March 10th, 2009
Our international partner Text 100 and its research arm Context Analytics have just released their Media Prominence Study (download PDF here). The study suggests that public relations/media relations may have a greater impact than advertising on brand value – especially for companies with complex products and high-involvement sales processes. For technology and computing brands (eg, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Dell…) 48% of brand value was explained by media prominence. 23% for car brands, 20% for consumer electronics and 19% for financial services.
This makes sense as these are categories where more research is done prior to purchase, and crediblethird-party information from editorial content or peers (via social media) is more trusted than advertising. In business-to-business technology sales a committee of people often become ‘approvers’. Your sales team may never meet them face-to-face, but they’ll use a search engine to find you, your media coverage and any social media comments.
However, advertising still has its place for low-involvement consumer and FMCG brands. Nils Mork-Ulnes, vice president, Context Analytics notes:
“The study revealed that, on average, 27 percent of brand value is tied to how often a brand appears in the press, and that brand value can rise as high as 47 percent depending upon the complexity of the product category. On the other hand, when we correlate brand value to ad spend, this can be as low as 2% for complex products or as high as 24 percent for low-involvement brands.”