Planning effective advertising campaigns has never been harder. The hundreds of thousands of additional media options we have compared to just 20 years ago make the planning process dizzying and often confusing. Our clients and our agency try to narrow down our process into a few clear steps to keep us all focused as we contemplate the current marketing environment and get ready to adapt to the changes that tomorrow will inevitably bring. Here are our top three planning tactics:
Low share of voice is no share of voice
There are many viable options of where to spend your media dollars, but we have always found that limiting your selection to a few core partners always yields best results. Every media plan needs to find at least one moment to “own” with enough reach and frequency to stand out from the competition. We like to use the saying that water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. One can try and boil it at 80 degrees, but all that will have happen is a bath, typically one that the client’s budget and brand gets to take.
Quality vs. quantity
In the age of programmatic where the focus is buying cheap media in bulk, advertisers are starting to lose sight of the fact that where your ads show up matters. Even programmatic’s biggest advocates agree – If editorial and contextual adjacency didn’t matter, every men’s shaving razor brand would advertise only on porn sites, for example, finding the perfect demo at the cheapest costs.
It is the need to attract an audience willing to engage with your brand with the proper headset that has driven the resurgence in traditional media. All of the women reading Vogue have at least one thing in common (current fashion) and could pivot to see your brand in a similarly positive way. Additionally, traditional media can clearly scale to support the best performers.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure
Goals need to be established at the start of a digital campaign, because a missed impression caused by the lack of a placed pixel is a missed opportunity to make a sale. More importantly, the net financial objectives need to be set at the beginning as well, so that all partners can work towards solving a business problem with communications, not just looking at interim KPI’s used to track media vendor delivery.
Data is perishable and a real time dashboard is a minimum requirement to participate effectively in digital media. Depending on your industry, data collected during a campaign may not be relevant to extrapolating or retargeting in as little as a month after the campaign runs.
Starting with a simple list of “advertising commandments” is a great way to retake control over your marketing process and budgets. You can add amendments anytime as the environment changes.