Why Fear of Commitment May Be Holding Your Brand Back

Photo by Kekai AhSam on Unsplash

If you’re afraid of commitment, it’s a good idea to try and understand the root cause of the problem in order to have a healthy future. It could lead you to self-sabotage and not having healthy relationships. And in this case, we’re talking about sabotaging your brand and not having healthy relationships with your customers. 

Digital enables us to adjust tactics quickly, see results fast, and rapidly test different messaging. But while those things can certainly help a campaign, the pressure of immediacy can be a detriment to overall, long-term success. We know that some of the most enduring and memorable marketing campaigns have been the result of solid messaging that we see consistently, and now, there is data to support that. 

Developed by James Hurman, and Peter Field, along with WARC,”The Effectiveness Code” analyzed over 5,000 effectiveness case studies from Cannes Lions effectiveness awards, WARC effectiveness database, and the IPA databank, to determine what exactly are the elements of campaigns that actually make an impact. The findings were consistent across several industries that were studied. 

The core of their findings is “Creative Commitment.” And effectiveness Increases as greater budget, duration, and media channels are dedicated to campaigns. And conversely, effectiveness decreases as commitment to those things are reduced. 

The continued rise in digital  coincides with the decrease in commitment. Over the past 10 years, duration of campaigns has decreased and campaign budgets have seen reductions over the past 5 years. 

Campaigns with small budgets may suffer the most from a lack of commitment and some counterintuitive discoveries. When it’s small budget time the default response is often, “Let’s not spread ourselves out too thin across tactics and duration.” It seems logical – if you concentrate on fewer tactics condensed into a shorter time period you’ll increase the weight during that time period and increase the chances your communication will be seen. However, that “small budget fallacy” can steer your brand wrong. The data in the study shows that even with small budget campaigns, running over a longer period of time, and using more channels compared to fewer.

A study by the  Advertising Research Foundation  found that adding an additional channel to a single platform marketing campaign increased ROI by 19% and up 60% in some incidences. 

Commitment doesn’t stop with budgets and duration. Committing to emotionally engaging creativity is an essential part of the formula for effectiveness. In fact, the study cites another study from Data2Decisions showing that “creativity was the single biggest determinant of advertising profitability, and several times more powerful than the other levers marketers can control”. 

One of the biggest challenges is being granted the leeway to see a campaign through a full, committed-duration lifecycle. With the average tenure of a CMO at only 41 months, having the fortitude to be devoted to the vision can seem like an all or nothing proposition. 

So what should you commit your brand to? Quite simply, an integrated campaign with emotionally resonating creative across digital and traditional media channels over a significant period of time. The bigger challenge will be to create the coalition that shares the same vision and has the patience to see it through. So it’s time to work on your fear of commitment, dive in, believe, and open your brand up to a healthy relationship with true marketing effectiveness. Like Whodini said, “Guess it’s better to have loved and to have lost, then to never have loved at all.”