TV is still the most effective medium to drive reach: Les Binet

Binet, Head of Effectiveness, Adam&Eve DDB Group, speaks to e4m in his first address to the Indian market during the Star Sports Knowledge Series

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Mar 1, 2021 10:44 AM
star sports

Les Binet, Head of Effectiveness, Adam&Eve DDB Group in his first address to the Indian market, during the Star Sports Knowledge Series, reinforced the power of TV to achieve reach and to build brands

If you want to be the number one brand in your category (and frankly, who doesn't), then you ultimately need to reach everyone who buys the category and, in fact, everyone who might buy over the next two to three years – this was in essence one of the key takeaways from Les Binet, Head of Effectiveness, Adam&Eve DDB Group in his first ever address to the Indian market. Binet was speaking at the Star Sports Knowledge Series earlier this month, an event that was attended by the broadcast player’s key clients across categories such as FMCG, BFSI, start-ups, digital, matrimony and more. Les Binet is an accomplished international marketer and researcher on marketing effectiveness, who has also co-authored books with renowned marketing consultant Peter Field on marketing effectiveness like ‘The Long and Short of It’. Over his illustrious career, Binet has worked for a wide range of blue chip clients, including AXA, Barclaycard, Heinz, Nestlé, Phillips, Unilever, Virgin and Volkswagen. He is also the recipient of the President’s Medal by IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising), the highest citation anyone can receive in that institute. Binet has also won more IPA Advertising Effectiveness Awards than anyone else in the history of the competition.

TV for brand building

Through his address, Binet emphasised the importance of Television as a medium for reach and brand building at a time, at a time where Digital appears to be the big focus for marketers. While Binet did observe that the synergies between Digital and Television work effectively for brands, marketers must not lose sight of the role that the latter plays in building reach and brands. Speaking about a short-term versus long-term brand-building approach, he observed that 60% of a company’s sales or business is generated through brand building, while short-term efforts or activations and attractive sales deals might account for just 40% of the revenue. Binet also noted that brand building must take into account not just consumers who are purchasing now but prospective consumers who may purchase two or three years down the line. 

TV as a medium is uniquely placed and an advantageous choice for consumers, since it achieves both short term and long term brand objectives. Binet also offered a comparison between TV advertising and performance marketing. Performance marketing, which is an increasingly popular choice among marketers today tends to have a big short term activation effect, but very little impact by way of long term brand building, he added. 

Binet’s point is clearly demonstrated from the success of diverse brands that have achieved monumental growth and established themselves in the minds and hearts of consumers on the back of strategic campaigns on powerful TV properties. For example, who can forget the series of endearing commercials that Swiggy released during some of the previous IPL seasons, driving up brand recall and app downloads within a short span of time? Today, the pandemic notwithstanding, the brand has managed to retain consumer confidence and trust on the back of its long-term vision backed by communication like its IPL campaign. Likewise, companies like Mondelez, Byju’s, Dream11, Vodafone (now Vi) and Voltas have also achieved brand building objectives on the back of their impactful association with platforms like the IPL broadcast on TV. Another interesting example comes from Digital companies like Amazon and Google, who spent years using performance marketing but today are spending on tradition mediums like TV because of its undeniable reach. 

Greater reach = campaign effectiveness

While targeted reach is best achieved through Digital, the best strategy in Binet’s view involves a wide reach that encompasses more than just a certain target audience group. If you can afford to do, it the most effective communication strategy is to talk to all category buyers, he maintained. He reminded marketers at the session that about 90% of marketing effectiveness is explained by the reach of the campaign, though unfortunately marketers today are obsessed with fine targeting. 

Binet also drew the audience’s attention to a third section of consumers that brands must train their attention on – consumers who buy the category though not necessarily your brand. He illustrated this through the example of a coffee consuming individual who may usually not think about purchasing coffee from McDonald’s. However, if a brand like McDonald’s has successfully built reach in its communication about its range of coffee offerings, then a consumer would consider it the next time they want a cup of coffee!

Achieving brand salience

Binet went on to explain that achieving brand salience is a really hard job. You've got to ensure that your brand is in people's minds whenever it's relevant. Creative work plays an important role in evoking the right feelings and associations among consumers, and outstanding creativity creates brand memories to build the brand in the long term. He added that once a brand achieves this kind of interest among consumers, the next step is to target consumers with relevant information, persuasive messages, offers and prices at the bottom of the funnel close to the point of purchase in order to convert those emotions and brand memories into concrete business results. 

While Binet did acknowledge the relevance of Digital in making that important connection with consumers, he pointed out that both Digital and TV used together in balance is what drive tangible, concrete results. To do good brand building and to do good activation you need online and offline working in synergy, he added. He added that brand building should in fact be the first step for marketers today and not the last. 

The big takeaways

Broadly, to summarise, here’s a quick look at the key messages from Binet’s address to the marketers at the Star Sports Knowledge Series

  • The fundamental rules of marketing have not changed.
  • Brands still need reach, share of mind and emotional appeal.
  • Creativity is a powerful force, but budgets matter too.
  • Budgets need to be balanced between brand and activation.
  • The digital revolution is making activation easier, so brand building is becoming more important, not less.
  • Online and offline media work in synergy. Smart marketers use both together in balance.
  • TV is still a powerful marketing tool, which makes everything else work harder, achieving short and long term objectives for brands.

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