Damn, Got The Easy One Wrong!

17 Jan

In my last post, I responded to ph hanky on his/her comments on P&G’s marketing mix modeling efforts, reported last year.  Ph asked a question about P&G’s MMM partner, which I said was an easy one to answer.  So I did.  Incorrectly – as my friend Mark Weiner, President of Delahaye, kindly pointed out to me in an email yesterday.  The correct answer should have been Analytic Partners and the modeling group.  I apologize to the parties involved for the error.

Mark went on in his email to ‘set the record straight’ with respect to a couple of points in ph hanky’s post.  Mark gave me permission to share the email with you, so here it is.  -DB

Don,

 

Thanks for your perspectives on market mix modeling:  I agree with your position on the unfortunate absence of any evidence to support the diminishing returns of PR spending.  While our marketing mix experience has given us examples of the diminishing returns of advertising and price promotions, there isn’t enough spending in PR to have yet reached that threshold.  I am certain that such a phenomenon exists within PR for the same reasons that make PR so uniquely powerful within the marketing and communication mix, and that is the power of the journalist’s third-party objectivity…at some point, the journalist can’t digest another story about mattresses.

 

That being said, I must say that ph hanky’s slip is showing:  the sweeping generalizations which are directed at P&G and Delahaye actually belong to hanky.  Here’s what I would have said to ph hanky had I been given an opportunity:

 

  • Delahaye DOES conduct marketing mix modeling.  However, in the P&G case, Delahaye provided only the proprietary PR data which enabled their pre-existing model to work.  Many PR data sources were tested but only Delahaye’s data succeeded in representing the unique role of PR within the marketing mix .  So it would be fair to say that while Delahaye has done marketing mix analyses for companies whose names you’d recognize, P&G’s MMM partners and in-house team took care of it in this case.  We’re sufficiently proud of our role in helping P&G specifically and in elevating the role of PR universally.
  • I can assure you that a great deal of vigor (sic) was applied to the analysis, and that “vigor” was magnified with a great deal of “rigor.”   I suppose that one can argue that if P&G is allocating it’s significant marketing resources based on their marketing mix analysis, it has to be sound research.  As for Delahaye’s data, it has successfully passed testing for Six Sigma compliance (3.4 defects per million opportunities) not once but twice…that’s a result of our rigor and vigor.

With the emergence of blogs and consumer-generated media, we run the risk of creating an entire media category based on assertion rather than validation.  With so many resources available via the web, it is easy to avoid sweeping generalizations.  It’s in the spirit of accuracy — and the fact that I believe that this blog is an important one — that I feel compelled to set the record straight. 

 

Mark Weiner

President

Delahaye

Ph:  203-663-2446

Fx:  203-899-1612

3 Responses to “Damn, Got The Easy One Wrong!”

  1. Chandrashekhar C.S. Singh May 9, 2007 at 3:46 am #

    It is amusing, everyone likes to quote P&G as proof that media mix modeling is best for whatever line of business in which they operate. Here is the MPA (Magazine Publishers of America) saying P&G’s MMM shows magazines to be the best place to spend ad dollars:

    http://www.magazine.org/international/22437.cfm

    He reminded attendees that one engine of accountability—media mix modeling—is fundamental for most package goods companies, many with a strong footprint in Mexico. He quoted Don Gloeckler, Manager, Media Research, Procter & Gamble, to this effect: “If you haven’t already done a marketing mix model for your brand, do that first.” And from Michael Lolito, CEO, Media IQ: “ROI is the Holy Grail. You want to know something about how your brand is being used, do that first.”

    Eadie explained marketing mix modeling as a way to examine how budget reallocation can improve ROI performance and noted that studies that looked at 340 brands over five years have been very consistent. In short, a balanced media mix yields higher ROI. After trade promotion, magazines are the most effective in the marketing mix. Magazines are rarely saturated with advertising while advertising on TV often exceeds the point of no return. Eadie concluded that significant gains in total advertising impact can be achieved by reallocating over-saturated TV “weight” to magazines.. These findings have been consistent across key categories: automotive, financial services, OTC and personal care.

    Does anyone have more information on the firm that conducts MMM for P&G? Perhaps the firm works with a University or professor who can shed a more academic light on the techniques being used by P&G? One never knows unless one asks.

  2. Don Bartholomew May 9, 2007 at 2:48 pm #

    Thanks for your comment. While it is fair to say many MMM results may suggest a shift from TV to magazine advertising, ALL of the model results I have seen strongly suggest a reallocation from advertising in general to public relations! The respective funding levels are such that PR is rarely, if ever, deemed to be at a point of diminishing returns. So go ahead and shift a few dollars from TV to magazines…right after shifting some ad dollars to PR. -DB

  3. Chandrashekhar C.S. Singh May 9, 2007 at 11:31 pm #

    Thank you for your response. I understand your position and you probably have a valid point in seeking to spend on PR. My point was that P&G MMM seems to say all things to all men. PR men see validation of PR. Magazine men see validation of magazine advertising. What does P&G MMM really tell us when P&G MMM says all things to all men? Those are my thoughts and my curiosity on the topic.

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