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Why It’s More Important Than Ever to Rethink Your Media Planning

Dillon Baker

Like with most industries, Covid-19 is creating unprecedented upheaval in digital advertising.

Brands are cutting budgets. Agencies are reevaluating strategies to account for disrupted client spend. Publishers are seeing more traffic than ever, but don’t have enough inventory to take advantage. And everyone is having to rethink what defines “success”.

Studies have shown the extent of the disruption. Almost every media type was expected to have budgets decreased. And according to one by Orbit Media and Advertiser Perceptions, 95 percent of marketers said media planning and buying would be “very impacted” or “near total disaster” as a result of Covid-19.

Media that US Agency and Marketing Professionals Have Decreased* Budget from vs. Media that Retained/Benefited from Budget Reallocation due to the Coronavirus, March 2020 (% of respondents)

As budgets come under increasing scrutiny, it’s never been more important to get a handle on your media — and ultimately make everything you do efficient and effective. But it’s also an opportunity to innovate, lead, and rethink. If you do, you may come out the other side better prepared to drive growth in the future.


Towards a more efficient and effective digital media


Brands should ask if they truly understand how their budgets are being spent, and if they’re getting the most bang for their buck. Agencies should ask if there’s more they can do to drive value for their clients and provide greater transparency. In other words, everyone should be asking: “How can we be more efficient”? 

That starts with taking a hard look at your media planning processes, systems, and partners. How can you ensure these are all interconnected so that you can get a holistic view of your digital media at the speed and convenience you need?

At Datorama, we believe having a full picture of your media data is critical to achieving this efficiency. You can start to do that with a few steps:


1. Connect your “planned” and “delivered” data

Data on what’s happened is only half the story. To be truly efficient, you need to understand the difference between what’s ultimately delivered versus what was originally planned. 

Joining those data sets is key for getting a handle on your media budget. You should be able to understand how much budget was dedicated and over what time period; what were the goals agreed to for the campaign; and what buys ultimately took place and when.

It’s a complicated process, but once it’s done, your level of control of your budget will exponentially increase.


2. Pace your media campaigns for mid-flight optimization

Joining your planned and delivered data allows you to pace your campaigns. Much like a marathon runner, you should be pacing every campaign to make sure that it’s on track to hit the goal you initially set.

Holding the publisher accountable to what was agreed to — and identifying any issues mid-flight rather than after a campaign is already over — can mean the difference between a successful campaign and a waste of money.


3. Push for ad quality and audit for wasted spend and discrepancies 

Finally, marketers can drive efficiency with their media by using viewability and verification metrics to ensure they’re getting the most bang for their buck. Ads that go unseen are by definition not effective. Additionally, it’s critical to verify your media to make sure you’re meeting brand safety standards and detecting any fraudulent ad activity.

In other words, marketers should be sure that promises given to them are being delivered and there are no discrepancies. While there is plenty of upfront work to make this happen, it will save you time and money when you need to most.

By having this holistic view you can have an accurate understanding that allows you to be agile with your dollars. So that whether you’re moving money out, or putting money in, you can ensure you’re getting the most of what you’ve got.

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