Building brand awareness using smarter brand activation.

A shift: What worked before might not work now.
Building credibility for our creativity & marketing.
Measurement tools to steer our brands.

I am really excited and pleased to announce a collaboration with RedRoute International to offer services as one of their Marketing Effectiveness Consultants, to our clients.

RedRoute International act on a global basis to help clients deliver winning marketing strategies through rigorous analytics, in-depth understanding and powerful insights.

This collaboration means a portfolio of smart models that maximise the value and confidence of marketing decision-making through the data-driven understanding and leverage of each of the functional and emotional motivations that trigger behaviour (student behaviour as an example), which could be through specific campaigns (Outreach ...etc) or general admissions and recruitment, other experiential events...etc. A brief overview follows:

A shift: What worked before might not work now or in the future.

It’s been said that what worked before might not work now or in the future.

It’s true that approaches to marketing have changed, but how should we go forward post pandemic? How can we take care of our brands and avoid those ‘drop off’ curves?

60% for brand building and 40% for activation.

There tends to be an optimum effectiveness of 60% for brand building and 40% for activation in communication budgets, says Les Binet 1. This ratio will flex depending upon the ease of brand building or brand activation… In other words, if the brand is very innovative (LifeSci brands for example) and activation is easier, then activation spend may be reduced and applied to building the brand.

The coronavirus has offered brands an opportunity to demonstrate the value they create for their stakeholders, an opportunity to reflect and refocus on what’s important and what purpose our brands play.

Consumers’ attention has shifted as the internet has swept in to help us manage our lives more effectively, and our behaviours have shifted too. This led to reactive marketing focussed on what was current and appeared to be working. However, this short lived approach has now settled, leaving many in marketing management wondering how and where to focus brand building activity to justify those increasingly important strategic decisions.

Building credibility for our creativity and marketing

People trust doctors, surgeons, lawyers, pilots or accountants: simply because they know these professionals are trained to focus on the right set of data.

85% of B2B CEOs (and B2C CEOs in prospect-driven industries, like insurance and education) would like more prospect-driven ROI Marketers who focus on tracking, reporting and boosting four Key Marketing Performance Indicators: Prospect Volume, Prospect Quality Rate, Marketing Effectiveness Rate (defined as the percentage of Marketing spending that directly generated prospects) and BizPM™ (business potential generated by Marketing).2

“People trust doctors, surgeons, lawyers, pilots or accountants: simply because they know these professionals are trained to focus on the right set of data to take the best decisions and achieve the best outcomes possible. CEOs trust CFOs and CIOs for the same reasons. It’s not a game of data, but rather a game of the “right & relevant” data for the right purpose and the right decision-making, with no fluff around” said Jerome Fontaine, CEO & Marketing Performance Chief of Fournaise. 2

‘Over the last decade or more, the complexities of channel proliferation and fragmentation have highlighted the need for a better understanding of how sales drivers affect operating models. The good news is that strategists and marketers have new-found skills to meet the challenges head on. Skills we need to capitalize on and embed as a way of life.’ 3

If this approach allows brand strategy, creativity and marketing to be perceived with more credibility by CEOs and CFOs, that has to be a good thing, right?

Measurement tools to steer our brands

Sophisticated marketing analytics once carried a misconception it was the preserve of multi national companies, but this is no longer the case.

Understanding what drives sales (for non-profits this could be their applications or memberships), in the new normal takes far more than market data and desk research. It means digging into what makes those brands tick and getting to grips with buyer motivations, optimising media budgets and knowing where to spend to maximise revenue and ROI, and to fully feel confident about justifying those decisions in that boardroom.

Smart brand activation can be achieved using diagnosis with sophisticated analytical solutions (using for example, econometrics). ‘Sophisticated marketing analytics once carried a misconception it was the preserve of multi national companies, but this is no longer the case.’ 4 Flexible, cheaper business models, more powerful and cheaper software and cloud based data storage and exchange mean these solutions are accessible to companies and organisations of all sizes.

Smarter brand activation allows for better forecasting and justification of marketing spend. To maximise the impact of our marketing we can build our organisation’s capabilities with confidence, using tools that are available to answer those more curious ‘what if we…’ questions.

Smart brand activation has many benefits, including:

  • Modelling audience behaviours to understand buyer motivations (to help our brand positioning, understand needs and desires, and respond with more useful solutions)
  • Optimise media budgets to know where to spend to maximise revenue and ROI, and;
  • Know the results of what those marketing plans could deliver, using AI driven modelling, in advance of implementing that activity across brand touchpoints.

Combined market research and data mining analysis have proven that the effectiveness of marketing activity in influencing buyer behaviour can be reliably predicted by measuring the perceptions of the brand’s offer across five key drivers:

  • RELEVANCY - Do I (as a buyer) need this? Is this product/service relevant to my/our needs?

  • ASSOCIATION - Do I/we want to be associated with this? Is this a brand/company that fits with our own ethical and moral code, as a business?

  • ACCESSIBILITY - What’s the time, effort, and cost involved? Could I/we readily buy and use this brand if we wanted to?

  • VALUE - Is the benefit I’ll get worth the effort/costs? Is this good value for money?

  • EXPECTATION - What are the chances I’ll be disappointed? 

The output of these tools provide the confidence to know where to take our brands and where to place our budget with summary graphs of brand performance on each of those five drivers, and benchmarked against competitor brands.

The academic basis for this model (RAAVE®5) comes from the fields of behavourial science and artificial intelligence, and uses core determinants of:
Cognition – our experiences, memories and expectations
Knowledge – the information we have around us now, what actions we can take and the goals we want (as consumers or buyers) to achieve
Self – our personal likes and dislikes, values and standards.

With the progressing of advancing tools and skills, is it time to adopt smarter techniques to improve our strategy and marketing to make our brands the best in class? Do we owe a better understanding of our audiences to our management colleagues and build the right services to show that value and defined purpose for our brands?

These solutions are accessible to everybody and RedRoute International have a successful track record delivering to mid size organisations, through independent marketing effectiveness consultancy. If you currently lack the data to make decisions or only commit to backward-looking measurement projects once or twice a year, please get in touch! (

3 Heylan, Poel, et al, American Association for Artificial Intelligence, 2003
5 RAAVE® is a protected trademark of RedRoute International