8 MINUTE READ | December 6, 2017
The Intersection of Creative & Media: Omnichannel Marketing
When it comes to digital marketing and ad campaign management, we think it’s safe to say that there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen, hats in the ring and whatever other idiom you prefer to express that a lot of people are involved in helping the brand provide a valuable experience for the consumer while successfully fulfilling business goals. However, when all the various expertise can work together on a single plan, the output is that much better.
With social strategists, programmatic experts, and account managers all involved in the day-to-day performance operations while creative brand marketers focus on strategic, overarching goals, maintaining the elements of business that drive demand and harvest demand is no easy feat.
Enter omnichannel management – operating in the space between brand marketers and performance marketers to balance the dichotomy between creating demand and harvesting demand – bridging the gap to bring value to the brand and its customers simultaneously.
The goal is to work across mediums and utilize every single potential channel to come up with the secret sauce for the client.
So let’s talk specifics, how is omnichannel management successfully implemented?
With new technologies pushing the industry forward at lightning speed, managing how a consumer interacts with a brand is ever-changing; expanding beyond our wildest imaginations as we plunge into channels and connect with users through a variety of mediums – 6-second clips, display ads, TVCs, OOH, and so much more. To make things easier, we consider there to be two sides of marketing – brand marketing campaigns and performance-based marketing.
While the goal of brand marketing is to build the brand’s relationship with the consumer, the effectiveness of those efforts can be difficult to measure, though not impossible. The traditional way of survey-based brand and ad recall, still very much exist. However, to enrich those measures, relying on performance marketing (PPC campaigns, programmatic display ads, etc.) can play such an essential role in the marketing mix, especially when reaching the born-digital consumers (millennials and the iGen).
Because the goals of these two sides are so different, omnichannel planning orchestrates how a customer will experience the brand however and wherever that experience happens; working across all channels to ensure that the brand story, brand voice and owned media (social media pages, physical stores, website, TV, etc.) are seamless, consistent and integrated to better support earned media.
For a brand to truly succeed at omnichannel management, the strategy operates with the understanding that while a customer may be exposed to the brand in one channel or one way, he or she may move into another channel as they progress into a relationship with the brand and explore their product offerings further.
If you’re just now getting familiar with how omnichannel management can separate your brand from the competition, I think it’s important to explore the specifics of exactly how brands create demand, harvest demand and why omnichannel strategy exists in the first place.
If you’ve heard it all before and want to know how PMG can help: feel free to skip the next two sections and pick up at the PMG’s Omnichannel Positioning where we expand on what sets us apart as a performance marketing agency that has the unique ability to truly understand the multi-channel needs of our clients.
The concept of driving demand for a brand is actually pretty simple, but successfully creating that demand isn’t always easy. This is because it takes a lot of time, effort and coordination from C-level execs down to the graphic designers and copywriters doing the work to build the creative elements that will empower, motivate and persuade consumers to choose your brand over the competition.
As mentioned previously, brand marketing works to build and strengthen the brand’s relationship with the consumer over time through brand recognition elements like mascots (think: Ronald McDonald, Flo for Progressive Insurance, etc.), powerful storytelling pieces (Beats by Dre Ads) and market identity assets.
These assets exist to share who a brand is, what they do and why they are trustworthy. This can mean working with media producers to build tv or radio spots and utilizing any type of creative talent imaginable to produce the assets necessary to create a compelling story for a brand. Since the effectiveness of a brand marketing campaign is difficult to measure, brand marketing is used to boost brand awareness as well as brand recall, ad recall, and brand engagement to name a few.
Let’s take a step back before we get too into the brand marketing weeds here. On one side, the brand has all this creative out there that are being used to tell a powerful story (commercials, slogans, out-of-home advertisements, etc.) with the hope that it will influence the consumer, boost sales and increase brand loyalty. But how does the brand really know if the message is working?
How can, for instance, a retail brand point to one part of their brand marketing strategy and confidently say, “That one. That 60 second TV commercial targeted to x markets in this demographic is why we saw a 40% lift in sweater sales this quarter.” In this day and age, we don’t think they truly can.
Think about it.
Nowadays, if a brand wanted to run a video advertisement for their new collection of sweaters, there are literally hundreds of ways to make that happen and dozens of platforms like Facebook, YouTube, traditional television advertisements, Facebook Watch, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Vimeo, Spotify, streaming services like DirectTV now and Hulu for a brand to use. Those are just a few options for one idea for one brand’s product collection launch. It’s a little overwhelming, wouldn’t you agree?
There are definitely indicators and proxies that can be created to help show lift across a brand, but true confidence requires more than brand marketing,
Enter performance-based marketing, which prefers the approach of measuring everything, or, in other words, ensuring that the brand is harvesting the demand that’s been created.
Broadly speaking, performance marketing is the type of advertising that measures the performance of an advertising campaign through quantifiable data (clicks, impressions, etc.) Because of this, performance-based campaigns can require a lot of testing but generally offer a better indication, allowing advertisers to quickly determine if their campaign is successful or not, which is why a lot of brands are investing in these channels more heavily than ever before.
These investments take the form of programmatic display ads, PPC campaigns, and social media marketing – all optimized to fulfill a specific goal (boosting awareness, sharing interest and product research, targeting non-brand keywords, supporting intent to purchase searchers, etc.). Conveniently, most of these channels can utilize the same creative assets as brand marketing, though most brands have adopted the best practice to adapt their traditional marketing to fit the platforms and environments of the digital space. This allows for a consistent experience across all mediums, however also adopting the nuance of the digital experience.
Performance marketing then acts as that place where brands can start to see an ‘ROI lift’ based off of their brand efforts. Whether it’s a retail brand wanting to drive conversions of a new product launch, or a B2B brand wanting to drive more qualified leads, performance marketing helps to drive the business end of any brand. Understanding the planned, big brand marketing moments and coupling that with a well thought out performance marketing plan only enhances both schools of thought, and drives better results for the brand.
Since omnichannel management requires agencies to put the whole pie together, they often forget that they are doing just that – putting the whole pie together. Since each channel has its own use, importance, and time to shine, it’s very easy to get so focused on one side or another. Focusing all your attention on the brand story and the creative narrative can neglect the side of marketing that drives the user acquisition and conversion. However, getting too tactical in the world of performance marketing can leave your brand story a bit flat. Balancing these two sides of the same coin is the trick to ensuring a properly executed, omnichannel campaign.
PMG has put itself at the forefront of audience-based buying with the combination of custom, in-house technology, as well as global, brand media buying expertise, that lends itself to tackle all sides of omnichannel planning and marketing.
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Because PMG can sift through complex data sets and turn it into actionable insights, our brands are more informed, and our media approach is that much more effective. This isn’t just theory either; we’re doing this for our clients as we speak. By putting our fresh perspective to use by working across all digital channels, we thrive off the opportunity to connect a brand with its consumer by merging creative media with data – meeting the consumer where they are and using our position to amplify your brand’s message.
Posted by Nick Drabicky
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