L’Oreal provides a great example of how a brand can get insight from understanding the underlying dynamics driving what looks like very volatile media visibility. Monthly product, brand, and corporate events coverage can distort what should be a clear picture into the media momentum and direction affecting L’Oreal’s earned media performance. The orange circle in the 4-year history chart below illustrates how the brand has been tapering off its historically stable earned media rating average of around 70 points. The brand recently reversed a 12-month declining media presence and appears to be moving into strong ratings territory.
The key media insight lies in looking at the 6-month trailing average along with media momentum (beneath the rating chart). Together they provide clarity into where the brand is heading in the media. In the case of L’Oreal, the decline in media attention has been reversed and momentum has returned (i.e., short term media growth is now outpacing longer, historical growth patterns).
Now look at the 14 individual media segments (small pie circle charts) that together create the topline media rating of 71 for L’Oreal. For a consumer brand, key segments are consumer news, regional media, and online search. The other segments are important, but if your key segment ratings are below your topline average, then you’ve got a problem. In the case of L’Oreal, consumer media is very robust at 95 points. and regional media segments are all strong, with 68 for North America, 87 for Europe, and 80 for Asia. The only segment that may need more exploration is online search at 45. Since 45 is well below the topline media rating of 71, it is under-performing and a drag on the overall media visibility of the L’Oreal brand.
But is it? Everything is relative in the finite mediasphere and a quick view into competing brands should indicate whether 45 is competitive within the cosmetics & skin care sector. Let’s see — selecting a few competing brands in the dashboard shows the online search ratings are 72 for Christian Dior, 67 for Lancome, and 79 for Shiseido. So L’Oreal’s 45 media rating for online search is definitely low.
Moving on to a sometimes contentious metric, we have media value ($$$).
For the month of March, L’Oreal generated $762,309 in earned media value, moving their trailing 12-month total to $5.6 million. (Both highlighted in the above chart.)
These numbers are very conservative and take into account media sentiment, media segment, circulation, audience, advertising rates, pull metrics, and current media visibility. But everyone understands the currency of a dollar. How much is $5.6 million to L’Oreal? A brand manager could purchase 10 full page color ads in Cosmopolitan, 8 in Vogue, 5 in Allure, 3 in Glamour and still have enough to run full page ads in the New York Times and Paris’s Le Figaro!