Here are my learnings (from least to most effective), from Mark Ritson’s immensely insightful talk looking at 50 years of campaign data, and what really works in marketing:

10. Some market research is better than none (obvious), but too much research actually leads to worse results.

9. You want more than one objective, but more than 2 yields diminishing returns.

8. High level of differentiation has big impact, but most products are actually not differentiated, some or no differentiation had about the same impact on performance.

7. More channels = more effectiveness, results are multiplicative. 5 channels seems to be optimal, then diminishing returns.

6. Target a ~60/40 split on budget, 60 into long-term brand building, 40 into demand capture. For mature industries with high cost of customer acquisition invest even more into brand building (80/20). It takes 18 months to see better results than going all-in on short term.1

5. Brand build towards everyone in your category (mass marketing), and target only for demand capture. Yields best results.2

4. Share of voice (% spend on marketing of total marketing spend in industry), is roughly equivalent to your market share over long term.3

3. Codify everything, build distinctiveness. People should recognize your brand, use your colors, lines, logos, in everything, commercials, websites, materials, always. It’s cheap, fast, automatic. Why? It applies your brand to your demand capture. ; Also: Differentiation = slow, conscious decision making; distinctiveness = fast, automatic.

2. Good creative (the text, images, video, storylines) account for 47% of the impact of your ad.

1. Size. Bigger your brand, the bigger the advantage. Looking back at no.4, for every 10% increase in spend / targeted-market share, a small brand will only get 0.4 percentage points of those 10 every 18 months, while a big brand will get 1.4 percentage points over the same period.

Here’s the video, here’s the deck.

  1. Peter Field, The Long and the Short of It
  2. Byron Sharp
  3. ESOV

Venture Manager at Creative Destruction Lab, former VC, startup fanatic, tech geek. Reach out: [email protected]

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