On May 15, I had the opportunity to speak at ClickZ Live Toronto. Representing DAC Group demands that a strong case be made for optimizing results, and the session did just that. In the age of converged media, integrating earned, owned and paid strategy is enriching consumer experiences and raising ROI for brands through effective lead generation, audience engagement and increased conversion rates.
Alongside industry colleagues from RankHammer and Acquisio we set out to shed some light on converged media and share tools and techniques that delegates could implement back in their own workspaces, including:
- Ways to get people in silos to work together around shared goals without actually breaking down silos or randomizing their workflow.
- Examples of integrated reporting, effective tools and process flows that address constant optimization.
- Methods to use data to drive personas and adaptive messaging to customers.
- Predictions and trends in paid, owned and earned media for 2014 and beyond.
Much of the session was devoted to offering practical tips to attendees for working across silos to create environments where agencies and stakeholders work toward continuous optimization.
One way to get people working together to achieve a common goal – implement this tomorrow
Workflow, when dealing with live campaigns, can be challenging – yet it poses incredible opportunities for optimization. Even more so when trying to manage stakeholders across paid, earned and owned channels. One of the greatest advantages of digital marketing is its agility and capacity for modification/optimization without forcing everyone back to the drawing table.
A proven, optimization-friendly work style is the Agile Methodology (as borrowed from our friends in the application development community). This involves establishing “sprints” that occur over 2-4 week periods, with discreet and attainable deliverables that allow the team to showcase incremental wins over time. They’re aided by daily “scrums”, which are quick stand-up meetings with key stakeholders meant to establish the work for the day, highlight issues or uncover opportunities.
In addition to aligning work teams, setting up effective KPI tracking is critical in the obvious sense of managing progress, but it also increases team confidence and identifies ‘spot fires’. Putting out a spot fire or applying a tweak to an under-performing tactic puts campaign managers in the driver’s seat for success. And agreeing on a dashboard that considers the metrics that are important to each of the paid, owned and earned silos ensures that success is attributed across all the channels that have a positive impact on performance.
Further on in the session, we discussed how through governance and strategy, content has the ability to build bridges across the silos we know to exist. In addition to supporting the bare necessity of on-brand, on-message content, adding back-end strategic considerations to content hosting and distribution will ensure that the content can live across paid, earned and owned channels in a homogenous way. When done correctly marketers can accurately measure impact, align with specific consumer preferences (personas) and in some cases extend content relevancy and increase its impact.
Finally, audience segmentation has come a long way over the years Today’s tools are taking segmentation far beyond cohort splicing and geographical location to income, pet ownership, purchase behavior, digital preference, physical activity and hobbies, to name a few. With this information, it’s possible to build robust personas and user profiles that can be used to customize the content being served to make it as relevant as possible. Excellent resources for such information can be found through providers like comScore and Environics’ PRIZM5 in Canada, and Quantcast and Neilsen PRIZM in the US.
In summary, planning campaigns around paid/owned/earned channels is less about breaking down those silos and more about planning to work across them. By considering the unique needs of these channels from the outset, and creating a content strategy that leverages the strengths of each, your campaigns will benefit from converged media every time.