Digital Media Planning hacks for 2015

digital media planning hacks

I was just going through the recently published article Rethinking the media plan on afaqs.com, it was kind of a deja-vu for me.

For a brief moment, I was teleported back to my day 1 of marketing class where the professor was talking about the book “Medium is the Massage” – by Marshall McLuhan ( the father of modern media theory ). Interestingly, McLuhan could see the integrated approach towards media (and communication) way before the modern digital world started to dominate our daily lives.

Today, the lives of human race is shrunk within a 4.5 inch smart device which has almost single handedly transformed and re-conditioned our thinking patterns like no other invention in the recent history. It is time for media planners to rethink their approach towards digital planning.

Talking from an Indian perspective, brands are increasingly moving towards more advanced planning methodologies. Where on one side, e-commerce has opened the floodgates for sales driven planning, traditional brand advertisers are taking baby steps to convert their all branding plan to sales focussed campaigns with a clear positive intent to drive more sales.

Legacy FMCG Brands like Dabur (see Dabur Liveveda ), HLL, P&G, Rekitt & Benkiser, Nestle are investing heavily into performance driven SEO & SEM campaigns to drive higher ROI for their brands. Some of them are even building their e-commerce portals (which may be an overkill of the idea at the moment). Incidentally, the idea of running pure brand campaigns is long gone from the market.

Online planners must do their digital media planning using these core marketing hacks before making a sales focussed plan for their clients:

Understanding Integrated Market in Digital

The modern day digital media planning is continuously evolving from the conventional eCPMs & eCPCs. With brands understanding the potential of online & mobile medium, they would push agencies to drive more business. In many cases, media planner might just become an extension of brand’s sales team. Though we always had CPA, CPL & CPS models under affiliate marketing but thats not scalable for all the brands. A brand which has huge presence across mediums like TV, Print, Radio, OOH ( somebody like Flipkart ) can surely hope for driving huge ROI in their online efforts. A digital planner need to really understand how the brand is using their messaging across mediums in order to cross leverage the impact & recall in online media. For instance, if the brand is using a particular type of communication in offline, the planner must contextualise the same in online to match the target audience.

Leveraging Google Search to reach Offline audience

It would not be incorrect to say that online habits are mirrored from offline behaviour patterns. A C-level executive of financial firm  would be an avid follower of CNBC shows, at the same time he would have moneycontrol.com, Economic Times, Financial Times bookmarked in his Smartphone browser. This was a very simple example, a complex example would be an adventure travel enthusiast playing a strategy game on his smartphone.

With google, you can open your imagination around a world of possible keywords which your audience may look for. As a digital brand planner, you must pass this intelligence to your media planning team as to what could be various categories of keywords in which your target segments may fall into. This clearly is mapping of one’s offline habits into their possible online behaviour.

Building digital plan to drive in showroom footfalls

It is a tendency of most of the agencies to fall into the trap of offering digital only plan to their clients, which at times may not be the best idea. Especially for the retail which is arguably the largest spender across all ad-mediums, digital only strategy is pointless if it cannot generate sufficient footfalls in their brand outlets.

With smartphones pushing the technology boundaries, it is now possible for the planners to build a online to in-store marketing plan.

Here are some basic fundamentals and digital media planning tips that can help to make sales & ROI driven media plan for their retail client:

  • Understand & define the brand audience they would like to drive to the stores. Throwing communication is wide open & hoping for someone to catch it may not be the right strategy in this kind of plan.
  • Find the right digital channels where you could possibly reach out to these customers. Email + Social + Mobile Search would be the best combo for such marketing activity.
  • Use the map locator as the CTA for all your communication.
  • Make sure you put some coupon code everywhere so that you can track the effectiveness of the activity.
  • Drive leads and send them SMS alerts along with the google map locator link of the nearby store. This works like a charm for any brand and can drive super quick sales conversions on ground.

Successful SEO Strategy needs better Digital PR Strategy

Google Pigeon SEO for PR and Content Marketing

Google’s recent focus on improving local search has not only given consumers more relevant results, it has also given small businesses more exposure to consumers in their neighbouring areas.

With local search gaining momentum, small businesses will now have a fighting chance to compete with the big boys, especially those conducting content marketing, as Google’s new search algorithm puts local search results over large enterprise brands.

Although Google is yet to give the new algorithm a name, Search Engine Land has dubbed it “Pigeon” – a reference to how pigeons always fly back home.

According to industry experts, Google’s upcoming changes are more focused towards making the search results mobile friendly as the traffic momentum is shifting towards smartphones & tablets ( read Forecast: Google To Lose $1.4B In PC Revs As Search Shifts To Mobile ) which means factors like locations & distance would now hold more value in the search result query. The algorithm is also closely tied to other features, such as Google’s Knowledge Graph.

At this stage it is difficult to determine the extent that this update will have on search results, but it is apparent across both Google Search and Google Maps. Other algorithmic updates such as Google Panda and Google Penguin, which were focused on improving the quality of content, have had huge impacts on search results.

For instance, the Google Panda 4.0 update that was rolled out earlier this year in May effected 7.5 per cent of all English search queries.

Small businesses wanting to make the most of these new changes need to prove to Google and online consumers that they are legitimate businesses with a good product or service, and one of the best ways to achieve this is by setting up a local publicity & content strategy.

Now the advantage with the Digital PR firms is that they have strong resources for creating quality content along with local audience insights that can offer them huge advantage over other digital solution providers when it comes to leveraging Google Search. Quality Digital PR content along with a focussed social media campaign & geo specific mobile search can do wonders for any small or medium size brand without causing a hole in their pocket.

Also read: Decoding Digital PR Strategy in India