Measuring Advertising Effectiveness

By William D. Wells | Go to book overview

1
Comprehensive Measurement of Advertising Effectiveness: Notes From the Marketplace

Christine Wright-Isak Young & Rubicam, Advertising

Ronald J. Faber Lewis R. Horner University of Minnesota

When the economic environment becomes difficult, marketers demand proof of advertising's effectiveness, preferably in numerical terms. Unfortunately, few marketers can agree on what standards advertising is expected to meet, or even what constitutes definitive proof. We are in such a period now. In a time of recurring recession and in an environment of advancing globalization of companies, products, and brands, many brands are experiencing low growth in unit volume and increasing competition from private brands and generics ( Eechambadi, 1993). In this business climate, advertisers want to know what they are getting for their advertising dollars. Industry researchers are often asked whether academic research will provide answers.

The proof called for is usually short term. Brand managers must account for yearly budgets to their division heads. The question asked about the advertising is whether its performance justified its proportion of last year's marketing budget. Agencies scramble to produce facts that indicate a positive evaluation of the advertising contribution. Everyone is on the defensive. Effects are hard to isolate because advertising merges with other elements of the marketing mix and with nonmarketing aspects of the message environment.

To further complicate the problem, stress on short-term evidence ignores some of the most important contributions advertising can make. In a speech to the Association of National Advertisers, Richard Costello ( 1991), Corporate Communications Manager for General Electric, declared that the value of corporate advertising was long-term creation and maintenance of goodwill that enhanced his company's ability to do business. He went on to state that effectiveness can be calculated by taking the difference between the market

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