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Advertising Works - Stand and Deliver

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 22/02/2016 Advertising Week

By Gayle Fuguitt, CEO & President, The Advertising Research Foundation 2016-02-22-1456154343-7668182-GayleFuguitt.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-02-22-1456154343-7668182-GayleFuguitt.jpg
Advertising works. Full stop.  Modern marketers now have a better opportunity in front of them today than in the past four decades, to attribute sales to increased investment across ALL vehicles and viewing devices to confidently proceed to build brands customized to consumer needs.
In spite of literally mountains of scientific proof that advertising works, the C-suite's accountability mandate to link science to sales has been left largely unanswered.  As an industry we've gone radio silent and hit the "pause button" while we analyze, investigate, grade our own homework, compete vs. collaborate and over-complicate.
For my past 3 years leading the ARF, I've listened carefully and focused our time, resources and investment to answer these critical C-suite questions:  do my marketing dollars drive growth and sales?  If I have a dollar to spend how should I invest it across new screens: beyond traditional television, print and radio?
Today, we've hit the "reset" button to directly connect scientific proof that advertising works on individual platforms, and in combination with linear and reinvented television, and on print, radio, digital, mobile, and more. With our industry thought leaders, the ARF has come back with a definitive yes: advertising works and investing across more platforms drives greater sales. The consumer is there and they are hungry for your messaging.
At the ARF, we've conducted four major experiments in less than a year looking back over the past decade and quickly forward.
Our work entails original meta-analyses, and original experiments defining grand truths and proof that across 5000 campaigns, over 100 categories, in 45 countries, we can definitively prove attribution for over $375B in marketing spending to sales growth.
While the results are under embargo until our Re!Think 2016 conference, we now have clear, actionable scientific proof that advertising works, fully explicated across all platforms, including linear and reinvented television. These proof points include:

  • We will challenge conventional thinking and behaviors that marketing spending needs to remain flat, with investment being shifted between platforms vs. incrementally added where it can make the biggest difference, in specific order, vs. discounting.
  • We will deliver proof to the CFO that with the right investment - spent in the right way, sales will go up. The consumer is counting on us even more than the C-suite to understand their needs today and serve them with the brands they know and love, with messages and news that make their lives simpler and easier.

In the day and age of the "I want what I want when I want it" consumer (IWWIWWIWI), we look to embrace that consumer, their needs, how they consume media, and when and how we should be reaching them.
With them in mind, we have the answers well in place and will reveal them at our Rethink Conference for the first time on March 14th:  With my advertising investment, how do I allocate resources:  in what order?  Television first?  Tablet first?  Print as a primer? Radio to grab attention?  Where are the emotional connections?   Most of all, we invoke and invite the industry to stand together, collaborate, invest and take bold action.  Our time is now to stand and deliver as a community.  Together we will challenge conventions and discover new insights to build better brands.

About Gayle Fuguitt

CEO of 75+ year old advertising research organization, leading a vision to modernize, quantify and simplify growth opportunities and outcomes for our 400+ member companies and affiliates...Advertisers, Networks, Advertising Agencies, and Research and Consulting Suppliers. Mobilizing the organization to reinvigorate and globalize our solutions and brand. Engaging current and next generation research leaders to be the voice of the consumer at the global decision table.

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