A Global Alliance group
Worldwide advertising awareness & brand health study
The ‘market research group’ (MRG) of an Alliance group required a lead for a project designed to test advertising, brand & messaging awareness of the various global airline alliance groups. The study required distinct pre- and post- sampling waves to be conducted (timed around the lauch of a worldwide Alliance advertising campaign), with fieldwork to be conducted in all alliance member home markets plus 8 additional strategic ‘non-home’ markets (totalling 20+ countries). Furthermore, the study samples were tightly designed to ensure a sufficient population of ‘business/frequent flyers’ in each country’s sample.
- In association with market research managers from member airlines (MRG), agree to basic study framework, methodology & sampling definitions.
- Prepare a ‘request for proposal’ (RFP) to be sent out to qualified research companies capable to undertake a worldwide study of this complexity.
- With the MRG, undertake an evaluation of the proposals received & select a research company to conduct the study.
- Coordinate the input, development, review & sign-off by all MRG members for all aspects of the research project (methodology, sample, questionnaire, translation, analysis & review of deliverables).
- Be available for other project related duties as needed.
- As each member airline had its own particular method of conducting advertising & brand research, a distillation and summary of all the distinct methodologies employed was required. Coordinated MRG discussions & lead negotiations to reach agreement on a single methodology to move forward with.
- Conciliated opinions of MRG members, enabling agreement on final questionnaire wording (english). Coordinated the translation, back translation, and obtained final sign off on language versions.
- Ensured fieldwork began on schedule (as the pre- wave needed to be completed in all countries prior to start of the Alliance advertising campaign). Oversaw the fieldwork duties performed by the market research agency; updated MRG members regularly; and proactively resolved fieldwork and sampling issues accordingly.
- With MRG members, reviewed preliminary research findings, directed the market research agency on final project deliverables & presentations, and vetted the final deliverables prior to their broader release & dissemination.
Select project outcomes:
- The MRG members found the research exercise itself an immense learning experience. For example, the consensus decison made by the MRG to standardize the project methodology across all contries proved problematic (in fact, a sampling crisis in 3 countries was avoided only by a quick decision mid-fieldword to revert to traditional face-to-face interview methodology).
- The results of the study resonated with the project sponsors (respective advertising managers of Alliance member airlines, and the Alliance’s Advertising agency of record (AOR)) and confirmed many pre-campaign predictions regarding the relative media buy/weight in specific markets vs. the brand & message awareness penetration rates observed from the research.
- Based on the results of the research, the decision to undertake new messaging and develop new creative executions for subsequent print & TV campaigns was put on hold. Instead, members of the Allaince advertising group decided to continue with current messaging; and rather than invest in new creative, simply ‘tweak’ the “highly appreciated” existing creative executions.
- While the AOR may have been disappointed by the decision to delay development of a new campaign, nevertheless, they agreed it was the right decision given the research results
- The current messaging & advertising vehicles were deemed successful; and rather than launch into a new campaign, it was clear that additional ‘milage/benefit’ could be obtained with only minor changes to the creative.
- This represented a huge advertising cost deferral for the Alliance
- Based on extensive market-by-market evaluation of the research, in each of the 20+ markets, the budget allocated for local print, TV and outdoor media was adjusted accordingly.
- By tailoring the media mix in each market, the remaining campain budget would see a much greater return, as would subsequent campaigns.