Unravelling the Gordian knot of brand contact

Frank Harrison

Of the many challenges facing marketers, one of the most intractable is simply deciding where the marketing budget should be spent. How much should be spent on TV advertising versus online? Shouldn't more be spent on 'buzz' marketing? What about YouTube, Facebook and Twitter? Should point of sale get more? What about experiential marketing? Marketers are spoilt for choice, but choosing between options is getting harder and harder. Without comparable data across contacts, decisions can be subjective and risky.

Brand managers need a quick and affordable way to assess all the various contacts that consumers have with brands in their category. They need to know the relative influence of each contact, and how their brand is performing in each touchpoint versus competing brands. They need to know the relative worth and contribution of paid-for contacts compared to those that are owned (for example their brand's website) versus earned contacts (such as social media). This article describes, and summarises findings from, a globally deployed research method – the ZenithOptimedia ROI Tracker – that provides guidance on contact choice based on comparative metrics across all touchpoints.