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Media Buying & Planning

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Media

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Media

So you want to learn about the paid advertising media industry – brands, agencies, publishers and, importantly, buying media? Then you’ve come to the right place.

This post focused on digital media buying, the prevalent form of advertising today. We also cover some offline media buying aspects.

So, how do you buy media to generate sales and increase brand awareness?

You might be thinking that it can’t be that complicated. The truth is there are many aspects of buying media, whether you are a brand or a media buying agency that is looking to purchase advertising space. Over the past few years, the media landscape has shifted significantly, and the process has changed massively.

Word Cloud Generating Leads Large Advant Technology

What is media buying? 

It is the process of purchasing ad space in order to reach a targeted audience, with the aim of promoting a brand organsation or business. This applies to both offline or digital media. The person responsible is known as a media buyer.

What is a media buyer?

Media buyers are professionals who look after the buying of advertising. Their role will depend on their seniority, from managing budgets and developing strategies to negotiating rates with ad publishers and researching new opportunities for clients.

They are the driving force behind the planning and executing media campaigns, ensuring ads reach their intended audiences.

Why do companies choose to do media buying?

The basic idea behind buying media is to generate sales and brand awareness; this is done by delivering a targeted advertising message.

The ad message’s goal is to change perception and ultimately persuade potential customers to buy your product or use your service.

What are some of the common objectives of buying media?

There can be various objectives when it comes to media buying. The most common ones are:

  • Generating leads or sales
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Building a database of customers/subscribers
  • Driving website traffic
  • Generating word of mouth or social media buzz
  • Increasing customer engagement
  • Attracting new customers
  • Reinforcing brand positioning
  • Expanding geographically

It’s important to remember that the objectives of a campaign will vary depending on the company and what they are hoping to achieve. However, most companies want a mix of the above objectives.

What are some of the things a buyer should consider when planning a buy?

The process of media buying usually begins with developing a creative brief by the client. This document will outline what they want to achieve and provide some basic information about their target customer.

From there, the media buyer in a media buying agency will put together a plan which includes selecting the right channels/media, negotiating rates and securing ad space.

The campaign then needs to be executed, and the buyer will need to continuously analyse performance in order to make necessary insight-driven changes based on data analysis.

6 Steps of Media Buying - Advant Technology

6 steps to the media buying process

Planning and strategising

The first step in the media buying process is planning and strategising. This is where the buyer develops a media plan for the client, outlining what they are looking to achieve. The media plan should address the target audience across different media outlets to maxmise return on investment against the marketing objectives.

Bidding and negotiating

The second step is bidding and negotiating. The media buying agency puts together a plan to select channels/media, negotiate rates with publishers or ad networks (or both) and secure ad space.

It might involve applying special discounts for larger ad spend. It can also include looking at the technical specifications of ad space, such as page layout if the ad placement is print or file size if the creative needs to be delivered digitally.

Today most buying of media is done digitally, so the bidding is done in a live auction in real-time against other advertisers, called real-time bidding in programmatic advertising.

Executing the campaign

The third step is to execute the campaign. Where an ad creative is either provided to the publisher or the ad is purchased through technology if it is a digital media buy, which is the case in programmatic media buys.

The buyer needs to ensure that ads are being seen by target customers and that tracking is in place to monitor how effective the campaign is.

Measuring results

The fourth step is measuring results, which is key to any successful media buying campaign. From a digital perspective, the buyer needs to look at things like click-through rates (CTRs), viewability, reach, impressions, conversion rates, leads generated and sales closed due to the advertising. This information can then be used to adjust the campaign for future buys.

Refining the plan

The fifth step is refining the plan, where necessary. If results from a particular media buy are not as good as expected, the buyer needs to go back to the drawing board and tweak the plan accordingly. This might involve changing the target audience, altering the creative or switching to a different media type.

Reporting to the client

The sixth and final step is reporting to the client. This is only relevant if a media buying agency conducts the purchase of the advertising campaign. The buyer needs to provide detailed insights into what worked and what didn’t so that future campaigns can be improved.

Obviously, no client reporting is required for brands that have an in-house team.

Programmatic vs Direct Media Buying - Advant Technology

Direct vs programmatic media buying

In traditional media, buying everything is done directly, meaning a one-to-one relationship between the buyer and seller. In today’s digital programmatic world, new media buying platforms help streamline the media buying process. 

Let’s take a look at the two; direct vs programmatic. Media planners and buyers can buy directly from publishers/ media owners or use programmatic media buying technology.

Direct media buying is when the ad buyer contacts a publisher, negotiates rates and secures space for an advertisement. Direct media buys are still done for many offline media channels such as print, TV and out of home.

Programmatic buying on the other hand involves using real-time bidding (RTB) to purchase advertising inventory through automated systems that connect advertisers with multiple publishers at the same time. 

This is done through a DSP, aka a demand-side platform. DSPs are complex technologies, so it’s often best left to a programmatic specialist agency that employs experienced media buyers and ad operations teams who can use the technology properly. Programmatic media buying has increased in popularity because it allows for more precision in targeting, thanks to the use of data. With greater precision in reaching target audiences, advertisers are able to increase engagement rates and decrease the cost per acquisition.

What is the difference between media planning and buying?

A media planning team is responsible for putting together a media plan which, as we know, is a blueprint for a successful advertising campaign. They focus on the strategy side of things and consider the target audience, message, and creative factors.

Media buying teams are responsible for purchasing media space or time to run an ad across different channels such as TV, print and digital. They are focused on the execution side of things.

How to achieve the best ROI when media buying

Building an effective media buying strategy requires a good media planner, someone who can look at the marketing objectives and campaign goals as a whole. This is the work of an agency.

They’ll have excellent knowledge of the media landscape and understand how different channels can work in harmony. For example, how to use search, social and programmatic and even direct media buys to deliver the best campaign performance. At Advant Technology, we focus on digital media because we know it works and is fully trackable, unlike offline, which is harder to quantify.

Should I use a media agency or build an in house marketing team?

This is a question that can only be answered by taking into account the specific needs of the business in question.

An external media agency will bring expertise that could be hard to achieve internally. However, an in-house team can be more cost-effective and have a better understanding of the company’s culture. 

The best way to decide is to weigh up the pros and cons of both options. Consider the steps in how to choose an agency in order to help you answer this question.

Whether negotiating traditional or buying digital media through programmatic, media buying is complex and to buy the right ad space at the right price, an expert team will always stand you in good stead. Media buyer experts aren’t easy to come by, so working with an advertising media agency will most likely help to achieve better results than an in-house team.

We hope you learnt lots about the advertising and media industry in this post and if you need help with a campaign launch and achieving your marketing goals, don’t be afraid to reach out!

 

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B2B Media Buying & Planning Programmatic

New Programmatic Agency? What You Need To Know

New Programmatic Agency? What You Need To Know

Hello digital marketer!

So you’ve decided to move a new programmatic agency. Congrats! We tell you what you need to know to make onboarding smoother for everyone.

If you are looking for a new agency to handle your programmatic advertising, this article is for you. We have created an in-depth guide on how to prepare yourself and your team with all the information they need to start working with a new agency.

This will help make the transition as smooth as possible.

By reading this article, you will understand what steps need to be taken to make sure that both parties are ready for programmatic advertising together.

An exciting time for your business; we hope that you are ready for the opportunities that lie ahead of you.

Processes

The first step in this process is client/agency onboarding, which means preparing yourself and your team with all the information they need to start working with a new agency.

Expert Opinion

This article has been created by the team at Advant Technology and being a programmatic agency themselves, they have first-hand experience onboarding many new clients every year.

Advant Technology works with many agencies; creative agencies, SEO agencies, PR agencies etc, not only brand/advertisers/clients directly.

This article’s information comes from expert opinion through many years of experience working with other agencies and brands/clients/advertisers.

Today, the team shares what they think you need to know when you begin working with the new agency of choice.

Advant_Technology_Programmatic

Factors affecting the scope of the onboarding

Naturally, every agency will have its own idea of onboarding clients, which will depend on the project’s scope. The things that are likely to affect the onboarding process are:

• Total budget – a bigger advertising budget will typically mean a more holistic onboarding process
• Timeframe – an always-on and long term contract/agreement will result in a more comprehensive onboarding
• Scope – the more extensive the scope is, the more critical it will be to have a comprehensive strategy
• The total number of ad formats required
• The goals and objectives of the programmatic campaign
• The number of ad creatives
• The size of the team required to support and facilitate the media plan
• Ad inventory – whether it will be open RTB exchange inventory, PMP or programmatic guarantee deals or a hybrid of all three deal types
• The number of DSPs (demand-side platform)
• Market research
Audience targeting research
• Data plan – depending on the size of your data plan, you may need to find a DMP (data management platform) that matches it
• Location targeting research
• Device segmentation and match rate research – audience matching can be done using cookies or device IDs
• Demographic & psychographic profiles CRM list segments available for matching against audiences
• Compatibility with existing audience data
• Existing ad technology stack
• Types of creatives and ad tags available for insertion
• Analytics – types, platforms, integrations with existing infrastructure etc.

As we’ve discussed, onboarding is just the first step, but to understand onboarding better, let’s look at that from a bigger picture view so you can see what comes after client onboarding.

Programmatic Agency Onboarding Process
Advant Technology's proprietary approach, developed for our one of clients, Destination Canada in which we managed end-to-end planning and buying.

Marketing Goals and Campaign Objectives

Goals and objectives need to be defined before onboarding a client to understand the scope of what will be required to achieve those goals and objectives. There is a difference between goals and objectives. Let’s establish what you should be looking at at this stage.

Remember: Objectives should be measurable and actionable.

Goals can be unmeasurable, while objectives should have a specific structure to ensure they’re attainable and trackable.

For example, a goal could be to increase brand awareness among our target audience.
On the other hand, an objective would be to sell 100 units in 30 days at $50 each.

This type of objective is much more specific and actionable because it’s measurable and timebound.
Advant Technology likes to use SMART objectives as a framework

SMART objectives are:

Specific: what the desired result should be and measure whether this has been achieved in your campaign. It also makes it easier for everyone involved in carrying out the digital advertising campaign to know what the team should do.

– Measurable: a number attached so you can measure your progress throughout the campaign. You will not be able to assess whether or not your digital advertising strategy was successful unless there are measurable results at the end of the campaign.

– Achievable: it is vital to set an achievable objective.

– Relevant: Choose a relevant goal so there can be a direct correlation between what you are trying to achieve through digital advertising and the objectives that need to be defined at the beginning of this process.

– Timebound: an objective must be timebound because it is the only way to know that you have achieved your goal. This also makes it easier for everyone involved in carrying out the campaign (the agency and client, for example) to follow up on progress throughout this process.

Audience Insights / Research and Education

A process whereby the agency asks detailed questions about your market, your product/service, and the audience you are trying to reach. Thorough audience research is vital before the agency defines a strategy in reaching the target audience.

Know everything you can about your target audience in detail because paid media will not be successful if it does not reach its intended audience.

Programmatic Channel Strategy – Media Planning & Allocation

In this step, the agency will use audience insights from the previous step to plan media allocation and buy digital ads; this is your programmatic strategy. Media planning is a process where we determine placement, timing and budgets for purchasing ad space on various channels.

An agency may start by looking at your budget; how much you have available to spend over what period? Then analyse all relevant first-party data that can help the agency identify which advertising avenues will be most effective in reaching your target market with the message that resonates best based upon their demographics, psychographics etc.

For example, if an insight shows your potential customer base tends to purchase more during certain times of the year, such as Black Friday or specific days like Mothers Day, placing the ads within that timeframe would make sense.

Digital_Media_Plan
Example Digital Media Plan

Partner Strategy

Still part of the media planning stage, but rather than look at the channels, one should be looking at which partners are needed to execute the channel strategy.

Conversations and negotiations with DMPs, DSPs, Ad Exchanges, supply-side platforms or even RTB (real-time bidding) platforms to ensure the strategy is executed correctly. Additionally, it’s time to think of which specific publishers we can engage.

Lastly, reviewing third-party data can be applied inside the programmatic technology of choice to reach a particular audience segment.

Content Production – Brand Positioning / Creative Brief (Digital Advertising Campaign)

A brand positioning makes your company stand out from the competitors in the marketplace; it’s how you want to be perceived by potential customers and align with your marketing message(s). This step is where the agency will start creating ideas for ads that communicate these messages through photography or video, depending upon which platform best fits what needs to communicate.

For example, a pre-roll video ad may need to be different from a YouTube ad to an out-stream ad to an interstitial ad. They are all delivered differently, and thus their length/message may need to differ too.

Content production also spans across the landing pages. The ad’s landing page needs to be compelling and give value to the user. Why should they bother spending time looking at this ad?

The creative brief lets you see all these ideas come together in one document, so everyone involved is clear how it looks, feels, and sounds. Important because if there are any issues with production or timing, you want them sorted early rather than later. It may take longer depending upon each case.

Channel Usage

It involves making sure that everything has been planned out correctly from start to finish, it also ensures that all ad placements (website, mobile apps etc.) have tracking implemented. Hence, we know which platforms/channels are performing most effectively for us – again, data drives our marketing decisions. All assets should be adapted for their various channels.

Digital Channel Planning
Digital Channel Planning

Campaign Optimisation

Running a campaign involves lots of campaign optimisation. Progress should be tracked daily, so adjustments to media spend can be made if needed or refine messaging and creative based upon how the target audience responds. Just a few things to consider when are optimising a campaign are:

– The creative used in the ad. Does it match your brand? Is it engaging and exciting enough for people to click on?

– Your target audience, who is seeing these ads, and how often will they see them so you can better understand the performance of each one? Do certain demographics perform well or poorly compared with others? Are there specific times where an ad performs better than others (daytime vs nighttime)?

And what about locations? Do certain regions produce lower engagement rates than other areas such as cities or states within different countries that might be more receptive to this type of advertising, like New York City over small towns in Iowa? All of these factors should be considered.

– The key here is not just optimising within a specific ad but across all of them in order to get maximum results from each one being served at different times throughout the day or week, depending on what works best for your business goals.

Whatever direction you decide to take after reviewing these factors, make sure every decision aligns directly back towards improving performance and growing conversions rather than simply placing ads and hoping for the best.

• Consider removing specific channels that haven’t worked well or even introducing new channels. It might also be worth thinking about swapping out programmatic display for programmatic native or reducing programmatic spend and up-weighting publisher direct activity. There are lots of things that can be done. Some of them can be left to artificial intelligence. Others are more a manual process.

Continued Reporting, Analytics & Insights

Once the campaign has been running for a while, it’s time to take a look at what worked and didn’t work. The client should receive an end result report with clear insights into what worked best with their target audience as well as a section on next steps / future recommendations, including potential ideas for new campaigns based upon learning from prior ones executed within their brand strategy framework.

Marketing plans change over time, and agencies will need to be flexible and nimble in order for them to maximise their effectiveness.

Programmatic Video Report

Programmatic Video Report Showing Viewability, Completion Rate & Domain Reporting

Let’s take a look at other questions you might be asking in anticipation of finding a new programmatic partner. FAQs:

What is the structure of a programmatic ad agency?

Advertising agencies have different structures depending on the type of service they offer, whether that’s programmatic, web design or creative.

Programmatic agencies can vary in size and structure depending on the company, but structures are typically relatively flat, with many client service-focused roles that support programmatic buying. Programmers will also be members of this team as they play an important role in getting creative elements ready for integration into programmatic campaigns. Job functions may include:

• Campaign Managers
• Account Managers
• Ad Operations
• Media Strategist
• Business Director
• Client Services
• Creative Development
• Developer
• Analyst
• Media Planner

What are the benefits of programmatic advertising technology?

Programmatic ad technology has several benefits.

First off, it’s an efficient way to increase your target market by reaching the right audience at scale.
Additionally, programmatic media buying is an excellent way to measure the effectiveness of your ad spend and track KPIs such as conversions and ROI.

The technology allows companies to monitor important metrics like clickthrough rates (CTR) which is how often someone clicks on an ad that appears in their feed or landing page views for ads that direct users to a specific landing page.

Programmatic also has a dark side, with fraud being prevalent in the industry, so make sure you use ad fraud protection.

How should my agency report back to me?

The agency should be able to provide data on the performance of your campaign. They should have access to multiple dashboards that tell you information about impressions, clicks, and conversions. Tracking these elements will help give insight into what works well for a given brand or product and give an idea of where costs are being incurred.

Programmatic agencies should also be able to closely monitor the performance of your ads across different channels, including online display advertising.

Later, this information is fed back into future ad campaigns so that you can see how effective they are in converting users into customers or clients, depending on what it is you’re trying to achieve.

How can an agency make your programmatic advertising more effective?

When an agency runs programmatic campaigns, their goal should be to improve sales, increase brand awareness, and reduce costs. For an agency to achieve this, they need to follow these steps:
-First and foremost, the agency needs to understand the clients’ marketing goals.

-Next, the agency should determine if programmatic is a good fit for your marketing objectives.
– The agency will need to leverage their expertise so ask what level of service they’ll be able to provide, including campaign setup & testing as well as creative development services.

What services does a programmatic ads agency offer?

In a nutshell, they should be able to plan, buy, set up and execute a programmatic media buy, optimise and report back, and in the process, hopefully, return a positive ROI.

How much does a programmatic campaign cost?

The cost of programmatic advertising varies from agency to agency. Some agencies have a minimum spend requirement, while others may require you to commit for an entire campaign or even year, depending on the size and scope of your ad buy.

How do agency traders work?

An agency trader optimises programmatic campaigns; their role typically involves analysing data to ensure that the agency buys media at optimal prices. The trader will also be responsible for reporting on campaign performance and adjusting campaigns accordingly to meet specific agency KPIs, meaning they’ll have regular contact with agency management teams; therefore, traders should communicate effectively, both orally and in written form.

What are programmatic exchanges?

A programmatic exchange is a platform where publishers list their inventory to be purchased by advertisers using automated software platforms or algorithms called ‘smart bids’. So, this allows them to trade advertising space across multiple ad networks without being dependent on just one provider. Advertisers bid against each other for an impression which goes into an auction-style format where the bidder wins.

How do programmatic ad platforms work?

Programmatic advertising technology works by using a system of automated bids to buy ads at the best price. The whole process happens in milliseconds and delivers relevant messages to consumers across many different channels, including social media, mobile apps, audio, TV screens and billboards that are all driven through your chosen agency’s digital strategy.

What does it mean if an agency has a trading desk?

It means an agency has a specific team of programmatic specialists whose job is to buy advertising for its clients.

What does a programmatic analyst do?

They are responsible for running reports to track campaign performance and gather data used in future campaigns.
Should I own the programmatic technology stack?

Advant_Technology_Ad_Stack
Example of An Ad Tech Stack

It’s not always necessary to own programmatic technology, but it does come with benefits. This could be in the form of reduced costs, but your budget will need to be big enough. Generally, most DSPs require a minimum of $100k per month.

Should I leave my existing programmatic agency if I have issues?

Moving agencies is time-intensive, and as we all know, time is money. Try to find a solution first before making the switch.

It’s important to make sure you’re not leaving programmatic advertising before giving it a fair shot. Analyse what isn’t working and speak to other partners. The problem might not be the agency; it could be that programmatic isn’t right for you due to many factors, both macro and micro.

What programmatic agency should I choose?

There’s no shortage of programmatic agencies in today’s landscape. Choose one that will best suit your needs and programmatic approach. Make sure there is a good cultural fit, and they understand your business.

How long should my contract last?

This will depend on the scope of your campaign. You can opt for a long term commitment or just run one-off projects. Long term contracts (one year or more) is a commitment from both sides, from the client side a commitment in spend and from the agency side a commitment they will meet the services expected.

In the first instance, it may be better to run a few campaigns before entering into a long-term agreement.

Wrapping it all up.

Programmatic_agency_word_cloud
Programmatic Agency Process

 

When you are onboarding a new programmatic agency, be sure to have an open line of communication.

Be clear about your goals and objectives so that the team can set out on the right path from day one. That way, any potential pitfalls or missed opportunities will become apparent early in the process, and both parties will feel confident moving forward together into uncharted territory.

If there is anything our team has learned through our years leading digital marketing teams; its that effective partnerships take time and effort, but they’re worth every minute!
We hope this blog post has been helpful!

If you’re looking for a programmatic agency, we’d love to hear from you.

Free Paid Media Review

We are a world-class programmatic marketing agency that can generate more sales and leads for you. Leave your email address, we will contact you for your free paid media review.

Categories
Case Studies e-Commerce Media Buying & Planning

Diadora: Make it Bright

DIADORA:
MAKE IT BRIGHT

INDUSTRY:
Ecommerce
MARKET:
Europe​
SERVICES:
Paid media plan

Discover Diadora: Elevate Your Brand with B2B Solutions

We worked together with the brilliant team from SMFB to deliver a full suite of programmatic activity in seven markets for Diadora during the launch of their Make it Bright campaign. The plan included:

The total paid media budget was over 4.5 million euros, Advant Technology managed a 1.4millon euros of this over a period of 3 months.

SUMMARY

The aim was to raise awareness of the sports brand’s Make it Bright campaign. The campaign began with one person ordering a pair of N9000 shoes online, and unknowingly pressing the start button of a spectacular relay run 1,500km across Southern Europe. 70 runners from 10 different countries participated and passed the shoebox all the way from Milan to Barcelona. While the run took place, people were able to keep track of the process of the parcel as it made its journey.

CHALLENGE
Diadora got in touch in relation to the launch of their new shoe range as they wanted our help to promote it. Most of Diadora’s customers were male and the brand wanted to strengthen their recognition among a female audience. The KPI set:

‘To increase sales of running shoes 18% YOY with 30% of customers being female”

Increase sales of running shoes

PROGRAMMATIC STRATEGY
We used banners to deliver inexpensive impressions with a 2.17% CTR. By going programmatic rather than direct we gained approx 5x more impressions.

We drove traffic to their Heritage collection by targeting affluent audiences 35-45 years old interested in publications such as GQ, Vanity Fair, Forbes, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Financial Times.

Through our strategy we achieved an overall 74% completion rate and recorded a 6.7% CTR across the whole campaign in the UK!

We used banners to deliver inexpensive impressions

SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
By using clever targeting on social media, 13 million people ended up watching an average 68% of the 3 minutes long film on YouTube, creating 15% additional views worth €58,000 of free media.

Tweets provided more than 15 million impressions and 2 million video views resulting in a 30.7% increase in engagement.

More than 5 million views within the youngest audience (18-34 years old) with an astonishing 74% completion rate.

The activity resulted in a 7000% search lift in Germany & the USA

We also commissioned 50 bloggers who provided more in-depth engagement of over 3 million impressions across social media.

REPORTING
Diadora worked with independent brand research agency TNS to measure the effect of online advertising and saw an incredible uplift in brand awareness and perception.

REPORTING

  • Online sales went up by 47% with the product line selling out 2 weeks before the end of the campaign
  • Female sales increased by 65%
  • Intention to buy: +43%
  • Brand perception increased by 106%
  • 38,845,358 video views
  • 15M impressions on Twitter
  • 74.15% competition rate in a long-form video

INTERESTED IN HEARING MORE ABOUT OUR EXPERIENCE IN THE SPORTS SECTOR?

We have vast experience from working with sports brands. Make sure to check out our case studies from Chelsea FC and Laureus Sports Awards and speak to us today about your upcoming campaigns.

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Categories
Case Studies Media Buying & Planning

Destination Canada: Global Digital Media

DESTINATION CANADA:
GLOBAL DIGITAL MEDIA

INDUSTRY:
Tourism
MARKET:
UK, DE, FR, CN, KR, MX, BR, AU, JP, IN
SERVICES:
Global digital media strategy and implementation

Destination Canada: Uncover B2B Opportunities and Insights

Together with The Engine, Iceland and SEM International, Advant Technology was commissioned to implement a full digital media planning and buying strategy on behalf of Destination Canada. In total over $12m of media was spent across 11 markets including the UK, Australia, China, Germany and France.

THE PLAN

  • Full paid media schedule
  • Digital strategy
  • Global digital media planning
  • PPC Google Ads
  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube
  • Native – Outbrain, Taboola
  • Programmatic display and video
  • Unruly, Teads
  • Deep content partnerships that included hundreds of individual landing pages with publishers such as: Die Zeit, The Guardian, Mailonline, National Geographic, Great British Chefs and many more

CHALLENGE

Destination Canada was looking to raise awareness of Canada as a travel destination and increase passenger arrivals. They needed our help to get a really good understanding of the typical user journey of visitors who could consider Canada for their next holiday. They also needed to get a better idea of where in the purchase funnel it would be most efficient to engage with these potential visitors.

SOLUTION

We inspired consumers through the power of video and amazing storytelling, we moved users through the purchase funnel towards consideration. We broke down the user funnel into several stages, each having its own strategy, you can read more about these phases and the approach we recommended below:

DREAMING PHASE

“Predestined” brand and consideration level activity: this means that this part of the campaign had only one objective: raise brand awareness, make relevant audiences consider Canada as a tourist destination by inspiring content and highly visual creative execution.

In order to give funding partners peace of mind, we applied appropriate brand uplift measurement to give us an optimisation facility as well as tangible brand metrics that can create a benchmark for future “Dreaming phase” campaigns.

EXECUTION OVERVIEW

  • YouTube
  • TrueView with Brand Lift and Brand Research
  • Instagram Video/Instagram Stories + Facebook Canvas + Holdout Group Lift Study
  • Programmatic Video + Vizu
  • Programmatic Display on Select Travel publishers PMP + Vizu
  • Programmatic Display on wider audience + Rich Media + Vizu

KPI

5 – 10% brand uplift

DEVICE

The largest share of content discovery takes place on mobile devices, this is where “content snacking” and heavy video consumption takes place. This is a global trend and in the majority of DC target markets, it is entirely applicable. Therefore, we recommended putting extra emphasis on executing this part of the campaign on mobile devices.

CONSIDERATION + PLANNING PHASE

Following the brand level activity we saw an increased level of search activity for Canada related information and content: as we know that the next step in the users’ mind will be to conduct research and to gather additional input before making an investment or purchase decision.

This means wide reach, long-tail Canada and hiking etc travel-related capture in Search Engines to “scoop up” users considering/planning their next destination. At this stage, we focused on driving users to appropriate content pages (how-to, saving tips, recommendation on comparison etc.)

This allowed us to guide the user and create a riverbed, a flow of customers going to the single trade partner that will get prospects into Canada!

The SOLE PURPOSE of this activity was to provide valuable and useful information for our prospects. (the long-term benefits of providing this information is that this will be evergreen content and with proper SEO considerations it can ease the reliance on publisher content investment year on year).

EXECUTION OVERVIEW

  • 60% pull marketing in PPC (travel & Canada related queries driven to Keep Exploring (useful content in alignment with search terms)
  • 40% push marketing in Promoted content in native/programmatic native and paid social with content boost only

From a tactical execution point of view, we provided and established a strategically laid down tracking infrastructure which will give us the ability to:

  • create Remarketing Lists for Search Ads for users having watched/interacted with TrueView Videos in the Dreaming phase
  • create Custom Audience lists for Facebook/Instagram Video watchers for various parts of the video (25, 50 or full completion) or Custom Audience lists who interacted with Facebook Canvas creative
  • create DoubleClick Audience Lists for users having watched our programmatic video in the Dreaming phase, which then can be used for following up with programmatic native messaging, pushing the consideration content in front of our “primed” audience

KPI

Cost per landing
Cost per CTA click

DEVICE

Heavy mobile focus as that is where the majority of research activity takes place.

DECISION PHASE

This is the part where we proposed a fundamentally different approach in order to truly provide value for provinces and the Government of Canada.

EXECUTION OVERVIEW

Highly relevant and laser-targeted audiences and increased campaign efficiency:
1. BC Warm Lead Audience group (searched for BC destination airport on trade partner site once)
2. BC Hot Lead Audience group (searched for BC destination airport on trade partner twice or more)
3. BC Freshly converted (remove from retargeting pool and activate cooldown)

Programmatic Display – Dynamic Retargeting
PPC: Search Remarketing
Paid Social: Facebook Remarketing, potentially dynamic remarketing

KPI

CPA of 450 CAD or less

RESULTS

Creative and ad types

Programmatic Display

Dynamic Ads

PPC

Paid Social

NURTURING PHASE

Once a prospect has converted and is ready to fly to Canada, ideally the customer engagement should not finish here. We recommended that Destination Canada/Provinces provide additional value and content to facilitate better experience and to increase customer opinion overall. (which data and statistical evidence suggest often result in referrals and word of mouth recommendations, incredibly valuable for Canada)

RESULTS

  • 40% uplift in paid efficiency compared to previous top 4 network agency
  • Cost per completed view of $0.012 and average 2% CTR across programmatic video

Over the years, we’ve worked with many tourism boards across the globe including Visit Cyprus and Aegean Airlines. If you’re interested in hearing more about how we could help you, please get in touch.

 
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