| February 02, 2012
New evidence presented in this point of view (POV) by Duncan Southgate, Global Brand Director for Digital at Millward Brown, suggests that a brand should maximize both its digital and traditional media share of voice if it wants to grow. Knowing that digital share of voice (SOV) is a driver of growth is important, knowing that you can also measure that SOV is even better because then you can manage it effectively.
As Duncan notes, the argument that SOV matters is an established and validated one; there is clear industry evidence that higher TV SOV is likely to lead to increased market share. Knowing this, Millward Brown set out to see if the same finding might apply to the digital arena.
Lacking a historical measurement of SOV and market share data, Millward Brown used Consumer Value (CV) scores (CV is a survey-based estimate of market share) with BrandZ data, using share of awareness as a surrogate for share of voice to reflect how well a brand had cut through and lodged itself in consumer memories.
Subsequent analysis showed that brands with a larger overall share of media awareness are more likely to grow their share, and that growth is amplified if the brand also has a higher digital share of media awareness.
Brands that are able to increase their digital share of awareness, while simultaneously increasing their total media awareness, will almost double the likelihood of increasing their share of awareness compared to increasing total media awareness alone.
One of the key findings from the analysis is that the correlation between gains in both SOV measures and market share is stronger for infrequently purchased brands than for CPG brands. As noted in the POV, this makes good sense given the growing importance of search and consumer ratings in the online shopping process. You might not think to research a packaged good online, but if buying a car, mobile phone or booking a hotel stay, these days most of us start our shopping process online.
While BrandZ provides the proof that digital SOV is important, it is not enough to help clients manage their digital assets, which is why Kantar Media and Millward Brown have developed an ongoing monitoring system called Kantar Digital Share, which takes data from eight digital channels and combines them into a cohesive whole. The eight channels include paid (e.g. search and online ads), owned (e.g. web sites and fan pages), and earned (e.g. pass along and buzz).
The good thing about this approach is that it helps provide a more comprehensive view by combining activity across digital channels and putting the brand’s own activity into a competitive context. Different brands will need to employ different online strategies in order to be successful, but the data will help them understand whether their digital media are punching their weight.