What’s that saying about swimming with the sharks?
Let’s face it, you need to take a lot of bites to dominate the media ocean.
In my humble opinion, the absolute worst media practice is bottom feeding on PPC considering all available media tactics (no, I’m not currently taking debates). In my previous post, The Top 7 Media Worst Practices, I recommended in #7 that you “use your media teeth to bite into more market share – and keep moving!”. This holds true if you’re a real shark, or if you’re an awesome media planner who really wants to fill the funnel and grow your brand. Technically, PPC is the bottom feeder catfish of media tactics – it’s grabbing already intended searches (feasting on dead stuff), ONLY. Are searchers intent on purchasing or getting more information? Of course, they are – I can’t argue that. But, there are only so many searches per month, lots of competitors and only so much you can do to get those conversions at an acceptable cost per acquisition. There are a LOT of folks in market for products that you can get in front of before they even know they need you. I love my PPC, too, but one must expand the menu. In reality, the feeding frenzy starts way before PPC in an effort to whet the appetite before you take them to dinner. With that, allow me to take on you on a voyage seeking the choice pescado – feeding the media mix from the top of the food chain on down.
Here's a funnel. Isn't it awesome? I had my art director make it fishy-themed.
What I really crave though, is when a media strategy is crafted to consider the entire user journey; from, “I don’t even know you exist” to “I need to purchase again”. What needs to happen from the very beginning is hyper-targeting of your segments to create brand awareness (or product/service), ultimately aiding in recall. Enough such that with continued frequency and placements – at the right place, the right time, with the right message – you create engagement because of highly relevant, 1:1 messaging. With just one simple click, your targets know the brand, and are interested in the value it provides. Now, the experience changes, and the brand continues to lead the user along a conversion journey. See – I told you we were like the always-in-motion shark. At this point, a different creative should be served to initiate further engagement by clicking deeper into the website so you can move the user from the engagement portion of the funnel to discovery. And now we’re generating our own demand!
Now, you’ve got users seeking out your brand in search; learning more, comparing, etc. When they are done with research and planning, they pull the trigger when they are ready and hit that big SUBMIT button. Now you’re catching the big ones! If you did your job right, you’ll be swimming right where they are to eat… er…serve them when they are ready, whether it’s to purchase for the first time, or again and again. Don’t forget about the ongoing cultivation and retention programs either. It’s Lifetime Value of a Customer (LTV) people.
There are different media tactics for each portion of the funnel. And depending on the campaign, the media mix (combination of media tactics) will differ – but be sure that the appropriate spend is allocated to each portion of the funnel per campaign. When you do that, that’s when you really score the high-end sushi. You’ve generated demand with a cohesive focus on your brand and the user journey, and all of your channels and tactics perform better this way. Now you’re sittin’ pretty at the top of the oceanic food chain – and you’ve seriously impressed your bosses and clients, who are psyched that you created a media strategy that is always filling the funnel and delivering better performance. When was the last time you heard, keep spending until you hit the point of diminishing returns?
So, instead of being a detritivore, try-try some more to push the limits of your media mix.(Don’t be a bottom feeder – be a hero!)