The fragmentation of the digital landscape is complete. The sheer volume of channels and devices companies can use to engage with customers has become overwhelming at best. With new options continuing to emerge, the pressing challenge many face is how to ensure they select the right ones in order to reach their audience efficiently and effectively.
The trap of consolidating budget with top-performing vendors
Facing an exploding number of options and increasing pressure to do more with less, many companies are consolidating their budgets with top-performing vendors through direct buys. While this does seem to provide a data-backed strategy for limiting costs without hurting performance, it only looks backward.
The problem with only leveraging known vendors is longevity. While a direct buy with your top-performing referral sources is likely to continue delivering comparable performance for the short term, those tactics only reach the people you already know. More importantly, you miss out on engaging early adopters flocking to new sources of information.
The answer: build an audience-first, channel-agnostic approach
At its core, an audience-first, channel-agnostic approach means that you prioritize reaching your audiences when and where they’re most engaged. It’s about understanding who your audience is, what they care about, and where they spend their time online. By doing so, you can create campaigns that speak directly to your audience, regardless of the channel.
Why is this important? Because the pandemic has changed the way we consume media. People are spending more time online than ever before, and they’re using a wider range of platforms to stay connected. This means companies need to adapt their messaging strategies to this new reality. Here’s how it works…
Learning what your audience cares about
In order to craft and execute effective campaigns, you need to start by getting to know your audience. This involves going beyond basic demographics and looking at factors like interests, behaviors, and values. A great way to learn about your audience is by analyzing their activity associated with different types of use cases. By looking at what content they engage with most frequently and how they get access to what they need, you can get a better sense of how to connect with them.
With this information, you can create campaigns that are tailored to your audience’s preferences. For example, if you discover that your audience prefers to get answers to questions from online peer communities, you can create content that is optimized for those channels so you can access their inventory through your media buys, maximize reach and engagement, and, ultimately, drive better results.
Getting access to the right inventory
While this approach doesn’t focus on individual vendors, you do need to make sure you have access to the right types of channels to ensure you can achieve the appropriate audience penetration and frequency with your media strategy. In addition to looking at the types of channels where your audience spends time, you also need to explore the types of channels that are most effective for your campaign goals. The process of evaluating multiple options can help inform budget allocation to ensure you’re driving the right metrics with your spend.
The importance of an always-on test-and-learn approach
Maintaining efficient spend and performance requires you to stay connected to marketplace changes and respond accordingly with your campaign strategy. Running piloted trials alongside core tactics helps you evaluate new opportunities before adjusting your strategy more drastically.
An audience-first, channel-agnostic approach also allows you to continually optimize your campaigns based on real-time insights. By monitoring campaign performance and testing different messages and creatives, you can maximize your impact and generate insights that inform future campaigns.
Throwing out biases to achieve efficient, long-term success
Throwing out biases about your audience is an essential step to create effective campaigns in today’s digital landscape. By prioritizing the needs and behaviors of your audience and adopting a test-and-learn mindset, you can create efficient campaigns centered around your strategic goals.