Customer Experience and Design

5 Tips: Holistic Approach to Paid Media

Media has become fragmented and complex. But the good news? That actually can work in your favor.

Long gone are the days of pouring marketing dollars over masses of unsegmented audiences and budget waste. Because there’s a simple truth: marketers no longer drive the buying process. Consumers do. Say hello to marketing efficiency and giving consumers the reins. Your customers decide what they want to buy and detest irrelevant ads that get in the way.

So how do you effectively market online – at the right time and place?

1. Start thinking holistically. That means integrating paid media into your overarching communication strategy, leading with customer experience (CX). This approach stays focused your customers, making it easier to conquer fragmented media channels.

2. Think about context in your communication strategy. Paid media is a driving force for interaction. But it doesn’t come first. And it doesn’t fly solo either. If planned well, it can complement your content (earned and owned media) and the rest of your communication strategy. Remember, advertising ignites interaction and content fuels it. Consumers research online before purchasing, and they talk about their experiences afterward. So, before you spend a dime on an ad, make sure you have content to assist with them with their decision—don’t waste their time.


  1. Research the reality behind media channels. It cannot be said enough that customer experience is the key to successful marketing. That means more than building a responsive website. It means researching media channels and learning about the real experiences they provide. Ask:
    • + Do they offer frequency caps?
      + And what are their performance measuring capabilities?
      + Where is their traffic coming from?
      + What do they offer for ad size, type of ads, CPM, CPC and targeting capabilities?
      + How do they sell their impressions (fixed CPM, programmatic bidding)?
  1. Buy and measure desktop and mobile ads separately. (Test them, too.)
    Don’t automatically assume a channel effectively delivers on all screens or assume a high share-of-voice (SOV) is a good thing. For example, you could be sold on a great homepage space with a well-known publisher and later learn the outlet has a completely separate mobile site that does not pull in that homepage ad you purchased. The best practice is to buy desktop and mobile separately, and measure them separately, too. Test the customer experience, so you know exactly what your target audience will see.


  1. Add nurturing content to paid media budgets.
    In the past, media and content were separate investments. Media budgets included the cost to create ads and ad space, while content costs were often classified in a separate “website” budget. With the evolution of marketing and content strategy, “nurturing content” should be included within the advertising budget. After all, you’re delivering an end-to-end customer experience. So make sure your marketing dollars are optimized, simultaneously driving interaction and keeping content relevant.

Simple, right? Remember, by thinking holistically about paid media, you don’t have to focus on fragmented media channels. You can focus your investment on your customers – right where it belongs.


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