The Proof Is In The Planning: Selecting Your Cross-Channel Media Mix

Originally published on MediaPost

With the average person exposed to over 4,000 ads a day, cross-channel strategies have become appealing to advertisers looking to reach people from all angles. But “doing” cross-channel and “doing it right” are two very different things.

With the variety of “places” your audience could be, finding the right spot at the right time can get challenging. The key to simplifying this process is in the planning, mapping your media mix in a way that makes a big impact on consumers, without a big dent in your budget.

Here’s a planning checklist to ensure this approach remains strategic, even as you diversify into new channels.

Connect historical datasets.

Historical data can provide a ton of valuable insight — from where your audience connected with your content to which strategies had the greatest impact. All that information can help inform what platforms to include in your media mix, how to allocate your budget and how to establish performance benchmarks.

For example, you may find Facebook and YouTube have similar click-through rates, but in digging deeper into historical data, you see Facebook consumers stay longer, making them more valuable.

To get started, integrate business insights with data from all ad platforms to build a centralized view of campaign performance, ensuring you understand how each platform defines KPI metrics.

The planning stage is where you want to synchronize KPIs across channels to make it easier to compare metrics like video view rates across platforms. Having this holistic view of data with synchronized KPIs allows you to quickly understand what worked and what didn’t.

Develop audience understanding.

Before choosing your media mix, ask yourself where your audience spends their screen time, and at what time and in what setting is approaching them most strategic. The answers will narrow your target channels and allow you to focus on platforms with the strongest performance.

For example, if you’re looking to advertise to 27-year-olds, knowing that only 54% of 25- 29-year-olds are Snapchat users (according to a Pew Research Center study) will help redirect your attention to alternative platforms. If you’re a travel company looking for sun-seekers in the dead of winter, you might select a platform like Pinterest, which has shown to attract planners and inspiration seekers.

Enable campaign flexibility.

With data and audience understanding in your back pocket, your strategy is bound to be solid. However, be sure to leave room for flexibility. As algorithms change and trends fade, what worked last year, or last week, may not work now — and that’s OK.

While you can and should use every resource to plan a campaign, it’s important to stay flexible and open to change. Data gathered early on in a campaign can later be used to adjust ad creative or targeting, making current campaigns even stronger. Long story short: If something isn’t working, change it!

As you set out to make cross-channel the norm, media-mix planning is a crucial first step. With the checklist above, campaign execution will fall into place, and the proof will be in the results.


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