Channel Planning

Effective marketing considers both channels and communication techniques needed to enable customer acquisition for particular service or product categories. Each channel has its weaknesses and strengths, costs and benefits, limits and freedoms, and must be scrutinized carefully to understand how it will or won’t improve the campaign strategy. Therefore, let’s discuss how to determine which digital and traditional channels to use for your campaign.

Target audience measurement

First, measure where the potential audience is spending their time. Determine who you want to target; for instance, are you targeting an older demographic that primarily uses TV, email, Facebook, and radio – or are you targeting Gen Z, who are heavy users of TikTok, CTV and new digital media platforms. Use top content creators and brands in your vertical and analyze their audience engagement across several channels. Meaningful metrics to use include content engagement, audience size, video views, and mobile app usage.

Allocate marketing budget across multiple channels

Establish an overall budget for the campaign and then divide the budget amongst targeted channels. Understand that doubling the campaign budget of a high-performing channel may not proportionally increase performance. Therefore, never rapidly invest a massive amount of money in campaigns. Instead, consider running more ads, targeting new markets, or more keywords to determine which channels are getting more results in terms of reach, impressions, views, and conversions.

Determine how to schedule the campaigns across multiple channels

A campaign schedule will help keep you organized; however, there’s no one-size-fits-all perfect schedule. The ideal timing and frequency of the campaign across multiple channels will depend on your targeted industry and audience, among other things. Moreover, some channels can be active during the campaign’s life, while others will provide a better lift by overlapping during specific moments in the campaign. For longer campaigns, this is more difficult as you must adequately plan the budget for the campaign’s duration. For example, a campaign that will be active for 3 months may not necessarily have all paid channels running during the entire duration to be cost-effective. Therefore, campaign scheduling is essential to enhance your chances of achieving goals. 

Track campaign channel utilization

If you’re not using a campaign management platform, create a spreadsheet to document which channels have been utilized for campaigns. Use spreadsheets for items like content and financials. For example, you can track ad spend, budgets and ROAS (return on ad spend). Spreadsheets can also be used to manage campaigns, ad effectiveness, social media posts, blog calendars, web traffic, SEO, and many other metrics.

Gather learnings for creating your next channel plan

Do some in-depth market research to find which platforms your audience is using more in that timespan and mold your campaigns and content to their expectations. Then, you need to constantly track the results to determine how well the campaigns and channels are performing and what tweaks should be done. Essentially, channel planning is all about delivering what the customers need and where and when they need it – vital knowledge that’s driven by data.

Conclusion

By integrating digital and traditional marketing channels, you can attract a potential audience in their preferred way; furnish and motivate sales and marketing teams, and maximize your chances of achieving your desired business goals. 


Rolanda Gregory ©2022
All Rights Reserved.

Cookies, Privacy & User Data

Businesses understand the value of the data they collect about customers. Firms can predict sales trends, send out targeted advertising, and improve their products through this data. However, for consumers, data collection is a privacy invasion and a practice that can be abused easily, leading to the suspicion of many businesses. Furthermore, for data collection, web developers now use cookies to offer convenient website visits, but it’s a vulnerability to your privacy.

What are cookies?
Cookies are small files that are sent to your devices to monitor and remember specific information about you, such as your login information, details about your shopping cart, etc.

Why do companies use cookies?
Cookies let a business owner recognize users and recall their individual preferences, such as politics versus sports news. They’re also used to customize advertising to personalize user sessions. Moreover, e-commerce businesses use cookies to track items customers previously viewed to suggest other relevant goods.

How the EU has set the stage with its groundbreaking GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requirements
GDPR regulates the way businesses manage and process personal data. After 25 May 2018, GDPR constituted the greatest change to the EU’s data protection rules in over two decades. The GDPR rules apply to the companies if they use personal data and are based in the EU. Personal data includes name, numbers, health records, location, banking, income information, cultural preferences, etc. GDPR allows firms to use personal data under certain conditions and forces them to implement additional security measures like strong encryption.

What upcoming changes we can expect in the US
The CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) passed on 1 January 2020, and industry experts considered it a landmark piece of user privacy rights legislation, as it needed specific businesses to disclose all personal data they have about a user whenever that user requests. Now, California, Colorado, and Virginia are only the tip of the iceberg. Given that multiple states have some kind of consumer privacy legislation at some stage of proposal or consideration, enterprises can expect several other states to enact new privacy legislation. This will, however, become a nightmare for marketers if we have to deal with a patchwork of laws from state to state; what, in essence, will be needed is a national consumer privacy act to make it easier for marketers to operate.

Marketers should focus on cookieless targeting
As more tech companies start to eliminate 3rd party cookie tracking, advertisers must be prepared to rely more on cookieless tactics to segment and target potential audiences to provide them a personalized experience and leverage data for informed future decision-making.

Is it possible to do cookieless targeting?
The online advertising landscape has been focusing its attention mainly on cookie-based targeting. However, advances in AI and machine learning have opened up numerous opportunities for intelligent targeting, which doesn’t require user-profiling and is privacy-friendly. One way to do this is contextual targeting, which provides marketers the opportunity to view and react in real-time to insights acquired from live content consumption. This dynamic data will help target and scale campaigns just as efficiently as a cookie-based targeting method.

What are Consumer Responsibilities?
Cybercrime is a huge business; therefore, as a consumer, it’s essential to learn about the data organizations collect about you and how they use the data to earn revenue (in many cases, they sell and share your data with 3rd party companies which you may be unaware of the relationship and scope of the data-sharing agreements).

Moreover, to limit tracking – clear your cookies regularly, minimize the use of browser extensions and ad-ons, turn off cross-site tracking in your browser, and use privacy-oriented browsers and search engines such as DuckDuckGo and Brave. And when you navigate to a site and see this type of message, don’t be afraid to click ‘Manage Cookies / Do Not Sell My Personal Information to gain slight control of the amount of data being tracked about your browsing habits.

This website uses cookies

Key Takeaways
• Consumers are wising up to the dangers of data misuse – companies can lose their audience if they fail to protect user data.
• Specific data privacy regulations differ from state to state; however, core principles include transparency, accountability, and confidentiality.
• Consumers are not off the hook and are indeed accountable for their data protection.


Rolanda Gregory ©2022
All Rights Reserved.

Performance Marketing: Optimizing ad spend to achieve campaign goals

A digital marketing strategy that is driven by results is termed performance marketing. It is ideal for businesses looking to reach audiences at scale since results are based on how end-users interact with campaigns and content.

Moreover, performance marketing works when advertisers pay either publishers or agencies to design and place advertisements for the organization on several performance marketing channels — search engines, social media, embedded web content, CTV, videos, and more. Rather than paying for an ad in a conventional way, advertisers pay based on how well the ad performs by measuring the number of impressions, clicks, shares, or sales.

An important factor of performance marketing is determining how to optimize ad spend to achieve campaign goals. Let’s take a deep dive into some tried-and-tested tips I have discovered to do this the right way.

  • Determine your KPIs (key performance indicators) and ROAS (return on ad spend) goal

A KPI is an effective metric used to measure performance. There’re 3 main groups of KPIs.

Social engagement – Defines how content performs on social media.

On-site metrics – Defines how content influences website visitor’s behavior, for instance, bounce rate and time spent on site.

Conversion metrics – Defines how content turns potential leads and campaigns to sales.

First, determine what you need to measure and ask yourself these questions.

  1. What timespan will you measure the metrics across?
  2. What’s a realistic growth rate?
  3. How will you achieve the desired results?


After setting your KPIs goals, set a realistic goal for the average ROAS you would like to achieve. It’s essential to determine ROAS goals to evaluate the ad campaign’s performance quantitatively. Then, a mix of insights, a dash of data crunching, and research will put you on the right track.

  • Set a realistic budget

Setting a realistic budget, whether it’s based on the percentage of revenue or fixed income, makes it simpler to allocate resources effectively and measure the campaign’s results. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What percent of the budget can be spent on marketing?
  2. What’s your CLV or LTV (customer lifetime value)?
  3. What’s your funnel/conversion process?
  4. What’s the conversion rate?


To set a realistic budget, you should know what a lead or a visitor is worth and what the customer lifetime value for the business is.

  • Target your campaign to the optimal audiences

Successful advertising is the ability to reach an audience who’ll be most interested in the offered service or product. If you need to get the right eyes on your ad campaign, you must target the optimal audiences. To do this, gather information about who your potential audience is.  What are their demographics? Consider things like hobbies/interests, age, gender, location, salary, discretionary income, and education. The more information you have about the ideal audience, the better you can target them. Knowing your audience also enables finding look-alikes of your highest performing audience segments.

  • Monitor campaign progress for effectiveness, paying close attention to burn rate of budget, CTR (click-through rate), conversions, and revenue

Monitoring campaign progress for effectiveness allows determining if the campaign is working correctly and how the marketing tactics are performing. Therefore, use elements that can be assessed and quantified easily, such as clicks, actual sales, and profit. 

Furthermore, the burn rate describes how fast a campaign is spending its allocated budget. Keep a watchful eye on the levels of spend to ensure there’s a direct correlation in conversions. Burning through your campaign budget too swiftly without results leads to an underperforming scenario in which you may not be able to recoup. Besides that, it’s also vital to monitor impressions, CTR, conversions, and revenue to determine how many users are visiting the website and performing the desired actions such as filling out a contact form, making a purchase, downloading a spec sheet, etc.

  • Gather learnings and optimize elements such as creative, copy, CTA (call-to-action)

The content builds excitement and interest, and the promo, CTA, and creative encourage the visitor to dig deeper and become a paying customer. An appealing ad with a persuasive call to action is the fastest way to generate leads and double the conversion rates. However, since every business is different, continually analyzing and testing helps determine what works best for your potential customers, resulting in a campaign that converts to leads and purchases.

Wrapping Up

Performance marketing is an effective and creative way to diversify your audience and expand reach, all while obtaining valuable data and insights. Find out the approaches that optimize your ad spend and work best for your brand and customers. It doesn’t matter where you stand in the performance marketing space; there is always room to grow!


Rolanda Gregory ©2022
All Rights Reserved.

Omni-Channel Campaigns…Connecting the Dots

Intersecting circles

When launching a new service, product or startup, it’s important to do so from an integrated and connected perspective. Marketing campaigns should be planned strategically across all available marketing channels. If a particular channel isn’t utilized it’s important to understand and notate why.

Creating awareness and buzz is best done in concerted partnership across multiple marketing channels, leveraging the audience and strengths available in each channel.  Omni-channel marketing ensures that you’ve covered all the bases.

Once the purpose, theme, budget and schedule are determined, drilling down to analyze each marketing channel is necessary.  Campaigns aren’t one size fits all, so a strategic play on how to utilize digital, traditional and out-of-home, as well how as how key tools such as targeting and segmentation impacts your messaging are important. How you communicate on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, can be decidedly different from Email Marketing, Radio, Banner Ads, Direct Mail, PPC or DRTV so it’s necessary to create customized copy for each channel that ladders up to your overall campaign theme and message.

Measurement is crucial in understanding what roles marketing channels play in the performance of your campaign.  Implementing multi-channel attribution tools can assist in this area.  While you may not see a direct conversion from some channels, knowing which channels are introducers and influencers are just as critical as knowing which ones are closers.

When launching marketing campaigns, do not do so in separation.  Leveraging at least multi if not omni channels will yield better performance.  I have witnessed organizations that launch campaigns in isolation – with different teams being responsible.  The email team is launching a totally different campaign and message than the social team, etc. with no integration or coordination from the top.  Creating an editorial and acquisition marketing calendar will help coordinate the efforts of multiple teams, and ensure everyone is on-message.

On your next campaign, utilize omni-channel marketing to engage consumers on their turf and to see a lift in performance.


Rolanda Gregory ©2016
All Rights Reserved.

Invest/Maintain/Kill

Yahoo!

Invest/Maintain/Kill:  These are words to live by for any organization.

Today, we’re starting to learn about the impact of Yahoo’s Invest/Maintain/Kill List.  While it may initially sound threatening, cold or insensitive, it is a strategy that all organizations should utilize.  And use often.

As an organization, it’s important to constantly evaluate, measure and plan for the future as it relates to your core competencies, technological advantages, people, strategic partnerships, and any other competitive advantages.  Having a strong indication of which of these items should be further invested into, maintained as the status quo, or subtly decommissioned or killed is key.  It helps to keep your organization nimble and focused on its most critical objectives and goals, while keeping aboard the talent and people who will best contribute to reaching those objectives.

I applaud Yahoo! for taking these necessary and crucial steps.

Learn more about the changes at Yahoo! on re/code.


Rolanda Gregory ©2016
All Rights Reserved.

No More IE

MS Edge

It feels like only yesterday that we were hard-coding web dev fixes for older Internet Explorer browsers.  You know for the users that simply wouldn’t upgrade from IE 7, 8 or 9.  For some Marketers it was just a tad bit too much traffic to shut off altogether so we continued to Band-Aid fixes.  Well at least now we finally have support from Microsoft.  As of today, Microsoft will only support IE 10 and Edge for its consumer-base.  It’s about time.

Hmm, I wonder if Edge will topple Chrome from the throne.

Learn more about the transition at Microsoft


Rolanda Gregory ©2016
All Rights Reserved.

Marketing Across Multiple Social Media Platforms

Girl on Couch with TabletSocial media is one of the most affordable and effective methods of marketing available today. Zappos, Ford Motor Company, and Burger King are just some of the many companies that use it. What’s great about social media is that you don’t have to be the owner of a huge company to use it. No matter the type or size of the business you own, you can use social media to market it. Before you jump in though, it’s important to understand how to use social networks effectively.

Challenges of Social Media Marketing

Business owners often complain that posting on multiple social media networks is too time consuming and it doesn’t have a high return on investment. While many people experience this, it’s usually because they are not doing it in the right way. If you know how to save time and make social media marketing effective, it will keep you from dealing with the same challenges.

How to Save Time

You don’t have to be strapped to a computer to post an update on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+. You can schedule posts to go out at certain times of the day on all the social networks you are using to market your business. This way you can go about your day without having to worry about providing your audience the information they look for from you.

Facebook allows you to schedule your posts on their platform. For Twitter and Google+, you will have to use a social media marketing tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite. These programs will publish posts for you at times it believes your audience is most likely to use the social networks you specify, or you can select the timing for the posts yourself. For sites such as YouTube and Instagram, you will need to post them immediately, but the good news is you don’t have to post multiple times a day on those sites to be effective.

Making Social Media Worth It

Social media marketing builds your business’ brand. When you present your business name and logo repeatedly with posts, people start to remember them. As you post valuable information to your followers, people will start to appreciate you. They will share your posts and recommend them to others. Those people follow you and the cycle starts all over again. Many people will notice who is posting such great content and click on the link to the poster’s website. This is how a business increases its visibility online.

This all doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to build a following across multiple platforms because you have to test out different posts to find out what your audience likes the best. Some people love to watch videos, while others just like images or text-based posts. You also need to learn what time of the day your audience is online. A post may receive more attention in the afternoon when people are taking a break at work, or later in the evening after they’ve had dinner. The only way to figure it all out is to test it, which takes time, but it’s worth it when you find the times and the types of posts that receive the most attention.

Making Digital Marketing Less Overwhelming

Many companies such as Amazon, Red Bull, Visa, and McDonald’s have used social media to successfully market their products and services, but they have a team behind them handling it all. This team posts for them, handles comments, and works on increasing online visibility. Small business owners can do the same thing by hiring just one social media manager. This person can be in charge of your business’ reputation management by following what people are saying about your business, responding in a positive way, and giving social media users the information they want to read and share with others.

Social media marketing is what small businesses are using right now because it’s low cost and effective. Get started today simply by setting up an account on a social media network such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, or Facebook Pages. Before you know it, you’ll be increasing your brand awareness and bringing in new customers. That’s the glory of social media marketing.


Rolanda Gregory ©2016
All Rights Reserved.