Sum it up for me

Mark Ritson: Growth and the Peril in Purpose


Source: Mark Ritson: Growth and the Peril in Purpose

Podcast with World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).

The optimum number of channels?
Number of channels and their combined effectiveness

n = 4,855

  • Rows :: number of channels used
  • Columns :: effectiveness score

“What it’s telling you is the more channels you add to a campaign, the more effective it is.”

1 Channel2 Channels3 Channels4 Channels5 Channels
1 Channel + 19%1 Channel + 23%1 Channel + 31%1 Channel + 35%
5 years worth of more than 3 thousand campaigns in America.
  • Source :: – “One of my favorite research firms.”
  • First row :: % of all campaigns
  • Second row :: % more impact than 1 channel

The Value of Channel Diversity

Channel A + Channel BChannel A + Increase
TV + Online Video (OLV)TV + 35%
TV + Paid SearchTV + 25%
Out of Home Advertising (OOH) + Online Video (OLV)OOH + 18%
Online Video (OLV) + Paid SearchOLV + 13%
Paid Search + Online Video (OLV)Paid Search + 13%
Radio + Online Video (OLV)Radio + 9%
Out of Home Advertising (OOH) + Paid SearchOOH + 5%
Radio + Paid SearchRadio + 4%
Channel combinations and their impacts

“This is TV combined with online video. When you take a bit of your TV budget and you put it into digital video, you get on average a 35% boost in its overall impact. When they looked at any two media, and taking some money from the first and putting it into the second, not spending more but spreading the money across multiple tools, what’s amazing is, they always saw a synergy. Channel diversity always wins over channel apartheid.”

  • A x B > 2a or 2b, A x B is always greater than putting all your money on A or all your money on B
  • We keep missing this point
  • Digital vs Traditional, you know what the answer is, it’s fucking both


Quote from “The Empathy Delusion” by Reach Solutions and House 51:

Setting aside the erroneous belief that decisions are based on facts, this suggests that the major driving force behind virtue strategies is not the needs of the mainstream, it’s the assumptions and needs of the people in the advertising and marketing industry. Let’s not forget, we are an elite subset of the population. Most in the mainstream remain motivated by materialism (simply because they have less stuff and don’t take it for granted) and compensatory consumption of brands and goods that they believe ‘symbolically compensate’ for their perceived status deficits.

From Mark:

All of the fine and well meaning people that get up on stages and talk about the power of purpose, are all millionaires, literal millionaires. For most working men and women they don’t have those broad dreams, their purpose is to stay in employment, to afford health insurance, to pay their rent or mortgage, and to feed their kids. We are (marketing), I’m afraid, an industry that is above the consumers we serve.

Another point about purpose. It has to pass the 3 Cs test. Sometimes it definitely does. Purpose is a form of positioning. When we talk about positioning we talk about passing 3 distinct tests:

  1. Is it what the customer wants?
  2. Is it something the company can deliver?
  3. Can we do it better or different from the competition?

All so often we discover that the purpose doesn’t pass those tests. Sometimes customers want purpose. Very often in a piece of simplistic research they say “yes, purpose is very important to me”, until we look at the drivers of what’s really sending a purchase one way or another.

There are a lots of companies claiming to be driven by purpose, but we have a wonderful test called tax, which displays most companies to be entirely purposeless when it comes to actually behaving in line with their stated promises.

So much of this purpose stuff sounds and looks the same: make today great, making today better. Look at what happened during COVID. We had a lineup of identique brands all doing the same thing, all essentially looking the same with their tingly pianos and people looking out of windows and brands feeling customers’ pain. I guess my challenge in all of this is sometimes purpose works, but a lot of time it doesn’t. It’s the story of these rich millionaires with a big aspiration for their brands. Brands are not big things. Brands are little, little things. No one really cares about our brand or our purpose. Ultimately I believe purpose, more often than not, takes us in the wrong direction, but it’s cool and it’s trending.

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