilized by advertisers for decades to assess the quality of advertising copy. MSW’s TouchPoint™ copy testing system has been extensively validated, showing that test results on key metrics are predictive of subsequent sales results from airing the tested advertising. A partnership between MSW and predictive marketing analytics firm Keen set out to assess the utility of test scores from MSW’s Insight Rabbit DIY copy-testing platform at improving predictions from Keen’s MIDA decision support system.

The MIDA (Marketing Investment Decision Analysis) platform is designed to help marketers decide how to invest in marketing activities. MIDA users can develop optimized investment scenarios to meet specific business objectives such as hitting revenue targets or meeting budget constraints. It does this by applying a Bayesian modeling approach to a wide range of a brand’s historical marketing and performance data.

Could the use of copy quality metrics improve forecasting of business outcomes and hence, be used as an input to MIDI to improve the allocation of marketing dollars? To address this question, new advertising for a major packaged food brand was selected. This brand had developed two different campaigns with different communication objectives that tied back to the brand’s strategy. The brand intended to air both campaigns concurrently.

The television ads developed for each of the two campaigns were tested using MSW Research’s Insight Rabbit Pulse Lite copy testing solution. Results are shown in the graph below.

Both ads were adequate in terms of the secondary Break Through metric which assesses the degree to which an ad leaves viewers with a memorable and branded impression. However, Copy A scored much stronger in terms of the CCPersuasion™ metric which assesses the degree to which the ad positively influences preference for the advertised brand. Prior validation studies have shown CCPersuasion to be the strongest predictor of an ad’s selling power. Copy A scored significantly above the Fair Share benchmark with an index of 161, suggesting it is a very strong piece of copy. On the other hand, Copy B indexed 113 versus the norm and would be considered slightly above average at best.

Historical performance of the brand’s television investment was measured in MIDA to quantify the expected returns on investment for an average (or benchmark) ad for the brand. Then an initial forecast was developed before the start of the campaign using this historical performance enhanced by the MSW copy test results along with planned media delivery levels.

After the campaign had been running for six months, MIDA was updated with actual sales and television campaign delivery data. As seen below, the ROI for Copy A was approximately 90% higher than would have been expected from the historical benchmark ad performance level. On the other hand, Copy B’s ROI was only about 5% higher than the benchmark expectation.

This actual performance was extremely consistent with the copy test results which suggested that Copy A was a very strong ad, and that copy B was slightly above average. This result illustrates the utility of MSW copy test scores in the a priori forecasting of investment levels through integration with decision support systems. The integration of MSW copy test scores with a decision support system like MIDA would help steer marketing dollars toward more deserving initiatives, improve forecasts and bolster in-market effectiveness of brands’ marketing programs.

Categories: Ad Pre-Testing, Validation Tags: