Inside this Insight Report | Getting to grips with online media planning | Introduction | A quick exercise for planners
Digital's 16 online marketing formats | Best practice tips for campaign delivery | Customer insight
Get to grips with online media planning
Hints and tips for planners new to digital

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Digital Strategy Consulting

Getting media planning right is tough in digital because the choices can be daunting. Countless formats, hundreds of approaches to marketing, and wave upon wave of targeting techniques are enough to leave many newcomers like rabbits, dazed in the headlights. That's why a few agencies asked me to write up some guidance about best practice in media planning and ways to get the most from web advertising. It's a booklet we'll be using as part of the training support materials for the next editions of the Digital Media Planning Academy, and even though it's only for newcomers, if you're in digital marketing you might find it handy or have a colleague who would. I hope you find it useful and if you have some comments or case studies to share then why not mail me back, we have more detailed reports and best practice guides in many areas of digital publishing.

Danny Meadows-Klue
Danny Meadows-Klue
Founder and Chief Executive
Digital Strategy Consulting

Getting to grips with online media planning
Digital Insight Report

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Introduction to online media planning

Online marketing presents a richer choice of media formats, targeting and messaging than any other media channel. Harnessing this potential involves building on the principles of traditional media planning and using new toolkits, and matching the right formats and sites with the right media properties - all in a market that offers a daunting array of options. There are new metrics to track that transform accountability, and new models for trading media space.

This Digital Insight Report introduces some of the trends, frameworks and viewpoints that describe online media planning today to help planners new to digital channels get up to speed quickly. Topics covered in this report include:

  1. Getting started: Insights, metrics and objectives
  2. Finding your audiences on the web
  3. Choosing online marketing formats
  4. Trading models: Approaches to buying online media
  5. The impact of web media
  6. Execution and delivery: Online ad operations
  7. Integration
  8. Research insights: Exploring the media mix
  9. Hints and tips: For brands, their agencies and media owners
  10. Advanced techniques: Maximising budgets

Speed read

  • Planning online campaigns starts with understanding the customer and setting clear marketing objectives. These new channels build on classic planning disciplines.
  • By starting with clear and measurable objectives, and supporting them with strong tracking systems, marketers can know the exact ingredients that created a campaign's success.
  • The explosive growth of formats has given media planners limitless choice, with convergence delivering the benefits of TV, software, press, social media and networks.
  • By adding more websites to the media plan, the campaign will often touch more people, without automatically clocking up high wastage.
  • Web media are delivering high brand impact as well as strong direct response.
  • Online advertising operations issues are of rising importance and these teams are key to effective campaign delivery and performance.
  • Effective project management is key to the delivery of online advertising campaigns.

A quick exercise for planners
A simple way of setting smart direct response marketing objectives involves taking the main steps in the purchase process and calculating the relationship between each. Most firms can readily describe their conversion rates, and by measuring conversion processes at several points, online media planners can more confidently model the relationship between cause and effect in online marketing.

In the report there's a simple exercise to get you started.

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Digital's 16 online marketing formats
There is a bewildering mix of formats that make up the new digital media mix - from skyscrapers and roadblocks, pop-ups and pop-unders, to contextual formats, widgets or surround session packages. Each format has its own strengths and weaknesses, so before making a selection media planners will evaluate these in the context of the proposed environment. Savvy planners will also explore the relationship between media owner sites, the brand site, and other channels.

  1. Search - paid for (PPC) and optimisation (SEO) based approaches
  2. Text links, directory listings and "classifieds"
  3. Graphical - embedded (banners, skys, mpus etc.)
  4. Graphical - interruptive (pop-ups, expandables, rich media etc.)
  5. Audio and video formats (in-stream, in-banner etc.)
  6. Sponsorships
  7. Brand websites and microsites
  8. E-mail and ECRM
  9. Viral and buzz
  10. Affiliates and syndication
  11. Ecommerce placements and tenancies
  12. PR activity and online events
  13. Social media marketing techniques
  14. Widgets and applications
  15. Product placement and advertorials
  16. In-game advertising formats

Best practice tips for campaign delivery

  • Check that the deadlines are clear: map the timeline and communicate with stakeholders
  • Anticipate problems: look out for complex artwork and complex scheduling
  • Lead by example: ensure you hit deadline
  • The complexity of digital ad campaigns can create risks of under-delivery, so monitoring the delivery speed during the starting phases of campaigns is key to keeping on track
  • Be clear from the start about how disputes would be solved if they arise

Customer insight: at the heart of online planning
When the internet emerged as a mainstream advertising medium, it drew from traditional practices and then evolved its own additional rules. Since the mid-nineties, a climate of constant innovation has opened up the web's potential and broadened the choices media planners have, but customer insight remains at the heart of every good online plan.

In the report we explore the principles and some simple tips for best practice.

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Danny Meadows-Klue
"Digital media have unlocked new levels of precision and relevancy in media planning, creating the potential for deep customer engagement that audiences seek out."
Danny Meadows-Klue
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