What is your plan to grow confidence in paid media performance?
Bala, Mike and I have met with nearly 100 brands in the last 18 months and can confirm that if you’re confused about paid media performance, you’re not alone. Most of you are reading this while finalizing holiday campaigns and negotiating with Finance for your 2020 budget. It’s a safe bet that Finance is asking hard questions about media performance. Providing clear answers remains difficult for everyone we have spoken with. Spoiler alert – there is no silver bullet or magic potion on the way.
As we wrap up 2019 at LiftLab, we are excited about two things:
- All of our customers are testing during holiday season. More on this in a future post.
- Each of them is building a robust digital media learning agenda for 2020.
You might be wondering what a robust learning agenda looks like, why it’s important, and what questions a learning agenda answers. While this is an inexact science, some of the common themes being shared with us include:
Are media campaigns optimized?
With hundreds or even thousands of campaigns, ensuring that things like budget caps, frequency caps and other tactics are tested and optimized is critical. Focusing on your largest spend items is the right place to start. A key learning for LiftLab clients in 2019 is the size of the campaign optimization opportunity.
Are audience definitions delivering the maximum value?
To say that audience is core to marketing is an understatement. Are you using the best possible prospect audiences? Have you explored opportunities to refine 1st party audiences to get better performance? Testing tells you which segments matter and which audiences perform best. Also, this is the place to “avoid the average.”
Are channel budgets at the right levels?
In order to direct and resource their teams, performance marketing leaders need to understand how to balance investment by channel. Our rule of thumb is to defer this question until some level of campaign and audience optimization has been reached. Why? Comparing a poorly optimized channel with a highly optimized channel can lead to false conclusions about where to spend next.
What are the tough, nagging business questions?
Each client we meet has a set of unique concerns about media performance. Does online media drive incremental store sales? Are promotions really worth it? Does the money spent to acquire customers during holiday season find enough profitable loyal customers? Investment in answering questions like these can yield huge improvements in media performance, overall strategic clarity and decision-making speed. Confidently answering the big questions can unlock key elements of your media strategy.
2020 promises to be an even more challenging year for digital media. Marketers are hungry for an approach to end the guess work, stop spending on hunches, and break the decision gridlock by getting clear answers to the key questions about paid media performance. A structured approach to learning combined with in-market media testing will bring the ability to spend confidently.
Make 2020 the year to grow clarity and make great media spend decisions with confidence.