While programmatic has become a go-to strategy to increase consumer impressions, what we as marketers owe to our clients is educating them on the strength of those impressions. “Thousands of impressions” are worthless if your ad is served to the wrong person, or even the right person in the wrong place or time.
Just last year, P&G pulled over $200 million from their online media buys due to quality of inventory and transparency issues. What they saw? An increase in ROI despite the drop in their spending. Their experiment was so successful that competitor Unilever quickly followed suit.
Placement and Persuasion Matter
I’ve long talked with internal teams and clients about how programmatic is a tonnage play: cheap impressions, lots of them and not a lot of control over placement. From a messaging perspective, it limits us as marketers. There is about enough time for a logo and tagline before another five ads pop up in front of your prospect while they are clicking through to see what Taylor Swift’s mansion looks like or what Zach from Saved By The Bell looks like today.
Those impressions may be good for high level, top-of-mind awareness, which is ok if you’re an absolute unknown or targeting switchers. The problem: They leave almost zero room for persuasion. And for me, both placement and persuasion matter.
Let’s Get Focused
Years ago, we worked on Belvedere and Chopin vodkas. Launched with a fraction of what Absolut was spending in the market, it was imperative to be vigilant about where we placed every dollar. Our strategy? An extremely focused media plan targeting influencers (long before it was a social media buzzword), which meant blacklisting publications that, while reputable, did not fit a very specific target audience. The result? $80 million in case sales in just 18 months and a brand that was ultimately sold to LVMH for a pretty penny a few years later.
The same logic is an important consideration in today’s online media marketplace. Placement matters. Your messaging matters. And very clearly defining your target matters, too. Greg Solbiech, in a recent Media Post article, agrees and lists this as one of his three tips to keep in mind: “Budget isn’t everything…A focused media strategy that prioritizes context and quality can carry the day even in the face of smaller budgets,” he says. Fair to say, I agree with him.
Full disclosure: This kind of an effort will take more time to manage by your internal teams or agency, but it’ll be worth it—the results you’ll see will be closer to generating turns and building long-lasting relationships with your audience.
Our Connections Planning Director, Andy, calls this type of a strategy hyper-targeting. I call it smart. Interested in learning more? We’re always up for a conversation—and you can contact us here.