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Striking the Right Balance Between Brand and Performance in Retail

Last updated: September 3, 2019

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When planning campaigns, marketers must strike a balance between encouraging sales in the short-term, and building their brand in the long term. Finding and implementing the right ratio for short-term and long-term marketing initiatives isn’t easy – nor is measuring their success. While 85 percent of marketers believe that accurate marketing ROI measurement involves a short-term and long-term focus, only 52 percent of advertisers believe they’ve achieved this balance.

However, marketing teams for retail brands like Adidas are taking the initiative to create a balanced marketing mix. Adidas previously put a sizeable focus on short-term promotions within their strategy, but this resulted in a lack of brand health in specific key markets. As a result, they decided to integrate campaigns that focused on improving their brand’s image through long-term initiatives. That being said, Adidas still recognizes that good brand health alone doesn’t create the same volume of sales as short-term promotions.

Learn why retail brands must consider both long-term and short-term strategy to maximize their success in a competitive marketplace.

What Are Short-Term Campaigns?

Short-term campaigns are typically sales-focused, and encourage customers to purchase a product using promotions like discounts, or free samples. These types of promotions attract new customers into the sales funnel, resulting in a near immediate increase in revenue.

Since these short-term tactics can easily be measured with KPIs such as sales volume and revenue, they’re very effective for displaying how successful a particular campaign was. This is because marketers can directly quantify their progress towards KPIs while a campaign is in flight, and receive valuable metrics once the campaign is finished.

With marketers being under more pressure than ever to use data to prove their success, this ease of attribution has caused short-term metrics to enjoy an excessive amount of popularity. Meanwhile, long-term campaigns have fallen to the wayside, as collecting and interpreting data is much more difficult, and harder to prove ROI to stakeholders. While short-term metrics are useful to fuel the success of long-term branding campaigns, marketers must understand these metrics cannot tell the full story of a brand’s health.

What Are Long-Term Campaigns?

Long-term campaigns are brand focused, and build a brand’s image through tactics like loyalty programs, services, and even remarketing initiatives. Ultimately, these campaigns seek to align the brand with the consumers values for a better customer experience and post-purchase perception.

These strategies have a positive impact on sales – but the progress is much more gradual, and more difficult to measure. The sheer process of creating an effective long-term strategy often takes months, and shifting a customer’s perception of a brand is an even more slow-moving process.

However, executing a long-term strategy is absolutely integral to a brand’s continued success. This is because these brand-building techniques have a sizeable impact on retaining existing customers. Not only do existing customers spend 67 percent more on average than new customers, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing customer. This means that retaining customers by building brand loyalty will result in additional sales and cost savings for your organization. By crafting a solid long-term strategy, you can ensure that your brand continuously builds value and stands the test of time.

Using Unified Marketing Measurement for a Balanced Strategy

Due to the merits of long-term and short-term strategy, retail brands are trying to find a happy medium for their overarching strategy. For Adidas, this meant adopting a 60/40 rule, where they invest 60 percent of their strategy into brand building, and 40 percent into encouraging short-term sales.

Despite the differences in approach, these two strategies can go hand-in-hand, with metrics from short-term initiatives being used to inform an organization’s long-term strategy. To accomplish this, find which specific messages from short-term promotions resonated with customers, then work those messages into your long-term strategy’s framework. This way, marketers can communicate the value of their long-term strategy by referencing metrics from their short-term strategy. To inform these decisions, many marketers turn to unified marketing measurement (UMM) for a unified view of long-term and short-term data from all sources.

What is Unified Marketing Measurement?

Unified marketing measurement is a holistic form of marketing measurement that combines both aggregate and person-level insights. By leveraging marketing mix modeling, UMM can capture long-term insights into shopping patterns and trends, informing and measuring the success short-term promotions over time. In addition to this, UMM can leverage person-level insights from multi-touch attribution help to inform the ideal messaging for branded campaigns. This allows marketers to get a comprehensive view of which campaigns are truly driving conversions, regardless of whether these campaigns are deployed online or offline.

Why Use Unified Marketing Measurement for a Balanced Strategy?

Without a unified approach to strategy, marketing teams will struggle to ensure their overall strategy uses the right mix of long-term and short-term initiatives. By using UMM, marketing teams will be less biased towards short-term wins as they will be able to close gaps in their brand tracking initiatives, allowing them to better measure their impact on the brand’s long-term success. In addition to this, UMM will break down data silos that could be fragmenting the short-term goals of your marketing team. For this reason, unified marketing measurement will greatly assist in informing both short-term and long-term strategy.

Final Thoughts

Due to the difficulty of measuring and attributing success in long-term and short-term marketing initiatives, organizations would benefit from implementing tactics like Unified Marketing Measurement. UMM uses advanced marketing tactics such as multi-touch attribution, conversion ROI, and marketing mix modeling, giving organizations an edge over their competition. With UMM, organizations may build their reputation over time, while still influencing a marked improvement in sales. By using data from these tactics, organizations can be confident in their current and continued success.

Written by Marketing Evolution