Nuts & Bolts - Attribution: In Your Face, Last Clickers!
David J. Reibstein—a bearded professor with a ready smile—doesn't seem like the type of person who would walk up to a last-click attribution believer and yell, "In your face!" But the Wharton marketing professor was quick to say half of ad effectiveness happens in the long-term—far past four weeks into its exposure to consumers.
He said so during a Wharton conference on May 16 titled Innovative Approaches to Measuring Advertising Effectiveness. As an audience member at the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI) event, Reibstein commented during the question and answer period of "Panel One: Field Experiments." His statement complemented a thought from Randall Lewis, a senior economic research scientist at Google.
Lewis had been saying the best customers may appear to be worn out after 10 to 20 ad exposures, but it may still be a good idea to continue advertising to them.
Reibstein says there's proof that a long-term strategy works:
1. Research shows there must be initial success within the first year of advertising in order for it to happen long-term, but that sales can then double during the next two years. —"A Summary of 55 In-Market Experimental Estimates of the Long-Term Effect of TV Advertising"
2. Don't "overinvest in price promotions and underinvest in advertising, new product development and new forms of distribution." Taking a short-term view—discounting its pickles for Walmart and reducing advertising by 40 percent—caused Vlasic to go bankrupt. Meanwhile, Nike stood its ground with Foot Locker, refusing to change conditions on prices and selection, and continued to invest $1.2 billion a year in advertising. —"If Brands Are Built Over Years, Why Are They Managed Over Quarters?"