Audience insights and other essentials of international media planning

Monday December 9, 2019 - Posted by:

The challenge of international media planning has never been greater for brands. Modern audiences are becoming increasingly resistant to traditional advertising techniques and have a wider range of media channels and platforms to choose from than ever before.

Research by Credos, the Advertising Association’s think tank, has shown that favourability towards advertising in the UK has fallen to 25 per cent, a record low. Key factors in this trend include ad bombardment and excessive frequency and targeting.

It’s vital, therefore, to devise your media planning and buying in a way that prioritises concepts like audience understanding and the customer journey. Reliable insights and strategies in these areas can help you maximise the effectiveness of your marketing in 2020 and beyond.

Audience insights

Having a clear picture of your target audience is essential in pretty much every marketing discipline, and international media planning is no exception. Knowing exactly who you’re speaking to will help you make the right channel choices and media investment decisions.

There are various ways to go about creating a reliable, detailed profile of your typical customer. If you operate internationally, one of the first and most important steps is to gain a solid understanding of the local market, which you can gain through focused research and testing.

Once you have this fundamental grasp of your target market, you can build up a more detailed picture of your audience and create customer personas that reflect what is really important and valuable to your prospective buyers. 

One practice that can prove particularly effective in enhancing your audience understanding is social listening, which can yield useful insights and data to fuel your wider social media marketing efforts.

Armed with in-depth profiles and a deep understanding of your customers, their preferences and what they want from brands, you can devise a data-driven media plan that delivers a strong ROI.

Journey tracking

Tracking customer journeys is important from a media planning perspective, simply because it gives you a clearer idea of where and when you have the best chance of making positive engagements with people and furthering their relationship with your brand.

Many businesses take the approach of creating typical customer journey maps, which provide a useful visual representation of every contact you have with your audience.

The purchase journey – via which buyers go from simply being aware of your brand to completing a purchase – is hugely important, but it’s not the only route to be aware of. You can also benefit from charting how customers typically evolve into brand advocates, for example, or how common pain points could put you at risk of losing customers.

Where media planning is concerned, having access to thorough, well-researched journey maps can help you make informed decisions and connect with people at the right time, in the right place, for the best results.

Tailoring for channels

Once you have come up with a fundamental strategy regarding where, when and how often you plan to engage with your audience, one of the next key steps is to ensure your marketing content is tailored to have maximum impact in your chosen channels.

On social media, for example, traditional advertising or brand self-promotion is likely to be ignored by users who are looking for content that is entertaining, educational, or solves a problem they have. In short, you need to provide something of value.

Again, it’s essential to have a strong local understanding to ensure relevant communications when you’re operating in global markets. This fundamental knowledge will provide the foundation you need to communicate in a way that not only suits your chosen channels but local audiences too.

Measurement and attribution

Being able to effectively measure the results you are gaining from your media purchases and decisions will help you prove ROI and inform your strategy going forward.

Cliff Campeau, a principal at AARM (Advertising Audit & Risk Management), has highlighted tools that could prove beneficial for brands developing a successful media planning strategy.

The first thing to consider is the importance of investing in tools that gather data insights from multiple touchpoints. Common metrics that can be used across platforms, allow for you to measure the reach of your campaigns and collate data such as content ratings, regardless of where the engagement takes place.

Mr Campeau also pointed out the advantages of cross-channel, multi-touch attribution models.

“In order for advertisers to truly optimise their media investments, it is imperative that they be able to assess the role that each consumer touchpoint plays in achieving their goals,” he wrote.

Equipped with the right tools and knowledge – from reliable attribution models to precise audience insights and understanding of your target market – you can go into 2020 confident that your international media planning strategy is primed to succeed.

If you would like to know more about how Locaria can help you take key steps such as researching markets and tailoring international content for particular channels, request a quote online or call us on +44 (0)20 3948 6800.

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