The connected channels: All media channels must have defined budgets, priority and cohesive reporting
In the final installment of his multipart series on the connected marketing approach, contributor Thomas Stern discusses the elements you need to develop a seamless marketing strategy across all channels and their audiences.
Brands can create a consistent and cohesive digital marketing strategy by developing a distinguished and efficient experience across every consumer’s journey. It’s crucial to secure the brand, its audiences and its channels when constructing the connected marketing approach. When you have undeviated marketing methods with clear messaging across all channels and their audiences, you improve your brand’s reputation and trustworthiness.
In my initial post, I explained the connected brand. Last month, I described what the connected audience was. This month, in the final installment of the connected marketing approach series, I’ll take a deep dive into the connected channels. To make a fluid marketing strategy across all channels and their audiences, you have to develop definitive goals, establish budgets, create prioritization and have a cohesive reporting structure to understand the effectiveness of each channel.
Channel mapping is all about discovering the success of each channel. What’s your top-performing channel, and why? Channel insights provide decisive and competitive differentiation that’s based on consumer knowledge, connection and trust. They enable you to secure and grow those relationships with your most important customers.
For example, organic search may be your top-performing channel in regard to sessions, while paid search has the highest goal conversion rate. Each channel works differently to achieve your brand goals, like increase of traffic, visibility and conversions.
Channel mapping is not a one-time event. It’s a continuous event that must be regularly evaluated to determine your digital marketing campaigns’ effectiveness. By laying out all channels, you’re able to prioritize the type of content that’s needed for each audience and stage within their individual consumer journey.
Media planning is one of the key disciplines within advertising, followed by brand planning, creative development and account management. To advertise the brand, specific products or services, you have to find the most appropriate media platforms to use.
The job of media planning is to determine the best way to dedicate resources to your combination of media to achieve the marketing campaign’s objectives. You have to establish when, where and how often a message should be placed — reaching the right audience at the correct time with the best content.
For example, Shari’s Berries, a chocolate-covered gifts and berries company, gears up for Mother’s Day once a year. As the day nears, the promotions on both Facebook and email marketing grow in abundance.
In this case, it’s clear to us that Shari’s Berries goals were to drive awareness to the upcoming holiday and, of course, persuade you to purchase using its deals. While each channel may state the obvious of Mother’s Day and the importance of giving mom some love, they differ slightly in the purpose of the messaging — Facebook being slightly more fun and engaging, while emails are geared more toward direct purchases.
Many brands use key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate their success at reaching target goals. A KPI is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively you’re achieving your business objectives.
Defining KPIs depends on your brand goal, your industry, and at which part of the business you’re looking to measure. Whether it’s increasing time spent on site, engagement, visibility or certain product purchases, you just have to track it.
Attribution is everything. If you’re not tracking and measuring all your channels and the KPIs you’ve set, then your hard work is credited to nothing and no one. Whether it’s digital-only or cross-channel (online and offline) attribution, you need to measure all the data to see if everything aligns with your business objectives.
And it doesn’t just stop at evaluating Google Analytics and any other third-party tools. You have to take a deeper dive and take more action by implementing a consistent tagging strategy, implementing UTM parameters, and even creating spreadsheets to analyze offline efforts, if necessary.
Attribution isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Different variables and results will be based on your channel success and audience interactions.
Having the right attribution model in place is key, as it connects with the appropriate data inputs across all channels. But as your channels reshape themselves over time, your media plan, goals, and of course, attribution measurements will have to adjust accordingly.
By combining the insights from your channel maps, media plan, defined KPIs and well-crafted attribution model, you can set definitive budgets, prioritize campaigns and produce cohesive reporting for all channels.
At ZOG Digital, my employer, we’ve taken the connected approach by the horns. There are three main segments: the brand, the audience, and, yes, the channels. They all have to work in tandem to create efficiency and effectiveness.
It’s a rinse-and-repeat method. If one thing, such as your brand’s voice, changes in the slightest, then so will all other aspects of the connect approach. It’s a continuation of connecting your digital marketing efforts at every level.