Nurture@JCDecaux was created in 2015 to scale startups by generating brand fame and familiarity through out-of-home advertising. Over the last two years, we’ve heard first-hand the challenges startups face in achieving their growth goals.

Attribution is the unicorn of the marketing industry, that piece of data driven information that will guide us to know exactly what marketing communications are really engaging our audiences to influence their purchase. Once captured, you would know what, where and how to spend your money and resources to get the best business results.

On Monday 4th December, we ran a roundtable discussion with startups from Future Fifty, giving us a fantastic opportunity to explore this elusive topic of attribution and measuring effectiveness that marketers face every day – accepting that this is a huge subject!

Top tips from the session included:

    • Ensure a balance of brand-building and sales activation across marketing channels.
    • IPA research taken from 30 years and 1,000 individual case studies shows 60-70% brand vs. 30-40% activation to be the sweet spot for long-term growth.
    • Make sure KPIs include brand targets as well as performance targets.
    • Put audience and data at the heart of marketing strategies, but don’t forget the value of mass one-to-one broadcast.
    • Consider longer attribution windows to measure top-of-the-funnel effectiveness. Brand-building will take longer to move the dial, but effects will be better sustained.

Digital out-of-home has transformed the way we approach and plan campaigns, integrating data and putting audience at the forefront of our strategy. We’re leading the way with investment into digital, both in terms of the dynamic capabilities of our screens – which can react to weather, temperature, social media and data feeds – but also in terms of our planning, which now incorporates unprecedented levels of data and audience insight to target the right people in the right place, at the right time to make advertising budgets work as efficiently as possible.

Because of this digital investment, we continue to work hard to prove the effectiveness of out-of-home campaigns to ensure our advertisers have the confidence to step into our media, often for the first time. Gone are the days of scattered billboard campaigns – we have to show that our media will influence our advertisers’ KPIs, and the front-end investment in data and insight is a huge part of this.

A balance between brand-building and sales activation lies at the heart of this strategic thinking. Brand-building is essential for ensuring sustainable, long-term awareness and consideration, while sales activation will drive hard metrics line in the short term. Research from the IPA reveals that 30-40% sales activation and 60-70% brand buildings generates the optimum business impact. As a business, we recommend this to advertisers of all budget levels, from scale-ups to heritage brands.

However, the role of brand-building into long-term revenue can be much trickier, and one that can often leave marketers challenged to justify spending when budget-holders cannot see an immediate return. This challenge is our challenge at Nurture too. Should attribution periods be longer? What is the right balance between performance and brand? How can we deliver sustained brand uplift?

It was great to see so many people to hear what this digital transformation means for attribution and effectiveness, and continue to be challenged on how Nurture can generate the growth startups demand. We hope the discussion continues, the challenges keep coming, and we at Nurture can develop better and better solutions for the UK’s thriving start-up industry.

Joe Hills, Head of Nurture

Joe Hills began his start-up journey selling and distributing organic food nationwide, during which he got a taste for working in the disruptive start-up world. Having worked in media and advertising for the past 7 years, Joe has return to this disruption, once again being part of the energy and buzz prevalent in early stage businesses. He is now Head of Nurture at JCDecaux, running the programme to help scale startups through outdoor advertising. Since launching Nurture he has delivered campaigns across multiple categories, helping over 60 businesses to generate brand fame and scale.