NCS Introduces Targeting Playbook for CPG Brands

Brand Growth Consortium Completes Research Project Aimed at Understanding How to Target Advertising for Better Returns

NEW YORK–June 13, 2018–NCS, the company that improves advertising performance for the CPG ecosystem, today announced a new playbook for CPG marketers that can identify which TV and digital media targets are expected to drive the highest dollar sales based on brand traits and creative effectiveness. Advertisers have long been divided on the best approach to targeting, some focused on targeting buyers and others with a counter strategy of targeting non-buyers. NCS and the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science have been the two primary researchers in this area. For the first time, in this project, the two organizations have come together with 50 CPG brands, five media companies and several respected industry institutions to explore the opposing strategies that marketers have been implementing.

“NCS created the Brand Growth Consortium to help our clients navigate the highly dynamic and fluid consumer environment and answer long-standing questions about targeting. We set out to analyze high quality data from many sources to uncover a new paradigm for ad targeting while maintaining the highest consumer privacy standards,” said Leslie Wood, Chief Research Officer, NCS.  “What we’ve learned will help CPG brands deliver advertising to the most responsive audiences, as well as identify when copy is not working broadly across the market.”

“The Ehrenberg Bass-Institute commends NCS from bringing together the 6 billion rows of data for this project,” said Professor Rachel Kennedy of the Ehrenberg Bass Institute. “Knowing when copy is working and combining it with knowledge about who a brand needs to reach for growth is vital for good advertising and media decision making.”

“NCS is continuously pursuing a higher standard of data-driven advertising to give the CPG ecosystem the insights and tools it needs to drive growth today and in the future,” said Matt O’Grady, Chief Executive Officer, NCS. “Our latest body of research will empower a whole new approach to media planning, based on predicted in-store sales response. There is still work to be done, especially related to long-term brand growth, but we believe this will positively impact how the CPG industry approaches advertising in the future.”

As a result of the research, NCS has created a Playbook for CPG Marketers with practical advertising and media guidance. Key findings from the research include:

  • There are three main brand signatures that show the purchase profile of a brand’s buyers, and how this changes over time. It is very hard for a brand to change its signature.
  • There is a disconnect in the industry today between brand strategies and creative execution. Because of this misalignment, ads are not necessarily working among the intended audience.
  • Advertising to consumers who don’t respond is a waste of media dollars and would be better spent on advertising to those who are influenced.  Alternatively, the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute would recommend identifying such poor copy quickly and redeploying resources to other executions that will nudge the whole market to profitable growth.

According to Dan Aversano, SVP of Ad Innovation and Programmatic Solutions, Turner: “One of the biggest questions we hear from clients is ‘who do we target?’ With this new information, we will be able to help our advertisers understand how to target for the highest sales response across our properties.”

“Purchase data plays an important part in driving our advertising strategies and NCS has been very useful in helping us make better media decisions,” said Michael Hugo, Director of Marketing – Analytics & Growth Strategies, Reynolds Consumer Products. “As part of the Consortium, we’re thrilled with how much we’ve learned and how we will be able to apply this Playbook across our brands.”

To encourage evidence-based media and advertising decision making for all marketers, Professor Rachel Kennedy and Leslie Wood will discuss this research in greater detail at the ARF’s AUDIENCExSCIENCE conference on June 13th.

Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science

Based at the University of South Australia Business School, the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute is the world’s largest centre for research into marketing.  This not-for-profit research Institute is the home of evidence-based marketing. Our team of marketing scientists are advancing marketing knowledge, busting marketing myths, and teaching marketers how marketing really works and how brands grow. Through our Corporate Sponsorship Program we help companies to develop and benefit from a culture of evidence-based marketing.