The decision to focus marketing efforts on brand awareness or lead generation can feel like a constant wrestling match. In the auto industry specifically, the economic impact of the pandemic triggered brands to focus more (or only, in many cases) on lead-generation campaigns to achieve short-term marketing objectives and navigate the uncertainty. Only pinpointing a group of individuals who are willing to exchange their contact information without expanding the audience size through awareness campaigns is destructive on the long run.
Actually, stating this right now to auto clients with supply chain disruption and liquidity issues sounds only like preaching. The practical challenge became finding the balance between what is “unaccountable and pretty” and “accountable and gritty”: the first to expand the audience size by driving awareness, consideration and preference/ loyalty, and the latter for an ‘air cover’ of performance. There are very few formats to accomplish both.
In DMS’s activation for Mercedes-Benz, we discovered that audio could orchestrate the most harmonious dance between awareness and lead generation goals.
Audio has been known as a brand-building canvas, so brand uplift was something we are used to seeing. The new leap of faith was questioning performance (store visits). Can a ‘pretty’ audio brand-building campaign compete in terms of CPV (cost per visit) with your traditional lead generation tools? The answer is yes. In partnership with a third party, DMS’s data team devised a measurement framework to extract the number of showroom visits in KSA influenced by Anghami, then used this to deduce the CPV. The results were beyond our expectations with 15 per cent uplift in showroom visits for those who had been exposed to the ad, 0.1 per cent conversion to the showroom and a competitive CPV compared with other platforms. This came along with a significant uplift in upper-funnel metrics (2x growth in advertising awareness and 16 per cent increase in consideration).
Elaborating further on the partnership, Caley Coleman, regional senior marketing executive, Mercedes-Benz Cars Middle East, stated: “This level of technology served as a superb opportunity for the car launches, and footfall attribution is becoming an indispensable KPI. The campaign results were music to our ears – literally.”
Traditional audio/radio ads have been on tactical media plans for years, yet in our transition to digital audio, more than 80 per cent of the campaigns using audio are for brand building and disregard digital audio as a fertile ground for performance. Together with AMQ (Omnicom Media Group’s dedicated agency for Daimler), we identified an opportunity to leverage digital audio solutions.
Based on the results of Mercedes-Benz campaign, below are four tips to set the audio rhythm for your brand.
1 THE RIGHT DRESS FOR THE RIGHT OCCASION
Most of the time an audio ad that works for radio will not work for the always-connected audience streaming online. Long redundant copy with a dramatic build, theatrical voice over and call to action designed for offline engagement is not your best choice. Anghami produced multiple audio ads for Mercedes-Benz to ensure serving the right ad to the right person at the right time, with vibrant music in the background. Audio craft was key in catching the audience off guard.
2 HYPER PERSONALISE, TARGET, AND CAPTURE THE TREND
We knew that the CLA audience is even more youthful than the A-Class’s, so we built a platform for each separately while working in tandem. Deeper insights add value beyond just tactical execution. For the C-Class, we focused on engaging the audience with a dynamic personalised mixtape maker creating more than 6,000 playlists, allowing us to increase their engagement time to 36min (with 20min being the benchmark for average time spent). This very personal approach was coupled with a sponsorship of Anghami’s top trending playlist/market, making sure Mercedes-Benz sits on the charts. A mix between what’s trending and popular with what’s personal and niche is the recipe for standing out.
3 THINK CONSISTENT, CONTINUABLE AND CULTIVABLE
Develop your audio strategy before you think of the audio ad. While ad hoc audio campaigns are effective, developing a consistent and continuable approach doubles your effectiveness. With Mercedes-Benz, we curated a brand page on Anghami, a hub for all Mercedes-Benz content. Throughout the period of the campaign, Mercedes-Benz used the page to communicate with the audience using the most memorable format: songs. With more than 8,000 followers, the brand cultivated a community that is most receptible for their messages, something we used later to optimise our audio, video and display ads.
4 SET THE RIGHT MEASUREMENT FRAMEWORK
Groundwork needs to be better developed for measurement in the digital audio sphere. For a very long time, we have been applying the same traditional measurement framework to digital audio,
which was not necessarily applicable (think viewability versus audibility, for example), nor did it unleash the full potential of audio. For Mercedes-Benz, we challenged our assumptions and questioned the possibility of attributing footfall using GPS. Digital audio falls into two models: “walled garden” platforms and open web, which harnesses the power of consented, logged-in data, an identity-based world along with the needed breadth. Ideally, the perfect combo. Our job is to connect the dots between customers, digital devices and data to deliver omnichannel experiences. When challenged by the impact of the pandemic, are you going to choose ‘performance under pressure’, opting for traditional lead collection tools and hoping for the slightest increase in performance while
compromising on upper funnel metrics, or will you just yell “plot twist!”?