As 2019 nears its end, businesses will be looking ahead to 2020, thinking about their targets and ambitions for the coming year and anticipating what challenges it might hold. A key planning priority for many firms will be revising international advertising and marketing budgets. This is a major undertaking that is likely to encompass various stages, such as thinking about your company’s current position on its growth journey and what would represent an acceptable return on investment in your marketing efforts.
As 2019 nears its end, businesses will be looking ahead to 2020, thinking about their targets and ambitions for the coming year and anticipating what challenges it might hold. A key planning priority for many firms will be revising international advertising and marketing budgets.
This is a major undertaking that is likely to encompass various stages, such as thinking about your company’s current position on its growth journey and what would represent an acceptable return on investment in your marketing efforts.
Another vital part of building your marketing budget is international media planning, which can prove just as critical as brand strategy and creative output as a factor in marketing ROI. Effective media planning will maximise your chances of success in 2020, particularly if you are set to launch a marketing drive to support overseas expansion.
Challenges and essentials of media planning
Media planning poses many challenges, partly because the modern marketing and advertising landscape is so complex and diverse it can be difficult to navigate your way through the international maze of channels, platforms, audience segments and metrics.
The sheer range of factors that could have an impact on the success of your marketing activities can make the process of deciding where, when and how often to distribute your brand messaging particularly daunting.
That’s why it’s essential to establish clear ideas about the fundamental elements of your marketing strategy and, consequently, your international media plan.
Revisiting your budget and embarking on media planning efforts for 2020 will provide an opportunity to reconsider questions that are vital to your marketing, such as:
- What is your target market?
- What makes your brand unique, and how do you want it to be viewed?
- Who are your biggest competitors and how can you differentiate yourself from them through marketing?
- What does success look like?
The answers to these questions will help to inform your media planning. If your target audience is young, tech-savvy professionals who spend a lot of time online, for example, social engagement is likely to be a key focus of your media strategy.
Taking a fresh look at your marketing budget and media plans also provides the opportunity to think about the latest trends in the industry, which will help you keep up with (or outpace) competitors and stay in tune with customer expectations.
Is media planning at a crossroads?
Looking at media planning in particular, there has been discussion recently about the interesting position this aspect of marketing strategy currently finds itself in.
One of the biggest issues marketing professionals and media planners are having to deal with is the proliferation of digital technologies and concepts like automation in the industry.
According to Gideon Spanier, global head of media at Campaign, media planning “needs to make a comeback.” He stressed that, while the “strategy, insight, creativity and planning” involved in media channel selection and buying decisions haven’t gone away, a recent decline in the perceived importance of media planning is having “serious consequences.”
“The ad industry’s obsession with shiny new digital toys and automation has been the most immediate problem,” said Mr Spanier. “The whole ecosystem has become so complex and fragmented that advertisers and agencies are spending time on media coordination, instead of strategy and planning and ideas.”
He went on to note that the need for better media planning and curation has opened up a gap in the market, meaning the future of this space is “up for grabs.”
Supporting overseas growth
Effective international media planning is likely to prove particularly vital for your business if one of your big priorities for 2020 is overseas expansion.
Launching your brand in new markets is a big challenge, but there are huge benefits to be gained if you have dedicated enough thought, research and planning to your marketing and media strategies.
There is huge potential in the ecommerce sector in China, for example, but breaking into the market and earning brand recognition there isn’t easy. Dedicated market research to inform your media channel choices and buying decisions will be vital to your efforts to engage with local customers and deliver the experiences they are looking for.
It’s a similar story in regions like Africa and the Middle East, which could prove particularly appealing to retail brands that are struggling to negotiate the difficult conditions in Western Europe at the moment.
There is no denying the opportunity available in key growth markets around the world right now, but to take advantage of it you need relevant insights and local knowledge to inform your marketing and media decisions.
Find out how Locaria can help you better understand your target markets and plan for international success by calling us on +44 (0)20 3948 6800, or request a quote online.