Content marketing is enjoying exponential growth across the advertising industry, but additional metrics are required to ensure its impact and return on investment is better understood.
The content marketing industry is estimated to be worth more than £5 billion in the UK, according to the Content Marketing Association, and Enders Analysis expects spend in the sector to continue to grow triple digits to represent 52 percent of all internet display ad spend by 2020.
Bloomberg Media Studios in EMEA believes that the industry needs to invest in better metrics, particularly when it comes to engagement, purchase intent, and perception, to sit alongside the more standard metrics such as unique users and dwell times. As such, the in-house agency has partnered with DVJ Insights to conduct a series of quantitative and qualitative research work across a range of clients.
The first completed project has been for The BMW Group which was looking to celebrate its centenary.
The BMW Group wanted to shift its brand perceptions, highlighting the group’s leadership in areas such as future thinking and innovative engineering and design, helping to shape tomorrow’s world. Alongside the existing challenges around measurement in the wider industry, Bloomberg Media Studios worked with independent research agency DVJ Insights to provide benchmarks that more accurately reflected the client’s KPIs, demonstrating the power of content marketing to change brand perceptions.
With the automotive sector in the midst of mass disruption, the #Beyond100 campaign addressed many of the major megatrends currently impacting mobility, from digitalisation and urbanisation to the shift towards more sustainable living and the growing demand for customised solutions.
Running across six months, the campaign centred around a microsite which housed all the content. This ran in the form of 100 Q&As with key BMW Group leaders and industry specialists, running across Bloomberg Media’s portfolio of print, video and digital media.
The campaign also leveraged data and trends from Bloomberg Intelligence, Bloomberg Media’s bespoke data division, to help bring #Beyond100 to life.
The partnership was devised in close cooperation with Ketchum Pleon and Vizeum, running across Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg Pursuits and Bloomberg.com, with supporting social media activity across Bloomberg and the BMW Group.
Key findings from the #Beyond100 campaign:
Consumers were asked their associations with the BMW Group before and after seeing the content, scoring them under the following attributes – positive, unique, relevant
For those that attributed scores to all three, the association score rose from 58% pre
content to 67% post content
25% increase in those agreeing BMW is at the forefront of engineering
41% increase in those agreeing BMW is helping shape tomorrows world
17% increase in those agreeing BMW is futuristic
When scoring against the DVJ Insights global database of advertising benchmarks*, the #Beyond100 custom content exceeded their top 20% benchmarks across key metrics for excitement, distinctiveness, personal relevance, brand fit and willingness to share.
Bloomberg BMW Group Score
DVJ Insights Top 20% Benchmark
The custom content was also a great driver of purchase consideration with 74% of the target audience more interested in buying a BMW as a result of seeing the advertising.
Brand Story Telling
To ascertain a consumer’s emotional connection with the BMW Group, respondents were asked to write a down a story based on their own experiences, feeling or ideas after viewing the custom content. There were eight key themes that emerged from the stories, the below capturing the essence of the campaign as a whole:
“BMW is a leader in the new age of technology and automobiles. They are leading a new revolution in using technology to make automobiles safer, cleaner and integrated into our daily lives.”
Phil Robinson, Head of Research EMEA, Bloomberg Media, says: “Our partnership with DVJ Insights enables us to prove the power of content marketing in delivering Brand impact. The approach enables us to provide brands with a deeper understanding of how users engage with commercial content and a richer level of insight into how content marketing is a powerful medium for changing people’s brand perceptions and creating a strong emotional bond. This is reflected through understanding users’ implicit feelings, thoughts and associations with the brand and how our content effects these perceptions."
*DVJ Insights consumer reality approach provides robust global benchmarks based on hundreds of copy tests conducted across different sectors. The benchmarks are used to assess the average performance, and the top 20% performers on advertising and concepts, across multiple media assets.
Simon McDonald from DVJ Insights advises their clients to always aim for the top 20% level, as it has been observed that top performing ads require significantly less media spend to achieve the same level of awareness as poor performing advertising. With advertising avoidance increasingly becoming the default, it is essential to generate engagement in order to deliver cut through and media messages.