The Ultimate Media Mix Guide for Brands in 2023
With new media cropping up all the time, it can be difficult to know which channels to jump into and which to scale back on. But if you organize your brand’s media mix effectively, you’ll be able to achieve well rounded brand awareness and communication that reaches the people you’d like to engage with. Read on to find out how to create an effective media mix in 2022.
What is a media mix?
Media mix is a marketing term that describes the channels a brand uses to reach its audience and achieve its marketing objectives. These can include online and offline media, such as websites, email, social networks, billboards, newspapers, radio, television and direct mail.
Every modern brand has a media mix – whether they realise it or not. Your media mix includes all the channels through which information about a product reaches your audience. Brands can communicate effectively with their target audience by using the right combination of channels in their media mix. Optimising your media mix is all about analysing each channel’s performance. It’s not an easy process though. 39% of marketers surveyed said that figuring out the most impactful media mix is the hardest part of media planning.
Why is your media mix important?
Using a mixture of media as part of your marketing strategy is essential as different segments of your audience are likely to tune into different channels.
Even more importantly, different media can be used to target those who are at different points in the consumer journey. For example, billboards can help build brand awareness, but email is key to building loyalty and repeat purchases among past customers.
Reaching the right people at the right time is key to driving conversions and having a media mix is an essential part of doing this.
If a brand is too reliant on one medium, it can leave their business vulnerable. If a channel goes down, changes their communication policies, or if there’s a sudden increase in competition, it will lead to a steep drop in conversions.
Having a well optimized media mix will guard against this and provide your brand with the confidence it needs to experiment with new channels. Brands can invest in innovative new tactics without putting too much at risk. By keeping some reliable channels running, while also trying out new ones, your marketing strategy will never fail – and you may even unveil new, profitable opportunities in the process.
Benefits of media mix optimisation
Just having a media mix isn’t enough though. Brands need to optimize the channels they use to deliver relevant marketing messages.
Media mix optimisation involves analyzing how your media messages impact your audience. It’s all about figuring out the combination of messages that offer the best results for your brand.
With careful monitoring and analysis, brands can understand how changes affect each channel’s performance. Clear data allows marketers to invest in strategies that suit both their customers and their goals. They can also revise their ads to deliver smart, timely, sequenced, personalized and effective messaging. It’s about getting the right message to the right audience.
Tracking and understanding every media channel, and how they fit alongside each other, requires a lot of time and effort though. It will also be months before you have enough data to confidently apply changes to your strategies. In the end, what matters most is that your marketing teams can identify which channels are most effective and allocate resources accordingly.
Down the line, media mix optimization should increase conversions and reduce the cost per acquisition, giving your brand a better ROAS. So this is a great strategy for businesses that are working with a limited budget.
Although media mix optimisation is a powerful tool for gathering data and making budget decisions, in instances where a brand employs a lot of traditional marketing methods, the insights aren’t always reliable. However, the information gathered can still help inform the likes of branding, visual design, social post schedules, regional ad placements and online media investment.
How do you determine the right media mix?
Using multiple media to promote your brand’s products is always wise. You want to strategically put together a web of marketing messages that will guide prospective customers right through to conversion.
To get the media mix right, it’s important to come up with carefully thought out strategies based on your brand, budget, audience, product, USP and in-house skills.
Carefully planning your media mix strategy is vital for brands. Here are some tips to help you along the way:
1. Consider your goals
What are your primary goals right now? These will influence the media you choose and the metrics you measure.
Startups that want to build awareness of their brand should focus on SEO, social media, OTT ads and traditional channels like TV, radio and print media. While established brands that want to increase conversions should focus on reaching consumers who are ready to buy. They can do this with the likes of PPC advertising and retail media advertising.
2. Think about the marketing funnel
As we already mentioned, different media channels are effective at different points of the consumer journey. So start off by looking at the sales funnel. What media types can influence awareness, interest, decision and loyalty for your brand?
But don’t think about each stage of the funnel in isolation. Plan ways to connect them and create pathways to conversion.
For example, brands could use PPC channels to present consumers with a sequence of ads that will take them from awareness to interest. Retargeting is a great way to take store visitors from interest to conversion. You could also encourage newly aware prospects to sign up to your newsletters in order to guide them through the funnel with email marketing messages.
Your media mix will be more effective when all the components are integrated. Just make sure to use consistent messaging, themes and design across your media mix, because this will help build brand recognition, nurture trust and reinforce your message.
3. Invest in tracking and analytics
To determine the right media mix, brands will need to invest time and money in analytical tools, UTM tagging and automated marketing reports. Tracking changes in branded search volumes and your overall share of search can help too.
Using a mix of traditional and digital media in your marketing campaigns is a great way to reach a large audience. But it can be difficult to accurately track the impact your offline marketing tactics have. So try to gain some insights by using trackable short links, QR codes, unique coupon codes and landing pages.
To track behaviour and conversions on third-party sales channels like Amazon, eBay, Argos, Tesco, Target or Walmart, you can use a Where to Buy solution. This technology enables you to gain extraordinarily detailed customer journey insights and can facilitate journeys across multiple channels and mediums.
The more information you can track from each channel, the more you will be able to improve current and future campaigns.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a platform that can provide a holistic view of data from across your various channels. It’s necessary to analyze and compare all the metrics, so combining them together in one interface will make this task much easier. The likes of the Amazon Marketing Cloud, Google Data Studio or DashThis can help with this.
4. Always monitor the same metrics
Choose a standard set of eCommerce KPIs to monitor over time. These can be compared to inform future campaigns. Having too many metrics can be overwhelming, so it’s best to choose a core set of metrics to track from day one.
Select metrics for each channel, ad format and audience segment. Ideally, they should be linked to your ultimate business objectives. It is a good idea to choose different metrics for each market too.
If you create the same report week after week, you’ll be able to see changes in media performance and clearly identify what contributes to your goals. This is key to media mix optimisation, which will require months or years of consistent performance data.
5. Validate what you learn
Media mix optimisation can be quite complex, especially if you use a lot of different distribution channels as part of your marketing.
Before making major strategy changes based on your data analysis, it’s a good idea to run sales lift tests and other isolated experiments to verify the impact they will have.
By determining your media mix in this way, you can feel confident about making transformational decisions.
6. Analyze your audience
Your media mix will depend on the demographics, location, pain points and preferences of your target audience. As well as analyzing your in-house data, it’s also important to refer to your customer personas and speak directly to your target market to understand how you can strike the right balance with your media mix.
Run surveys, send out questionnaires and conduct interviews. This extra research may just highlight new channels that you’ve never considered before, message types that are working for your competitors or other information that can’t be found in your weekly analytics reports.
When interpreting feedback, keep in mind that different personas probably hang out on different online channels.
7. Bring your different channels together
The channels in your media mix tend to be more impactful when they work together in unity. By connecting different channels and data sources, you can present your audience with consistent messaging that guides them toward conversion – wherever they are online.
So, instead of presenting prospects with the same ads over and over again, you can present them with a logical sequence of messages that will take them from initial awareness through the eCommerce sales funnel toward conversion. This can be done through ad retargeting and email marketing. If your brand implements a comprehensive omnichannel strategy, you’ll have even more ways to connect your channels and provide targeted marketing messages.
What is media mix modelling?
Media mix modelling, which is also known as media mix marketing or MMM, is used to forecast the impact marketing activities will have on sales and performance metrics.
This analysis technique goes a step beyond media mix optimisation and allows for even better budget allocation. However, media mix modelling also requires more precise monitoring and analytical processes.
Brands can only develop accurate forecasts by carefully tracking every single variable that can impact consumer behaviour and conversions. Looking at price, distribution, seasonality, trends, channels, competition, revenue, digital ad metrics, offline marketing metrics and product cannibalization is all crucial.
Once you have all this information at your fingertips, you can then start analyzing the data, noting trends and evaluating the impact of each media channel. You can also create models that predict the outcomes and results of each media type that you invest in.
This allows marketers to create better campaigns that will maximise reach, impact and return on investment. It can also help them answer a whole lot of important questions and interpret how external influences affect consumer behaviour.
As well as figuring out the right media mix, brands who manage to adapt media mix modelling will be able to discern how different channels will perform in the future and how everything from the weather to politics will impact their ROI.
Years’ worth of data is usually required to create predictions. But other influences, like economic activity, need to be taken into account too. If you’re lucky you may be able to get started with the analytics you already have in place.
It is hard to have oversight of them all, but if you carefully monitor the impact of each medium, you’ll soon be able to make calculated decisions that will benefit your brand’s bottom line. For more information on how to keep track of your marketing campaign or to discover how you can optimise your eCommerce strategy, talk to a member of our team today.