Advertisers Can Identify Intersection of Brand Strategy on Top Digital Platforms


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MLB, Ford, Apple, Coke, Call of Duty, McDonalds, and Facebook Among Brands
Doing Their Digital Best

NEW YORK, NY March 27, 2012 – The American Association of Advertising
Agencies (4As) has chosen Brand Keys, the New York-based brand and customer
loyalty and engagement consultancy (, to debut its Digital
Platform GPS (DP/GPS) to the advertising industry at the 4As Transformation
conference, in Los Angeles today. The DP/GPS represents groundbreaking
research that for the first time links brand strategy with digital platforms
to provide brands the ability to match marketing strategy and web platforms
in their categories.

“Advertising effectiveness is being stress-tested by proliferating digital
options and tighter media budgets,” noted Amy Shea, Brand Keys executive
vice president, global brand development, Brand Keys. “Marketers are
struggling to identify the intersection of consumer engagement with their
brands in the digital space. All brand stewards recognize the need to market
in digital, but what they should do remains largely enigmatic.”

“As pervasive as digital media is, surprisingly there was no single source
that identified how various digital platforms engage,” said Shea. “Brand
Keys sorted the top 500 digital platforms by usage into 14 specific
categories, which describe how people actually behave in the digital space.”

Brands Best at Digital

Among the 598 brands and 14 digital platforms examined, the following brands
were identified as having the greatest consumer impact on these specific
digital platforms:

Blogs: Major League Baseball and Netflix Brand’s Own Website: Macy’s and Browsing Portals: Samsung (Flat-Screen TVs) and Inter-Continental
Classified: Hyundai, FORD and Southwest Airlines Digital Magazines: Home
Depot and Clinique Digital Newspapers: Expedia and Vanguard Mutual Funds
Email: AT&T and Costco
Gaming: Coors and Patron Tequila
Mobile Apps: Apple (iPhone) and Facebook
Music: Coke and Diet Coke
Online Video: Kindle and Call of Duty
Search: Hilton Hotels and Walmart
Shopping Portals: Sketchers and Abercrombie & Fitch Social Networks: Coke
and McDonald’s

The 14 digital platforms surveyed:

Blogs, Brand’s Website, Browsing Portals (I.E. Yahoo), Classified, Digital
Magazines, Digital Newspapers Email, Gaming, Mobile Apps, Music, Online
Video, Search, Shopping Portals (Like Amazon), and Social Networks.

“CMOs recognize there is no one-size-fits-all approach to digital
communication but what’s really fascinating when we look at specific
findings we see how digital communication platforms are category-dependent,
and exactly where each digital platform intersects with the drivers of
consumer behavior,” noted Shea. “Armed with this knowledge, brands, for the
first time, can communicate in digital space with an understanding of what
strategy to use – what to do and what to say.”

“There are amazing differences in digital dynamics when you also look at
consumer involvement through a category lens,” said Shea. “Consumers with
top 20% digital category involvement see the world very differently. What
they expect brands to deliver on those platforms is vastly different and
that knowledge can impact branding and messaging success. We’re calling
consumers in that top 20% of digital category involvement ‘Higitals’ but the
way digital marketing and adoption is accelerating, when it comes to brand
strategy you might as well call them ‘the future,'” added Shea.


The Brand Keys Digital Platform Engagement Index survey comprises 49,000
customer interviews, M/F, 18-65 years of age, drawn from the nine US Census
regions. Respondents self-classified for category and brand participation in
83 categories with 598 brands, and reported time spent weekly on any or all
of the set of 14 digital platforms. Results are generalizable at the 95%
confidence level using a methodology that has been independently validated.
The DPEI provides a unique perspective on digital usage, platforms,
category, and brand, and offers marketers the following:

1. Category-specific identification of ranges of Digital Involvement, i.e.,
time spent weekly on any/all of a set of digital platform archetypes (Social
media networking, blogs, mobile apps, etc.).

2. The ranking of each digital platform in each category, based on the
percent-contribution the platforms make to engagement and loyalty, offering
a hierarchy that can finally inform where to best allocate resources in the
digital space;

3. Exactly how those digital platforms connect with the emotional and
rational drivers of consumer decision making in each category, allowing
advertisers to customize content when using those digital platforms

4. How consumers with high-digital involvement see each category versus the
general population to help steer brands into a digitally-pervasive future;

5. Identification of electronic devices providing the “best” interaction
with each of the digital platforms for each category.

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