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Client experience not campaign metrics driving branded content deals, research suggests

Nearly half of brands experimenting with branded content are not renewing contracts with publishers, research from publisher solution company Polar suggests.

According to the research, which saw Polar interview more than 30 publisher chief revenue officers and executives, branded content campaign renewal rates are lower than publisher expectations with nearly 40% of clients not renewing for additional branded content programs.

Polar

It was smaller deals with an average sponsorship below $50,000 that had much weaker renewal rates (around 25%) while larger deals, with a sponsorship price of $200,000 or more experienced much stronger renewal rates of around 75% or more.

The research suggests that because larger budget programs run over longer time periods, publishers have time to “course-correct” along the way, tweaking content or enhancing distribution.

However, the research also revealed that the decision to renew is made before a program even launches – meaning client experience is the primary influencer on a renewal decision.

“The most interesting discovery is perhaps a throwback to the Mad Men era: a third of publishers believe client experience is the number one driving force behind renewals. Although campaign metrics are examined by every client, most publishers feel they are not the primary influence on renewals,” Polar CEO Kunal Gupta said in a blog post.

Polar branded content research

Gupta argues that publishers need to invest in content creation, distribution and talent due to the “elevated price tag” that comes with brand content.

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