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Why brands matter more than customers’ enthusiasm

Even in Ireland it seemed that everyone in the industry had a copy of How Brands Grow in their laptop bag. More than a decade on from its publication, Prof Sharp discusses the impact the book had, whether the findings are still relevant in our fast-moving world and what his general take on marketing is.

Media planning: Who do you have to reach with your expression and is three really the magic number?

Byron Sharp's work has been very influential in media planning. Instead of targeting current buyers of your brand, Sharp says you can grow better by finding new buyers. These can mainly be found with other brands, so people who are already familiar with your category. Addressing as many of these 'category buyers' as possible shows the greatest brand growth. And since then, reaching the largest possible proportion of category buyers has been an important objective in many media plans. 

Byron Sharp is right: chasing fleeting attention is a waste of money

In Sharp’s most recent talk at the Mi3-LinkedIn B2B Next Summit, we’ve seen a similar misconception play out. Without considering the nuances of his argument, it appears he is dissuading marketers from using attention metrics. As quoted in Mi3’s article, Sharp says that “paying more for more than fleeting attention is a waste of money.”

Prof. Byron Sharp skewers Binet & Field’s 60:40 rule, smashes attention metrics, BVOD ad stacking, multi-channel amplification effect; tells marketers to sack agencies preaching share of voice quotas and bet the farm on always-on reach; Ritson backhanded

Professor Byron Sharp delivered a broadside last week at the Mi3-LinkedIn B2B Next Summit in a bid to bring marketers back to the fundamentals of advertising, brand building and growth. Marketers adhering to Les Binet and Peter Field’s formula around brand to performance budget ratios are basing investment decisions on questionable data, according to the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute marketing science supremo. He also said advertisers piling into attention metrics risk being “suckered” and implied that multiple iterations of ads – dynamic creative or otherwise – can weaken memory structures and hinder growth prospects. Going for a full house takedown, Sharp suggested proponents of cross-channel network effects are peddling a “myth” before lauding Professor Mark Ritson… for admitting he was wrong about the nuances of “sophisticated targeting”.

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