How to Reach the Right Audience Through Online Media

The creative development process is exciting and rewarding. There is nothing quite like going from a blank screen to something that captures the imagination, tells a story and compels action in just a few seconds. But for all that excitement, great creative is only as good as the media plan that connects the creative to the right audience. Despite the spreadsheet appearance of a media plan, it holds the key to creative success.

Here are four recommendations for unlocking the door:

Begin with the end in mind. Every good media plan must begin with clear and well-articulated objectives. Know exactly what you are trying to accomplish and what outcome you are pursuing.

Do you want to introduce a new concept to a market? Does the audience need to think differently about a product or process? Do you want leads or store visits? Now that you know, you may begin.

Do your research. What are the best options for pursuing your audience and your objectives? Is the story best told through video, whitepapers and banners? Or is surrounding the target with online, direct, outdoor and radio the best path? Retargeting your own website traffic may be the most effective plan. Explore all the options thoroughly before making your decision.

Establish your measurement metrics. Too often metrics get lost in the process. Everyone’s good intention of measurement and optimization are put aside as the deadline approaches. This step takes time, especially if you are doing this for the first time. Adopt an “if it can’t be measured, it didn’t happen” philosophy. Don’t execute a media plan without measurement. This is the toughest of all the steps.

Don’t be afraid to make changes. Monitor your media programs frequently and make changes to optimize your performance. If something is not working, make a change in the position or the creative. Sometimes the performance reveals the cost is too high for the engagement. Discuss that with the media outlet. Some will adjust the rate to meet an ROI target. If none of those work, drop the placement and move the investment to something new or add to what is working well. Don’t wait until the end of a campaign to evaluate the media performance.

Online Media Plan Optimization

Remember the philosophical question, “if a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a sound?” My answer is no. The definition of sound is something you hear.  If no one hears it, there is no sound. In my book, if no one sees your ads, messages or content, they don’t exist. Make sure you have a well-conceived strategy for connecting with your audience.

If you need help, connect with an agency partner who can help you hit the target.

Pam provides strategic counsel to our clients and drives the strategy and business development of MCC. Her experience in technology, marketing, media, sales and business management is a unique combination and a valuable asset to the agency and its clients. Before MCC, Pam spent 12 years at CMP Media, a leading technology media company. As group president of the Technology Solutions Group, she provided strategic direction for magazines, websites and the group's research and conference businesses. A graduate of The University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in advertising, Pam is a board member of Big Thought, A Learning Partnership, and an ardent CrossFitter. Google+ || LinkedIn

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