Marketing and Research Consulting for a Brave New World
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The idea is that the more time your customers are spending with your brand, the more they are engaging and absorbing your brand narrative (or co-creating it in a way that is meaningful for them and presumably, commercially advantageous to you.)

So how do people spend time engaging with your brand?  This is critical to learn and the answer might surprise you.

Clearly, consumers spend time with your brand on Facebook, as you probably have a brand fan page with many fans (those who have liked you).  .  For those I’ve studied, the Facebook fan page usually has many more fans than there are monthly visitors to the brand’s owned media website (e.g. about 15:1 ratio for Starbucks).  Given the size of your fanbase, you probably therefore assume that is number one in terms of time with brand. Now, in addition, there is traditional media.  I have always felt that paying attention to a TV commercial was largely predicated on voluntary brand experience.  Support for this comes from noting that recall scores are much higher for loyal users vs. marginal or non-users of a brand in every test I’ve ever seen.  So let’s add that in as a way that people spend time with your brand.  Finally, of course, let’s consider product usage.  That is certainly a way that people spend time with your brand. (Of course, there are many more touchpoints and social media platforms like Twitter, but let’s keep the example simple that I’m about to go through.)

So, here’s a quiz for all of you.

Consider a brand with 10% household annual penetration and 20 million units sold in a year ($100MM in retail dollar sales).

Assume the media is as follows:

  • Facebook fans: 1MM have liked the fan page
  • TV annual advertising budget:  $10MM which buys 1 billion 30” impressions
  • Owned website: 300,000 monthly unique visitors.

You probably are guessing that “time with brand” goes in this order, Facebook first.  Actually, in my hypothetical case, but based on reasonable patterns, the time spent with the brand is in the reverse order.  Facebook is lowest, and owned media is highest!

Facebook is both an engagement platform (if fans visit your page) and a broadcast platform (fans get updates in their streams).  However, the percent of fans who revisit the fan page monthly can vary wildly, so time with brand might be driven primarily from those updates which you can imagine generate only a few seconds of attention among that subset of fans who happen to be on Facebook around the time of the update. In my hypothetical example, the percent of fans who visit the fan page monthly is low.

TV generates a little under a million minutes of time with brand per month among users in my hypothetical example.  Here is how I get to that. I assume that 100MM of the impressions are delivered to users and that 20MM actually register in some way.  That leads to about 10MM minutes of time for the year.  (Of course, TV also delivers awareness against potential new users, so this is not its only benefit).

Owned media is the sleeper.  The 300,000 monthly unique visitors generate 1.8MM page views and 2MM minutes of time with brand in my example.

Only brand usage, or in terms of advertising, packaging rivals owned media.  If our 20MM purchases generate 100 MM views of packaging at say, 15 seconds per view, that yields 25MM minutes per year or a little over 2MM minutes of time with brand per month among users.

So in our hypothetical, but reasonable example, time with brand is driven much more by your owned media presence and packaging than by Facebook.

This leads me to four conclusions for improved marketing:

  1. You are probably surprised that owned media can generate the most time with brand and you are under-playing that substantially.
  2. You are probably placing less marketing attention on packaging than you should, especially given that on average 50% of brand choices are made right in the store.
  3. You are probably over-emphasizing Facebook vs. your owned media presence
  4. You are probably underleveraging Facebook by not finding ways of getting fans to regularly come to your fan page.

For your brand, all of this can be measured according to the structure I have laid out.  Of course, I’m happy to help!

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