By Jim Hagan

Welcome back! The second part of the two-part series covering Holistic Media Planning will cover how to leverage the technology and automation to help build a strategy. But combining science and art and pushing strategy to another, more meaningful direction of customization will take any strategy to the next level. And to tie this all together, as we would with any strategy, we will discuss the importance of incorporation smart measurement components.

Leverage Automation, Rely on Your Intuition

Now as mentioned at the beginning of Part 1, automation has been key to get advertising where it is today and to advance some of the top brands in the world. We don’t want to underestimate the keenest tool – the human mind. The human element needs to step in the process at this point and truly look at the objectives and assets of the media plan and figure out the symbiotic relationships of your channel mix that ladder up to the goal(s) of the campaign. Here’s an example. You are trying to drive traffic into to a store location. The data analytically determined video is part of the channel mix. But hold up – video only drives awareness not foot traffic, so what’s the deal? You recommend adding a paid social promotional campaign to complement the video message. Now put yourself in the consumer’s seat – you just watched interesting video content that appeals to you and your lifestyle. The next day you check your social feed and brand is there asking you to click to see special promotions. With an integrated targeted campaign, you’ve been driven in store and are now a brand loyalist. Mission accomplished. Example #2 – you need to drive online conversions and one of the channels is print – woah, wait – print to drive online conversion…like, offline to online?? Absolutely print. Print can be strong, compelling, and personalized. So compelling that it grabs attention and warrants action to be taken online. Before you know it, conversions are pouring in on your site from an offline touchpoint. Weird, I know.

The point I’m making is with good channel selection and quality creative (and a lot of important middle stuff that I’m omitting for the sake of brevity), you can get channels to work the way you need them to drive an overall goal. This is a very similar sentiment of Zoe Harris, CMO of GoCompare, who recently stated in a MarketingWeek article, “A poor story can’t be helped in any channel, no matter the spend that’s put behind it.” Captivating creative can and will prompt action. And if channels and messaging are on point, you can thoughtfully persuade consumers to fall in love with the brand.

Validate Your Strategy with Smart Measurement

Ok, personal tangent time. So, remember when the writers of Game of Thrones laid amazing groundwork for storylines and characters only to ruin it with a mediocre last season that left as many questions unanswered as character arcs unfulfilled? Well that’s like formulating an amazing media strategy only to leave it with weak measurement framework. You don’t tie it all together; you don’t make it mean something.

In all seriousness, the industry needs to get to a place where there is a holistic measurement strategy regardless of channels, metrics, walled gardens, marketplace influences, among many other things.
That is going to take some time to align. Until then, we need to work with brands to determine measurement guidelines and ensure that they give what is needed to measure media properly. We need to lead the charge to collaborate, adapt, and evolve. According to an eMarketer study, as of March 2019, almost 60% of marketers are putting a focus on improving cross-channel measurement.

Change is on the horizon – planners need to prepare. All this great strategy is thrown in the trash when you can’t tell what the media did, how impactful the media dollars were, and how much return was received on investment. Whether it’s tracking foot traffic, measuring sales, or counting conversions, if you do not have these measurement analytics and methodologies built in house, find a partner to help you. Way, way gone are the days that a click means anything but a fat thumb or a creepy hacker looking to make a quick buck. So, make those online and offline engagements mean something, make them real, make them impactful. See how your audience reacts to the creative and see what they do afterwards. Utilize the data to measure the impact to sales and build out a CRM database. You need to understand the data that’s needed to report back to the CMO and showcase how the media budgets are working.

All that said, alignment, analytics, intuition and measurement are vital to validating the strength of your holistic media plan. When you do not place emphasis on these aspects of media planning and you do not take the time to do it in a thoughtful manner, your media dollars reserves all rights to tell you straight to your face, “you know nothing, Jon Snow”.

We have a team of dedicated experts to help you lead the charge with holistic media planning. Let us fight this battle with you because we know that Winter is coming…ok, sorry, I’m done – THE END!