Academic Research: High Quality Creative Unlocks Consumer Trust and Purchase Intent

High quality brand creative distributed through channels familiar to consumers drives exponential trust and purchase intent.

A recent study in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services proves this out through Amal Dabbous and Karine Aoun Barakat’s work ‘Bridging the online offline gap: Assessing the impact of brands’ social network content quality on brand awareness and purchase intention.’  Dabbous and Barakat explore the interplay between brand content quality, and brand interactivity on purchase intention. 

Dabbous and Barakat specifically examined how social content and offline purchase intent are driven by affective motivation, consumer engagement, and established brand awareness. The researchers sampled millennials, focusing on their interactions with sportswear brands. 

Their findings reinforce the primacy of the brand in establishing these interactions, even in an online-to-offline model.

  • The positive relationship between brand and consumer engagement is driven primarily through [brand] content quality
  • Furthermore, it was found that the aggregate effectiveness of brand awareness affects purchase intention at the greatest rate. 

Dabbous and Barakat find that “brand awareness and consumer engagement have a positive, significant impact on offline purchase intention.” Yet, their research reveals that engagement alone is insufficient, as it is actually the brand awareness and brand content quality that are the stronger drivers of purchase intention. In other words, distributing content collaboratively only works well if the content is of high quality. As such, brands with the highest quality content win out, and the contexts that allow for the greatest interactivity are driven by consumer’s established brand awareness. 

Learn more about how collaborative advertising dramatically increases content quality and brand awareness through a more personalized, localized approach to social advertising. Read The Indirect Majority – Why the Future of Social Advertising is Collaborative. 

The Secret Weapon Brands Need to Fight Against Facebook’s Rising Cost of Advertising

Facebook CPMs are rising once again, and it’s no surprise that as parts of the world begin to approach a more real sense of normalcy, brands are returning to the platform after many months of holding or reducing spend. While there has always been some seasonality to Facebook CPMs, both COVID’s upheaval and the social justice related black outs on Facebook posting in 2020 likely caused more dips and valleys than normal with ad delivery costs. Even still, AdExchanger is predicting that CPMs are going to continue to rise (and then some more once the holiday season hits). While it may seem like an unavoidable increase in cost due to increasing demand for digital advertising space, in truth, marketers still have much more control than one might assume to manage CPMs. 

Higher CPMs are nothing if not a signifier for increased competition, but in an ad auction system that factors ad quality and relevancy in its bids, you have everything you need to win – regardless of the competition. Facebook lays it out nicely, 

People prefer to see ads that are relevant to them, and when businesses show their ads to relevant audiences, they see better business outcomes. That’s why we consider how relevant each ad is to a person before delivering an ad to that person. Ads that are more relevant cost less and see more results.”

While all bidding systems have an element of variability, Facebook itself even warns against relying too heavily on relevance diagnostics alone. They do note “an ad that’s relevant to a person could win an auction against ads with higher bids.” As marketers, we need to consider our direct control over the inputs to our advertising campaigns. With increased competition on Facebook, it’s a race towards building the most clickable, relevant ads that consumers want to engage with. 

Tiger Pistol’s own data actually shows a different trend, from Q3 2020 to Q4 2020 our aggregate CPM did rise in the holiday period, but has been on a steady downward trend since, carrying into Q1 2021 as well.

In many ways, it is a story of the types of campaigns published through Tiger Pistol, which all tend to be brand focused micro-campaigns – hyper-local, highly-relevant ad campaigns that focus on specific consumers, products, and communities. The effect is a highly-focused ad unit, with a clear call to action and singular focus on driving a transaction at a point of sale.

Tiger Pistol campaigns, whether cross-channel or collaborative, are tightly focused on three key components: proximity, applicability, and transaction optimization – all of which contribute to better performing ads, as they are always constructed in a way that is most relevant for a consumer.

  • Proximity: Even under COVID, geo-proximity remains an important component of digital advertising. Tiger Pistol campaigns always work to deliver consumers ad units that feature the point of sale that is closest to them, whether that is a vending machine or convenience store for a CPG brand or a local insurance agent who serves their town.
  • Applicability: What’s more, a consumer living in a small town in Ohio, might have two or three grocery stores in town to choose from. A cross channel Tiger Pistol campaign ensures they are shown an ad from their preferred store, the one they actually shop at. If their neighbor prefers the other store? That same campaign delivers them a focused ad unit from that store.
  • Transaction Optimization: Brand campaign performance is often judged on ROAs, which is why transaction optimization is so important to driving ad relevance and performance. Our campaigns often feature 1-click or fully-contained transactions that allow consumers to interact with ads quickly and purchase products or services.

It is when all these are factored together that a campaign ran through Tiger Pistol is able to show a BOPIS (Buy Online Pick-up In Store) ad unit to the customer that always likes to buy online and pick-up from the store, and a home delivery ad unit for the consumer who prefers to remain at home. Send a campaign like this to Facebook, and you never worry about being irrelevant. 

Taken together, they become more than the sum of their parts. Put simply, it’s all about showing captive consumers where to buy products – capturing micro-moments with an easy path to conversion. It’s a recipe with many different flavors yet with the common denominator of data. If your CPMs are still rising, consider taking a hard look at your creative, your target audience, and the buying paths you ask customers to take. If it’s not imminently obvious where and how they can buy your product or service when delivered your ad, then you very well might be losing out. Advertising is just as much about being inspiring and captivating in the high-minded sense as it is about making it easy for your customers to purchase from you.

Ready to collapse your funnel with Tiger Pistol’s Collaborative Advertising?  See how it works. 

How to Increase Loyalty and Results Across Your Channel Network

Acknowledging the Facts 

Historically, the options available for brands to drive in-store sales and retailer loyalty have been limited to in-store promotional materials, discounted supply or offer support for retailers (ex. Consumer products brand provides free stock of iced coffee drinks, so the channel partner can sell it as a BOGO), and national branding campaigns. It is becoming more evident that social advertising has been a missed opportunity for brands worldwide to reach audiences through their partners, especially when 75% of sales have been occurring through in-direct channels. It’s time for brands to recognize that the future of social advertising is collaborative. Collaborative advertising™ presents a unique opportunity for brands to update their marketing approach by deploying localized, personalized campaigns to help bridge the gap between online and offline consumer activity. 

Bridging Gap Between On-Premise & National Campaigns 

Collaborative advertising™ is a connective tissue between national campaigns and point of sale advertising. 

National branding campaigns work well for broad awareness messaging; however, they tend to be impersonal, so they lose the connection with the point of sale. Establishing a strong relationship with consumers through the brands’ channel partners is vital for a consumer products brand in the retailer space since the consumers are buying the products from the brand’s independent retailer (7/11, Circle K, etc.) rather than from the brand directly. Therefore, national branding campaigns are not as effective in driving in-direct sales.   

In-store signage such as promotional posters or materials for products only reach consumers who are shopping at the retailer. This is a good strategy to increase on-the-spot purchases like iced coffee or an extra pack of gum; however, not all consumers act on impulses. Relying on in-store signage should not be your only plan of action. Collaborative advertising activates consumers nearest your point of sale. 

One method that seeks to bridge the gap between in-store and national campaigns is discounted supply and redemption offers. Discounted supply allows brands to support their channel partners through increased foot traffic and indirect sales while receiving increased brand awareness and engagement. All this sounds great, but if the independent store is not marketing the BOGO offer – who is going to know about the great deal? Collaborative social advertising allows brands to select specific channel partners to deploy personalized, localized campaigns for the BOGO offer. National branding campaigns cannot localize their messages the way that collaborative ads can. 

Collaborative social campaigns, with their use of brand-level creative advertised from local retailer Facebook or Instagram Pages, naturally link a brand’s products to the specific point of sale – directing consumers exactly where to buy. 

With the Right Data Collaborative Can Connect Online to Offline

Collaborative social advertising offers a better way to measure online to offline consumer activity. For example, you can measure in-store attribution by offering redemptions in store, analyzing shipment data for incremental lift in orders from retailers and tracking foot traffic. 

At the onset of Covid, a Global Fortune 500 beverage company used a collaborative social approach with their independent bars and restaurants to publish local social ads structured around community engagement, gift card sales, home delivery, no-contact curbside pickup in impacted communities, or to drive foot traffic to open channel partners. Five weeks after the campaigns launched, the company saw a 20% order uplift and a 8.1% volume uplift from their network of retailers.

Another method to measure online to offline consumer engagement is advanced attribution. When the largest U.S. specialty retailer of crafts and fabrics launched their COVID-19 mask-making initiative, they structured their collaborative social strategy around providing up to date, accurate information that accounted for all the individual stores’ local and regional COVID protocols. To measure foot traffic to locations, Tiger Pistol implemented advance attribution using mobile device signals. Campaigns published from Tiger Pistol were linked to a specialized data set that tracked device IDs and other consumer signals passively across the United States. Tiger Pistol’s platform worked with Facebook to match the consumer data set with the retailer’s campaign performance data to surface users who saw the ads, and then visited a local store. The advertisements helped drive individual retailers foot traffic while localizing the company’s social advertising to inspire a sense of community and drive participation in the initiative. Within the first month of the campaign, 4 out of 5 ads clicked resulted in store visits. 

Collaborative Social Bridges the Gap Between Online and Offline 

Collaborative social advertising drives product sales for your brands and ties the success to the retailer. Brands using a collaborative social approach will empower their channel partners and foster brand loyalty and satisfaction. Collaborative social increases brand preference within the retailer network. For instance, store-owners/supply managers are more likely to gravitate towards the brands that support their efforts to sell to their customers. Collaborative ads literally do this by saying “buy this brand’s product at this store” When there are new products, the collaborative advertising helps get the word out and directly drives sales. What’s more, the campaigns, while focused on specific brand products, ultimately lead customers into the store where they are very likely to purchase much more than just the brand product (i.e. an ad for candy bar at 7/11 may result in the purchase of the candy bar plus a drink. In the end it’s a virtuous cycle, the brand gets to sell more of their products, and retailers get to sell more overall. Everybody wins!

Find out more ways your brand can unlock its full potential with Tiger Pistol! Request a demo. 

Creating eWOM Through Scaled Social Advertising

Collaborative advertising presents a unique opportunity for marketers to generate exponential eWOM (electronic word of mouth) through indirect advertising. Unlike traditional marketing, which can be hard to measure, collaborative social advertising allows for end-to-end control and visibility into downstream conversations. However, social as a communicative platform does present challenges and risks to brands looking to expose themselves further, all of which can be accounted for with the right tools.

There’s a wrong way to create electric word of mouth through scaled messaging on social media and there’s the right way. The former entails shot-gunning non-local display advertisements, whereas the right way concerns deploying hyper-targeted, consumer-centric social campaigns with differentiated messaging, ensuring campaigns complement national branding efforts while generating reach with local consumers.

Driving Factors of eWOM Engagement 

A recent empirical analysis (2020) found altruism, attitudes towards eWOM, information credibility, information quality, innovativeness, sense of belonging, self-enhancement, and social support to be significant determinants of eWOM engagement (Ali et al., 2020). When consumers perceive any message to be credible, they are more willing to take part in such communication, yet consumers tend to be increasingly less responsive to passive forms of messaging. The scholars argue that the higher the perceived quality of information will increase consumers’ likelihood to engage. Collaborative advertising blends brand credibility with the consumer trust of local establishments/retailers. According to the results of the report, consumers are already active in eWOM, either through a strong sense of belonging to a specific community/brand or an open mind to innovation, further validating an indirect approach to social advertising where channel partners are activated as brand champions. 

Real World Examples

Real Estate

When a real estate franchise company ran television advertisements, they could see Nielsen Ratings and social mentions; however, these television advertisements do not offer enough insights to analyze. The company knew it could deliver more. By partnering with their local agents, the company opened the door to understanding how consumers respond to their actual inventory. Through a collaborative advertising program, company brokerages can track local agent activity to learn more actionable insights about their social program in aggregate — all while executing better performing, highly-personalized campaigns at scale. This enhanced the real estate company’s social strategy to support its brand-level efforts. 

“Tiger Pistol enables us to collaborate with and support our agents like never before. The platform allows our brand to reach into communities through our agents, who understand the distinct dialect of their local neighborhoods.” – CMO, American Real Estate Franchise

Consumer Products

A Global Fortune 500 beverage company had been using national television commercials and on-site print collateral to drive performance for their beer brands, but the company did not have a method to reach potential customers at the right time and place with a clear brand message to drive foot traffic to its worldwide network of bars, restaurants, and retailers. Collaborative advertising offered a method to publish on-brand content straight from local establishment social media accounts with interests and offers targeted to be relevant to consumers, strong calls to action, and quality, on-brand creative. 

“We needed a technology like Tiger Pistol to deploy not only local ads but ads that were based from the local establishments’ own Facebook accounts to truly drive consumer action. Achieving that goal but also doing it at a truly global scale would not be possible if we were just working with Facebook alone.”Global Director of Customer Experience, Global Fortune 500 Beverage Company

Learn how you can enhance your brand’s social strategy by adopting a collaborative advertising solution that supports national branding efforts and drives reach in aggregate through local affiliates. Contact us today.