Is short-term performance marketing crushing creativity?

5 mins

When you think of those unforgettable advertising campaigns of, which ones do you think of?&...

By Amy Halls

Senior Marketing & Talent Manager

When you think of those unforgettable advertising campaigns of, which ones do you think of? 
Chances are there will be one or two iconic campaigns that transport you back to yesteryear and you can still picture the ad vividly or remember the slogan...

Now, with so much competition and business focusing on maximizing return on investment, are we in danger of sacrificing longer-term creativity in favor of a more short-term approach?

Delivering creative adverts online, and the need to stand out in an extremely competitive marketplace is very much back on the agenda, and it’s by no means an easy feat.

Marketing teams are under enormous pressure to build an online brand that’s engaging, relevant, with campaigns delivered in context to consumers across a range of platforms and canvases.

The finance team and stakeholders and all want to see a return in their investment, and this can change the overall goals and potential outcomes for a campaign, be they long-term or short-term.

Increasingly, decision makers want to understand how their campaigns are performing today, how they’re affecting this month or quarter’s revenue, and ultimately decide whether the campaign is worth continuing with.

In this week’s episode of the Life in Digital Podcast, Ed caught up with Matthew Newcomb, CEO of Inskin Media, the global leader in delivering unmissable and unforgettable digital advertising campaigns for brands. Through specialized formats, the Inskin team helps enable brands to stand out and gain attention online.

For Mark and the Inskin team, the brands which get the creativity, and the context right will always stand the best chance of standing out and gain the greatest attention online.

Creativity is the driver of sales

It’s a real challenge that marketing and creative teams now face as pressure mounts to convince their businesses of the value in longer brand building campaigns that use brilliant creative, over running shorter campaigns where performance is easier to measure.

With uncertainties around budgets, the impact of the past 12-15 months on sales and growth it’s understandable that many businesses have focused on short-term thinking in order to protect revenues and get through the pandemic. 

Likewise, it’s understandable that businesses have focused on campaigns delivering in the short-term more recently. Many businesses are putting a greater emphasis on backing campaigns which, as Mark says, ‘is because people need to report back to shareholders. They need sales today rather than the hope of sales tomorrow.

The trouble with this, however, is it’s tricky to build a long-term communication strategy if the approach is centred around marketing outcomes in the short-term.

For many marketing teams, the difficulty in building their brand over a longer period comes in trying to convince other departments, i.e., finance, that the business will be getting a return on its investment. 

The good news is there are opportunities out there to really deliver on their ad campaigns, with a longer-term approach the most effective. As Mark suggests:

‘There’s no doubt that investment in long-term brand building with smart, clever, consistent creative ideas drive business and the best long-term creative work will drive sales by a factor of 8 to 16x.’ 

Therefore, if these departments can see the value in investing in campaigns over a longer period, and committing to great creative to build the brand, they will reap the rewards and see a successful return on their investment over time.

creativity illustration

How can marketers demonstrate value and persuade their finance teams to keep making the investment? 

Through reporting on the right metrics.

‘I don’t think you’ll get anyone disputing that creativity is important. For marketing to convince their finance teams that investing in brand building is worthwhile, it’s been hard to demonstrate that’ claims Mark. 

The times are changing, however, and some of the most positive developments over the last 12 months have been around the measurement of campaigns and the depth of insight marketers can deliver back to stakeholders.

Gone are the days of reporting on things like clickthrough rates as a measurement of success. Now, as Mark says, is that ‘you can start to measure the things that matter rather than just things you can measure.’ 

Digital has always been good at having things to measure, but these metrics have not always been useful in the context of long-term brand building activity. Therefore, communicating the value of things like attention and its impact on brand uplift are hugely important if marketers are to get continued investment in their campaigns 

There will always be a place for short-term brand campaigns, but as businesses continue to recover, the thinking should now reset and be shifting toward the long-term. 

Convincing those that hold the purse strings of the value of longer campaigns may be tough, but with the right measurement and creative at the heart of it, brand exposure and engagement will grow.

Thanks again to Matthew Newcomb, CEO of Inskin Media for joining our Life in Digital Podcast and sharing his insight and expertise on a range of topics relating to today’s online advertising world.

For more information on Inskin Media and how their specialized advertising formats regularly deliver above and beyond the levels of attention gained from typical display advertising, make sure to visit their website: 

For those interested to hear from Matthew, you can check out the latest episode of the podcast via our Life in Digital Podcast page. 

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