Every week, Boost brings you insights straight from the writers in our Creative Network. Writers share tips on how to inject more creativity into ads, best practices for writing ad copy, and more. This week, Dylan Barmmer, pen name “wordisborn” who has been an active writer in the Network for over five years, explains a new advertising study.

At a conference named Re!Think, it was only fitting that some intriguing and thought-provoking findings should be revealed.


That was the case at the recent Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) Re!Think Conference, where fascinating findings from ARF’s comprehensive How Advertising Works study were unveiled for the first time.


Based on more than 5,000 campaigns in more than 100 categories, and compiling more than $375 billion in advertising spend in 41 countries, the report compiled a mountain of data – 12 years’ worth, to be exact.


The study was independently conducted by ARF, but was sponsored and supported by more than 25 contributing companies. Some of those brands include Unilever, Kellogg, Nissan, Google, Facebook, CBS, ESPN, Levi Strauss, Nielsen, iHeartMedia, comScore, and more.


According to ARF, there hasn’t been a study conducted at this scale and depth in more than 25 years. So what were some of the key insights that emerged from this comprehensive, first-in-a-generation type of study?


The primary finding involves the position that the average U.S. advertiser is missing many opportunities – and leaving huge amounts of money on the table – by failing to spread their budget across enough media platforms.


The study found that 29 percent of campaigns relied on just one medium, while 60 percent relied on two or fewer. It also concluded that brands, on average, can increase return on investment (ROI) 19 percent by ramping up from one media platform to two – with each additional added platform adding further to ROI.


All told, ARF calculated that U.S. advertisers are collectively underspending by around 16 percent, or $31 billion annually. Some other key findings include:


1. Marketers may be inadvertently stifling growth: How? By not investing enough in advertising as they shift from traditional to newer platforms. And by thus missing out on the opportunity to generate billions in additional revenue. Not to mention needed, new growth among new customers and brand advocates.


2. Marketers should spend across many platforms: Spreading your marketing and advertising dollars out across multiple platforms is the wise choice today. Why? This strategy offers greater ROI than consolidating investment into any one single platform. This is true for all consumers today – including Millennials.


3. Stick to “silo-investing” too: It’s important not only to space and spread your marketing across many platforms, but it’s also vital to avoid too much frequency of messaging via any one single medium. Why? Too much frequency via one particular platform can lead to diminishing returns down the line.


4. Check out the “kicker effect” as well: To really kickstart growth, marketers should take advantage of the “kicker effect” of smart spending. This means utilizing specific combinations of traditional and new media – across the right mix of platforms.


5. Tailor your message and creative: Smartly utilizing the right mix of media and platforms doesn’t mean just taking the same creative execution and spreading it out via different channels. While an overarching and consistent message is key, your creative executions should be specifically tailored to each platform. This way, you can maximize optimal consumer engagement.


Here at Boost Media, we’ve long believed in the value of maximizing consumer engagement – and your own advertiser ROI – by utilizing a variety of different platforms. Which is why our Boost Creative Network of talented, experienced writers and designers is skilled in crafting compelling creative for Google AdWords, Facebook ads, mobile executions, and more. Contact us today to see how we can help you best boost your brand’s digital creative!