Here's an overview of Joel Rubinson's thinking:
Higher advertising ROI can be consistently achieved by always targeting audiences rich in your brand’s 'Movable Middles’. This framework is called 'Outcomes Based Marketing 2.0’
A person’s responsiveness to advertising depends on how often they choose the brand compared to other brands when they buy the category. People who buy the brand 9-10 times out of ten may love your advertising, but it can’t realistically push their purchase levels any higher. At the other end of the spectrum, people who never/almost never buy your brand are unlikely to suddenly change their mind as result of your advertising.
This leaves the ’Movable Middle’ - people who buy your brand between 2 and 8 times out of ten category purchases. Targeting this group can result in a 50% higher ROI vs reach-based planning. These patterns are mathematically proven and have empirical support.
Joel’s approach is most relevant to established brands.
The ability to execute Outcomes Based Marketing 2.0 is predicated on being able to find the Movable Middle segment at high concentrations in targetable and program-based audiences.
The analysis revealed that by developing targeting strategies that are best for short term sales lift, surprisingly, this also serves the brand’s interests for long term growth. However, the contradiction with other evidence that reach-based plans are best for long term growth needs to be resolved.
The validation for this new approach is limited - experimentation is ongoing.