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The Challenge Remains: What Is the Right Media Mix?

March 12, 2019

There has never been a time when determining the correct media mix was more challenging for advertisers. A perfect storm made up of a complex customer ecosystem, mass confusion over how to reach them most effectively, and shrinking marketing budgets has created uncertainty for even the best companies.

Right now, we are emerging from an almost automatic consensus that “digital is the answer, now what was the question?” And yes, digital media certainly allows advertisers to hone in on target customers, but as some really large brands quickly realized, eliminating mass advertising channels causes a loss: they were losing the impact to their business from secondary and tertiary targets. That plus transparency issues, have brought the question of how to best determine the right overall media mix back front and center.

Complex offerings ratchet up media planning

On top of this, companies are adding more specific services to their customer offering, which requires specialized planning. The days of one media plan are over. Now a retailer, for example, not only needs a plan to win next week, it needs a plan to build and grow awareness for an ecommerce platform; a plan to directly connect with the most loyal customers and reward them for ongoing loyalty; a plan to combat new competitive pressures; and a plan to keep their brand at the forefront of the consumer’s mind.

The complexity and quantity of these plans is where many media mix modeling services fall short. They measure impressions more than awareness, and don’t take into account that all impressions are not created equal. They also don’t consider that customers respond differently based on their needs. Customer data is an advertiser’s heartbeat. The right media plan will keep that beat in good rhythm.

It’s now crucial to evaluate each media channel based on its strengths for particular needs. Print, for example, is still a very powerful medium for pushing messages in front of a mass audiences. And no one should confuse the declining popularity of printed news/information with a decline in the effectiveness of print media – they are not the same. A print circular is still critical to the success of many advertisers, as long as it’s reliably delivered. A direct mail campaign supported by key data is as powerful as ever.

How best to tell a brand’s story

For brands to stay relevant, they must tell their stories. Video content remains the best way to tell your story. Not only can great creative make a powerful connection in :30, that’s happening now in as little as :06. Well-produced and written audio spots still move people.

With the emerging capabilities of connected audio and video, the platform for visuals plus sound has never been more prominent, important . . . and exciting! The proliferation of these tactics, and the precise measurement and placement digital media requires, add up to an urgent need for coordinated media planning.

Quad’s media team, along with digital partners at Rise Interactive, is staffed with people who live and breathe this complex media environment every day. Staying on the leading edge of what marketers need to connect with customers is what we do. Bring questions to us; bring challenges to us; bring media needs to us. We will work alongside you to navigate the perfect media storm we all live in.