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Does ad budget determine the success of a campaign?

In today's advertising landscape, professionals often emphasise the challenge of making a significant impact with limited ad budgets and resources. BestMediaInfo.com speaks to industry experts to explore the validity of this claim and its implications

With the marketing fraternity shifting gears from building brand awareness to driving actual business growth, it is evident that ad campaigns are no longer looked upon for the creative genius but also for the impact they have on the brand’s business.

For this very purpose, it is often said and heard that it is the ad budgets allocated by brands that have a huge impact on the effectiveness of an ad campaign. In fact, the one notion echoed by many ad world professionals is that in cases where the ad budget is tight and the resources are limited, it is difficult to make a real impact.

Rajeev Jain

As per Rajeev Jain, Senior Vice-President- Corporate Marketing, Dharampal Satyapal Group, the determiners for a campaign’s success include the mediums where the ad is placed- one needs to spend a minimum level of budget to reach a threshold level of reach and frequency, maintain its share of voice amongst all competitors, create awareness and establish some connection with the consumers.

“But if your creative is good and the proposition compelling along with the creative execution being right on point, then at times, you can not only manage but also meet the campaign objectives on a lesser budget. What happens these days is that owing to the digital world, there is a lot of shareability of the brand’s communication which has the potential to garner immensely good reach which is why even a very minimalist budget allocation would do the job,” he said.

Sharing a recent example for the same, he mentioned that the recently executed Mothers’ Day ad by Catch, performed almost 1.3x the average engagement rate of the channel and created a big overall impact.

Vishesh Sharma

Speaking to BestMediaInfo.com, Vishesh Sharma, Chief Marketing Officer, Bajaj Financial Securities, emphasised that while ad budgets do play an important role in the success of an ad campaign along with the creative genius, saying that a campaign did not work only because of tight ad budgets is not the most appropriate thing to say.

“It would have been a decade back, in times when physical placements of ad campaigns on mediums such as outdoors mattered a lot over digital, but today there is a slight cushion in terms of leakage as one can plan how they reach a large chunk of the target audience on different platforms. And that is the beauty of Digital- you can track every effort on a real-time basis and optimise your spends alongside using Customer Data Platforms to target the right set of customers from day one,” he said.

He also opined that in an age where virality is key and any piece of content has the potential to get viral either organically or with the help of influencers, memes, etc. one doesn’t really need to spend a hefty amount of their annual advertising budget and push things by some mere pounds.

Moving forward, he also ascertained that the success of a creative is impacted by a lot of factors today, some of which include how good the thought process is or how brilliant the creative idea is amongst others. Hence, even though money is needed to execute the campaign, it is essential to understand that the budget is just an enabler and not the only determiner.

Backing up his views here, he went on to highlight that the role of a CMO, in the current times, has evolved to encompass both marketing and sales function, and therefore the new nomenclature of Chief Growth Officer.

Amit Wadhwa

Striking a similar tone, Amit Wadhwa, CEO, dentsu Creative, also shared the viewpoint that the ad budget does have a crucial role to play in the success of a campaign as it has a higher possibility for reaching out to a wider audience and going deeper.

But having said that, it, in his views, is not the only yardstick because what also plays a role in the success of ad campaigns is creativity, the medium used for execution, target audience, etc.

“While there is no reason for anyone to do mediocre or substandard creative work, it is true that not every good work goes completely viral. For an ad campaign to actually go viral, what is needed is that the creative reaches and connects with the audience at large and to ensure the same is the campaign’s budget which becomes one big determiner,” he said.

Further, he also mentioned the importance of striking the right balance between budget and creativity in the mix because today what happens is that some of the bigger brands do things brilliantly and execute campaigns that are both effective and impactful. But having said that, a smaller brand also tends to create some magic and do wonders because the time has never been so right that even a brand with smaller budgets can possibly think of doing something bigger with the mediums which are available to them.

“It is not that mediums like TV, print and outdoor are not important, they are, but today what has happened is that digital has become quite a big and important medium which is becoming all the more important as we move,” he said.

Abhik Santara

Abhik Santara, CEO, ^ a t o m,  and Founding Partner, by The Network, shared the viewpoint that even though an idea is not dependent on the budget, its execution and visibility do, which is why he believes that the budget defines the success of a campaign in a way.

“A good director (and therefore budgets) can take an average idea up by many notches and similarly, a good idea getting seen and talked about by more and more people today defines the virality (and efficacy),” he stated.

With this, he also pointed out that whether one measures success by movements in brand or business metrics or by awards, it is the budget that does play a role.

“It is very convenient to take the high road and talk from 36000 feet about how an idea is independent of budget- but when it comes to its success, budget plays a crucial role. None of the ads that we remember and keep referring to in beer conversations are made with unpopular budgets and that's an unfortunate fact!” he emphasised.


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