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Why It Is More Important Than Ever to Integrate Brand and Performance Marketing

blogJanuary 1, 2024

Article by Vanessa Eagle, Head of Investment at iProspect UK.

In my 39 years of life there has never been a more uncertain 24-36 months.

In fact, we are all now used to the fact that the only certainty in our lives is a level of uncertainty. It’s a mad world and to predict the future would be fools play.

According to dentsu’s latest research, Read the Room: ‘72% of UK consumers believe the UK will enter a recession in 2023 and over half of all UK consumers are anxious and struggling with their finances.’

And so with Christmas coming and an uncertain 2023 on the horizon, how should brands be planning for this unsettled future?

I believe the best thing we can do from a media investment perspective is to hedge our bets. I would spread my media budget like this: Commit 60% to brand and performance, 30% agility pot to flex strategies in real-time based on changing consumer demand and cultural and economic trends with 10% set aside to test and learn. That final 10% is key, allowing brands to gather learnings and be poised to jump when opportunity arises.

As James Bailey, our CEO recently wrote, a brand won’t perform when we run ‘performance media’ if the brand is unrecognisable with no budget spent investing in elevating it to a ‘well-known brand’. We need to do both and actually we need to stop separating the two. They are stronger as one and the same. 

To invest everything into performance media may deliver on a short-term goal but could leave brand scores in decline as we bounce back from recession further down the line.

And where it might feel risky to invest heavily in brand media such as TV, OOH, BVOD, display digital – that ‘risk’ can and will generate greater rewards in the future. CTV (connected TV) is one of our growing media channels which can deliver on both brand and performance, and we’re trialling this with many of our iProspect clients. CTV is becoming a powerful platform as you can do the job of linear TV – audio visual copy, often on large flatscreen TVs, to create an emotional connection – whilst also offering the opportunity to drive a purchase or an inquiry there and then through QR codes, link to advertisers’ sites and more.

With some more rocky time ahead and not just the highs and lows of the of World Cup…(!) it’s time to hedge our media investment bets for short and long-term growth. Let our New Year’s resolutions be to remember the value of brand media in support of performance media, and test, test and test again.