Insight from RAMetrics
Introducing the RAMetrics funnel! An innovative new tool which can help us understand newsbrand ad performance a little better. By looking at how readers interact with print advertising, we can gain insight into the critical moments of truth. The funnel groups all the metrics into four layers; starting at ad recall, through to brand recognition, engagement and finally, action.
From our ’How people buy’ research, we know that newsbrands, along with other media touchpoints, help people through the buying process; particularly at the priming, brand building and consideration stages. In fact, 85% of people say that seeing a brand or product in their newsbrand “gives me more confidence that it’s right for me”. The truth is that people are always on a journey towards buying something; gathering ideas about brands and things to possibly buy one day. Newsbrands’ role is often to provide the detail that confirms brand and product relevance.
Before we get into scrutinising ad performances across the different advertising categories, here’s a little bit more about the structure of the funnel. Right at the top we have all of the readers that recall the ad. From there we move on to brand recognition measures – how easy was it to understand the branding? Did the reader previously know the advertiser? The next stage is engagement – did the reader have an emotional reaction? Did the ad convey any personal benefit? Lastly we move down to the final level, action – does the reader intend to purchase? Have they spoken about the brand? Will they visit the advertiser?
Only the most interested readers will keep moving further down the funnel. This proportion of readers corresponds with the conversion rate, a percentage change which allows us to see where the advertising categories are losing out on readers and where they are performing above average.
Using the RAMetrics database of hundreds of newsbrand print ads, we looked at ads across all categories, over a five year period (2013 – 2017). Using this as a benchmark, we were able to compare our chosen categories – supermarkets, retail (non-grocery), finance, telecoms and travel – against the all ad average.
So let’s start at the mouth of the funnel, which category has the most memorable ads? When it comes to print advertising, grocery retailers are on the ball (ad recall: 65% vs 61% for all categories average). Supermarkets perform above average across all measures (brand recognition: 48% vs 36% for all categories, engagement: 36% vs 27% for all categories, action: 20% vs 12% for all categories) and their conversion rates paint a similar picture (ad recall to brand recognition: 74% vs 59% for all categories). This category is particularly successful at getting engaged readers to take action (engagement to action: 56% vs 44%), which can translate to more website visits, more conversation around the brand and even encourage readers to look for more information.
Then we have retail (non-grocery). This category may not produce the most memorable ads (ad recall: 59% vs 61% for all categories’ average), but they are in fact still effective at converting readers down to the next stages (ad recall to brand recognition: 61% vs 59% for all categories). So creatively speaking, they could be doing more to involve their readers as we know that passive absorption of brand associations is a powerful way of influencing purchases. When we make our way further down, ads for retailers have a higher than average probability of converting engagement into action (46% vs 44% for all categories).
The travel category over the last five years has produced ads which are memorable, engaging and persuade readers to take action. Travel brands’ strength lies in transforming brand recognisers into engaged readers (93% vs 75% for all categories), converting a significantly higher proportion than the all ads average. This isn’t that surprising as we know from Newsworks’ research that for the travel category, most people on a purchase journey have a brand in mind right from the start. The engaged audience is then further converted into action-taking consumers (46% vs 44% for all categories) – who doesn’t want to go on holiday!
Ads in the finance category are less impactful (ad recall: 54% vs 61% for all categories) and as a result score significantly below the all ad average across all brand and action measures. Let’s keep in mind that not everyone is in the market for financial products at all times, so if we focus on readers that are already familiar with the brand, the financial services ads are pretty good at keeping them engaged (brand recognition to engagement: 77% vs 75% for all categories).
Similarly, when it comes to motors, only a minority of people will be in the market for a new car at any one time. It’s therefore unsurprising that print ads for cars are not involving readers as strongly as they could (ad recall: 54% vs 61% for all categories).