Why the KPIs of brand value are changing in the cost-of-living crisis

Where once value might’ve referred to a cheaper alternative, in the current economic context, value now represents going above and beyond the transactional media investment.

One in three marketers aren’t fully confident in who their target customers are. Roxanne Harley, Head of Strategic Client Development, Azerion discusses how the definition of value has evolved, and brands can make the most of this new definition to get through the cost of living crisis.

The current state of the economy is making the lives of everyone more difficult every day, and this is providing the advertising industry with a significant problem.

As consumers spend less, how can brands continue to encourage people to purchase their products or services? The cost-of-living crisis, and the general economic climate, is proving to be a far bigger challenge for brands than the coronavirus pandemic. Incomes have fallen for everyone and all consumers, whatever their financial status, are having to make changes to the way they live.

Research has predicted that UK households will see their spending power cut by an average of £3,000 – or 10% – by the end of next year. This massive financial dent means that consumers are going to have to consider which of the brands, products, and services they buy are providing them with true value. And, in turn, advertisers are having to consider what value means for them as well.

The evolution of value

In advertising, value may have previously meant choosing a cheaper alternative but, in the current economic landscape, it’s now about going above and beyond the transactional media investment.

This means not just thinking about value in terms of financial savings, but in terms of delivering the best possible advertising to consumers, with minimal wastage. It’s telling that one in three marketers* aren’t fully confident in who their target customers are.

Marketers need to start looking at the role that increasing brand awareness and driving performance have to play in delivering value for their brands. Insight and creativity should be placed at the heart of brand campaigns, with insights providing strong foundations for the campaign, and creativity serving up engaging and interesting ads to the consumer.

Meanwhile, performance advertising should be driven by focusing on the KPIs that actually matter. One way to do this would be to look beyond outdated viewability metrics, and shift focus to attention metrics, which will lead to more engaging, effective, and efficient campaigns.

Getting these two pillars right will lead to the third pillar of value, because brands are able to identify who their target customer is, and reach only these people in the right places, at the right times.

Understanding the consumer

While getting the brand, performance, and value pillars aligned is important, brands can’t afford to ignore the ongoing cost-of-living crisis in their campaign efforts.

Any messaging within an ad needs to be empathetic of the situation that consumers find themselves in, and the creative should showcase why the consumer should still be considering the brand and the value the product or service will bring to their lives, even during this difficult period.

Targeting consumers without considering their possible economic status could create a negative perception of the brand, and cause damage long beyond the crisis currently facing us. That’s why it’s imperative that brands look beyond the transactional media investment, and work out who their current consumers are, because it’s likely the financial environment would’ve altered the size or identity of a brand’s target audience.

Whatever the economic climate, brands should be doing all they can to deliver value for the consumer, not just for themselves. By considering brand, performance, and value as three key interlinked pillars, both consumers and advertisers will reap the benefits. Marketers that get it right won’t just survive the cost-of-living crisis, but flourish.

By Roxanne Harley

Head of Strategic Client Development