How To Get The Most Out Of Your Digital Advertising Budget
Today, too many digital marketing teams throw their cash in the air and hope it lands where their customers are.
In other words, they’re more likely to chase down the next big thing than hone in on what really works for them.
Following this so-called method of advertising management isn’t going to get you a decent ROI. It’s more akin to driving your car at night without your headlights on. You can tell you’re on the road, but you’re not sure where you’re going.
In this article, we’ll break down what you need to know.
Get the most out of your digital advertising budget using three key changes:
- Focusing on data-driven choices
- Delivering a unified customer experience across all channels
- Creating a holistic approach to advertising management
These steps aren’t little tweaks that take a second to implement. However, they will ensure you’ll not only get a greater ROI from your marketing budget, but you’ll also reach the top of your game and run a more effective organization.
Data-Driven Choices: Review Last Year’s Data
You don’t need to re-invent your advertising management strategy every year. It’s possible to repackage older campaigns and repurpose them for the new year.
But doing so requires knowing what campaigns worked, what didn’t, and what could have been a success and missed the mark.
Head back to last year’s data to definitively assess what you did right. Then, strip out everything else.
How do you do that?
Dive deeper and ask questions about the data:
– How successful was the campaign?
– What metrics suggest success?
– What do those metrics say about the success of your tactics?
– What was your worst performing campaign?
– Where did it underperform?
– What do the metrics say was the likely cause of underperformance?
Then, think about how those metrics can be used to create a new campaign.
Not only does this advertising management strategy give you an opportunity to capitalize on past success.
It’s also an opportunity to re-direct your attention towards what new methods may offer. It also saves you from wasting time and money on repeating methods that haven’t worked in the past because they’re not the right fit for your company.
Create A Unified Customer Experience
Digital advertising management takes into account all the different ways customers engage with digital media.
Yet, the customer journeys that leave the greatest impact on your target market aren’t haphazard. The best journeys are the ones that are unified.
So, as it turns out, the development of multichannel strategies solve the wrong problem.
Customers who are thrust into a series of disjointed digital marketing campaigns will be unconvinced of the promise of your ad – at best. So, you need to find a way to unify all your actions across each of your chosen channels.
It’s what Joanna O’Connell over at Marketing Tech calls the “omnichannel” option.
But how do you achieve an omnichannel strategy in digital marketing, which is so perfectly segmented across channels and teams?
What To Do
First, you need to take an integrated approach to data.
Devices may be connected, but channels are still independent. You’ll need to find a data solution that allows you to look not only at your customers on Facebook, but you also need to see who they are on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and wherever else they live.
This brings us to the second step: use integrated data to create a plan for holistic execution.
Once you bring the data together and interpret it in the same vein, you then need to deploy it that way. Whatever your message is, it needs to be disseminated so that it reaches customers the same way. This should be true whether they find you on a blog, in an ad, or on social media.
The smoother your brand can transition between channels, the easier it will be to create a unified customer experience.
Finally, don’t forget to take the integrated approach further through predictive analytics and machine learning.
These tools take your execution further. They do this by identifying your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the patterns in user behaviour that could inform future campaigns.
But First, Create a Holistic Approach to Advertising Management
Using integrated data to create a cohesive, omnichannel marketing strategy makes the most of your budget. It creates a unified customer experience that convinces and converts. However, it doesn’t quite address the root of the problem.
Why does everything become so segmented in the first place?
According to Scott Abel of The Content Wrangler, the answer to this question is silos.
Are your SEO team, your video creation team, and your social media team are all focused on their own tasks? If so, then you’ve created the perfect breeding ground for segmented marketing strategies.
Silos are incredibly common across organizations. According to Gartner’s 2013 Worldwide CEO and Senior Executive Survey, less than 10% of organizations have a true information strategy.
In other words, they have strategies for information in different departments. But there’s no cohesive strategy in place for dealing with all the different types of information available.
It’s not hard to see how this can lead to disjointed customer experiences. If your SEO team is seeing only a small fraction of the customer experience, and they never communicate with the social media team, who are also seeing only a part of the big picture, then the teams never put two and two together.
Hence, you end up with teams working in silos.
Creating Organizational Change to Break Down Silos
You never expected that making the most of your marketing budget would require organizational change, but in some cases, it does.
Jack Welch, the CEO of General Electric, has an excellent method for breaking down silos and creating what he called a “boundary-less organization“.
A boundary-less organization brings people together across teams, functions, and levels of the organization. Then, they can determine how to solve problems and make their decisions. And they do this in real time.
In theory, this should already be the norm in advertising management. After all, we’ve got Google, Skype, Slack and countless communication and productivity tools to ensure everyone can get to the meeting.
But this isn’t the case. What organizations were missing when Jack Welch was at the helm of GE wasn’t the right app. There are organizational issues at play that require an organizational change that runs deeper than adopting a new means of communication.
According to Jacob Morgan, the author of Future of Work: Attract New Talent, Build Better Leaders, and Create a Competitive Organization, there are three changes you need to consider when you’re trying to break down boundaries and tear down silos.
1. The shift from management to leadership
Morgan says that the goal of management used to be to ensure everyone showed up and did their work. But that doesn’t improve innovation, creativity or employee engagement.
Marketing team managers need to transform into marketing team leaders to inspire their staff to do their best work. Not only does this help create the conditions necessary for providing a unified customer experience based on data. It also generally improves productivity.
It’s a two-for-one win for marketing management.
2. Use collaborative technologies
Instead of leaving employees on a need-to-know basis, employees should be able to contribute to and collaborate on projects regardless of the level they’re at.
Your newest social media associate should be able to pitch an idea to the content marketing team lead, for example.
Collaborative methods ensure all good ideas are heard and valued.
3. Focus on breaking boundaries without worrying about control
It’s easy for a leader to lose their mind over KPIs.
But sometimes, teams need to be more concerned with breaking down boundaries. This is true both within the organization and in their quest to create a better experience for the customer.
Occasionally, control must suffer at the hands of creativity and innovation.
We’ve covered a lot of material in a short period of time, but it’s all important and worth reiterating. So, here’s a brief breakdown of what you’ve read in this article.
First, to know where you’re going, you need to know where you’ve been. Before blindly diving into new activities, you need to eliminate past campaigns that didn’t work AND understand why they failed, using data.
The best way forward in implementing a new advertising management strategy?
Create a unified customer experience through an omnichannel marketing strategy. You can’t do that if your organization is full of silos that prevent teams from sharing the information required to build that strategy.