For years the marketing world has bounced between full-service agencies to meet client desire for a single holistic partner and the more fragmented approach of specialist agencies, each focusing on their specific area of expertise. But regardless of what’s in vogue, what’s most important for brands is to have a lead agency that thinks on a macro level, ensuring any content is doing the best job possible.
Digital paid media planning sits between creative execution and website experience. While it’s logical for agencies to focus on paid media from the brand’s perspective to generate visibility, engagement and revenue, it can only do so much. If the brand’s owned channels aren’t performing to their fullest, consumers directed from paid ads may click away in an instant.
Campaign effectiveness is hugely influenced by the quality of the content in ads and on the brand’s website. In fact, performance versus target KPIs is dictated by these elements far more than the media buying. Often, companies are aware if their owned channels aren’t performing well, but they are invariably limited by budget constraints or deadlines, which can lead to these suboptimal executions.
A paid-media-last approach is imperative to ensuring campaign effectiveness. While it may sound odd coming from a media agency, investing in owned media allows an entire campaign to work cohesively. But you may be thinking, isn’t that the role of the creative agency?
The role of a creative agency is crucial and undiminished, originating content, creative concepts, communication frameworks and more. Creative agencies and departments guide the campaign’s vision. However, there is a grey area when the overarching content is translated into specific in-platform ad specs often embedded in technology, which is integrated with media buying. This is where campaigns so often fail, as neither party assumes responsibility.
If a company owns its technology stack, media specialists can take the brilliant creative work, and use it to develop best-practice platform assets, creating editable templates to adopt an ongoing test-and-learn approach to content. This can improve engagement rates and prevent the creative from getting tired.
A brand’s website remains a priority owned channel in this approach -- an omnipresent shop window. Websites that are clunky and lack the information people need will negatively impact consumer perceptions of the brand. A full-funnel and audience-centric approach, often integral to media planning, should also be reflected in the website content strategy.
Regardless of the sector, target audience or brand positioning, all organizations are seeking to maximize campaign effectiveness. The best way to do this is to think holistically, to plan across every touchpoint, and operate with a single agile budget across creative, media and content.