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2020 Media Planning: Considerations and Implications

12.11.2019

In the marketing world, the past several years have been all about DIGITAL and DATA. You can’t have a meeting without buzzwords like “digital insights”, “digital safeguards”, and “data mining” infiltrating the conversation. It was a natural progression, following the conventional rule to “spend the marketing dollars where your prospects spend their time”. Unless your demo target is centenarians, you are investing dollars in digital media. That said, digital can’t be expected to solve every business challenge and although there are many pros to the targeting and efficiency it may not be the silver bullet or the “best first spend”.

Is Digital Helping Me Reach My Marketing Goals?

We have spent the past year digging in, alongside our clients, trying to measure the clicks, leads and other data acquired through digital investments. All of this is done in an effort to quantify ROI. These questions are universal. Agencies and clients alike seem to be asking the same ones – how is digital media helping us achieve success, what do we do with the data and what does it really mean for the business? For example, if a bank cannot track account openings because of confidentiality terms and third-party tracking limitation, how do they define success of digital media tracking? What constitutes a conversion? When it comes to understanding digital media’s contribution to the funnel, the industry as a whole is lagging according to the Financial Brand

“While the channels and technologies of marketing have evolved, the Digital Banking Report has found that marketing measurement of results has not kept pace. With customer journeys involving more channels and stages than ever before, single touch attribution no longer works. Not only can it over or under-represent the importance of any channel or message, it will completely invalidate any marketing ROI measurement.”

In our upcoming 2020 planning sessions, we are taking the steps to collectively reconsider the value of the metrics so that we can best align investments with business goals. We will encourage our client partners to integrate things like customer referrals, overall lifetime value and acquisition costs into the same reports alongside CTRs and conversions. We will also continue to encourage clients to create opportunities that they can “own”, which are few and far between in the digital ecosphere. For example, shifting dollars from anonymous channels like programmatic to more defined platforms like podcasts.

The Only Constant is [Digital Marketing] Change

As we have grown accustom to, change is the one thing we can consistently expect in marketing. Significant changes in both Social and Search environments will shape 2020 media mixes for many of our clients. In August, Facebook was forced to make changes for credit, housing and employment advertisers. Pressured by lawsuits, the social media giant phased out its Partner Categories platform, which enabled it to employ third party data mining to target consumers by zip code, gender, age, and certain ‘cultural affinities,’ like sexuality, race and religion.

These new restrictions, which affect Facebook-owned Instagram as well, change the landscape for financial institutions and their social media messaging. How much so? We’ll be tracking it carefully in the year ahead as it comes into full effect.

As for Search, it will continue to play a pivotal role in the mix with the focus going forward on optimizing for the Zero Click phenomenon. Zero click search results are becoming more prevalent, as you see Google automatically provide the answer to the search query. For example, if you key in “What is the score of the Patriots game?” Google will automatically provide you a result it generates on its own. In that scenario, you would have to scroll down to see the Google AdWords results and organic search results. This will have impact across all categories in questions like “What are the best Mortgage rates”? Keeping in mind that nearly 62% of search results in Google are zero-search results, this will greatly influence how we approach AdWords going forward.

Marketing In An Ad-free Subscription Based World

In keeping with the theme of change, if you watched any of the recent TV/Movie award shows, you were sure to notice that the bulk of nominations went to programming that was developed and aired on streaming platforms like Amazon, HBO and Netflix. Which got me as a media buyer thinking….how are brands able to harness the visibility of these iconic shows if they are blocked behind an ad-free subscription based model? Particularly if you are small – mid size marketer without the budgets of Under Armor or Pepsi Co. And here we have come full circle. If we can’t be in these places directly, we use the power of digital and data to target the people who are watching these shows.

Which is just one reason why after all the discussions about conversions and ROI are had, we will continue to see digital play an important role in the media mix for many planning seasons to come. It is about targeting the audience, wherever they may be.

In our upcoming 2020 planning sessions, we are taking the steps to collectively reconsider the value of the metrics so that we can best align investments with business goals. We will encourage our client partners to integrate things like customer referrals, overall lifetime value and acquisition costs into the same reports alongside CTRs and conversions. We will also continue to encourage clients to create opportunities that they can “own”, which are few and far between in the digital ecosphere. For example, shifting dollars from anonymous channels like programmatic to more defined platforms like podcasts.

Looking to shake-up your media mix in 2020 and not sure where to start? Send us an email below. We’d love to talk!

We help brands identify the often hard-to-define intangibles that set them apart, and then craft and effectively tell their stories across any and all appropriate channels. It’s what we do, and we’d like to do it for you.

Stackpole
222 Merrimac Street
Newburyport, MA 01950
Tel: 978.463.6600
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