"As a digitally native marketer, I've recently been leaning more into brand and strategy from some of the leading experts in this field like Les Binet, Peter Field, Mark Ritson, Karen Nelson-Field PhD and Dr Grace Kite. I've decided to summarise some of the basics into an article for the previously un-initiated like myself. I fundamentally believe having a better understanding of these strategies, concepts and theories can truly elevate not just brand, but also digital marketing effectiveness. Explore the power of brand and strategy, emphasising long-term brand building, targeting, media mix modelling, data-driven decision-making, optimising your media mix, improving attribution, and creating stronger brands that stand out in the digital landscape."

In today's digital landscape, a strong brand and well-crafted strategy are crucial for digitally native marketers aiming to create more effective and sustainable marketing campaigns. The insights from renowned marketing experts like Les Binet, Peter Field, Mark Ritson, Karen Nelson-Field, Byron Sharp, and Grace Kite can help both digital and brand marketers develop impactful strategies that resonate with their audience.

  1. Long-term brand building and emotional advertising: Binet and Field emphasise the importance of balancing long-term brand building with short-term sales activation. They propose the 60/40 rule, advocating that marketers invest 60% in brand building activities and 40% in short-term sales activation. Emotional advertising, which has a broader reach and long-term impact, is more effective than rational or informational campaigns.

  2. Targeting and media efficiency: Ritson and Nelson-Field highlight the importance of precise targeting and media efficiency. By prioritising tailored messages for specific segments, marketers can achieve better results than with mass marketing. Contextual advertising, where ads are placed in relevant content environments, increases overall campaign performance and contributes to media efficiency.
  3. Distinctive assets and broad reach: Sharp's empirical data-driven marketing principles underline the importance of building and leveraging distinctive brand assets. These assets create mental and physical availability for the target audience. Sharp also emphasizes that brands grow by increasing penetration (gaining more buyers) rather than loyalty, prioritizing broad reach and focusing on light and non-customers.
  4. Data-driven decision-making and media mix modelling (MMM): Grace Kite's expertise in marketing analytics and media mix modeling encourages marketers to use data and analytics to optimize marketing resource allocation. Understanding the impact of different marketing channels on sales through MMM helps optimize investments and maximize ROI. Kite also highlights the importance of measuring incrementality, the additional sales or conversions attributed to specific marketing activities.

    Importance for digitally native marketers:
  • Balancing short-term and long-term goals: Focusing on long-term brand building 
    alongside short-term performance metrics creates more holistic and sustainable strategies.
  • Optimising media mix: MMM helps marketers understand the effectiveness of different channels in driving results, leading to efficient budget allocation and maximising ROI.
  • Digital attribution: Incorporating MMM and incrementality enables marketers to gain a more accurate understanding of how various touch-points contribute to conversions and adjust strategies accordingly.

Impact on digital marketing effectiveness:
  • Improved targeting and reach: Digital marketers can craft campaigns that resonate with a wider audience and attract more potential customers by leveraging precise targeting and broad reach.
  • More accurate measurement: MMM and incrementality help marketers evaluate the true impact of their digital activities, leading to more informed decision-making and improved campaign performance.
  • Enhanced brand equity: By focusing on long-term brand building and leveraging distinctive assets, digital marketers can create stronger brands that enjoy lasting success in the digital landscape.

In conclusion, incorporating insights from marketing experts and focusing on brand and strategy can significantly enhance digital marketing effectiveness. Embracing these principles allows marketers to optimise their media mix, improve attribution models, and drive better results in the fast-paced digital landscape.


By Adnan Khan, Co-Founder, Stitch
Chair of MA's Digital Special Interest Group