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How dynamic planning can maximise your ad effectiveness

More agile strategy allows you to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right people - but it's not always easy to achieve... here's a helping hand

The John Lewis Christmas ad always creates a Twitter flurry of festive love, while the Trivago woman drove commuters up the wall. Positive or negative, the viewers will always let you know what they thought of your work.

Unfortunately, in the day-to-day frenzy of media and campaign planning, you only get access to this consumer feedback after you’ve launched your creatives.

While consumer feedback is useful for tracking a campaign’s success and for learning what has worked, it’s too late if you’ve missed the mark. To reduce this risk, and maximise the impact of your media investments, what you need is a dynamic media planning strategy.

An agile approach to media planning will boost your ads in two distinct ways. Firstly, it will ensure the right people see your campaign at the right time.

Long gone are the days of 12-month plans based on preconceived ideas of what media different age groups and genders enjoy. We used to think we knew where a given demographic’s attention focussed, but stereotyping audiences is dangerous.

You may think that to reach housewives, you should sponsor Loose Women. Or if you want to reach affluent 50-year-olds, you should take out a page in The Financial Times. But Loose Women may well appeal to stay-at-home-fathers, time-rich university students and housewives. Equally, affluent 50-year-olds may watch (and enjoy) Love Island alongside their teenage children.

Knowing the now
In short, media planning based solely on demographics is outdated.

To get your message in front of the right people, you need to delve deeper. Consumer viewing habits are fickle, and hit-shows and sleeper successes sneak up on any marketer who isn’t keeping up with the latest trends. The appeal of these hit-shows cut across traditional demographics and present a rich opportunity for those with a more fluid approach to media planning.

If you can access this information before the moment’s passed and before your campaign’s gone live, it can spotlight left-of-centre channels where you’re more likely to stand out.

Increasingly, media outlets accommodate this kind of dynamism: ITV have an option to buy a ‘Late Delivery Ad’ package, where your advert doesn’t have to be delivered until six hours before it’s shown. This is plenty of time to get an Attest survey out and back again, and to find out if your target audience are tuning into that particular programme.

With the proliferation of digital billboards, Out Of Home adverts are equally agile; dynamic audio is also gaining traction with radio and podcasts becoming another media offering to facilitate more targeted messages.

The second thing you can test is how well your creative or messaging resonates with your target audience. The results of the survey you launch may look like a Twitter storm, but instead of it being live on the internet, it’s for your eyes only, and you still have time to make edits.

And pre-testing your creatives doesn’t just reduce risk, it helps to increase the upside too.

Nielsen analysis of 1000 consumer ad campaigns concluded that ‘creative quality is the most important factor for driving sales,’ demonstrating just how essential it is to optimise your creatives, testing them with your target audience, so you wring the best ROI out of your budget.

By combining both findings from your research, your advert targets the right people and is far more likely to resonate.

Dynamic planning in action
Look at the Norwegian Airlines campaign in 2016. With headlines dominated by an exceptionally famous celebrity breakup, the airline cashed in on the share-of-mind already being built.

In the words of Stine Steffensen Borke, Marketing VP at the time, the key to the ad’s success was the company’s ability to be dynamic when it came to their marketing:

"With so many brands jostling to be front of consumers’ minds in an age of constant information, it’s more difficult than ever to market a proposition that inspires and captures attention through a great product and service alone.

‘Real-time marketing presented us with an opportunity to demonstrate quickly our brand personality so we developed a playful ad – with the simple caption "Brad is single". We then strategically chose media outlets across Scandinavia, Spain and the UK to place the ad, to generate maximum impact to allow us to become part of the conversation."

It’s a true success story of dynamic marketing and media planning. The brand – at the time relatively unknown in the UK – went viral through just a few newspaper adverts and tube boards. They observed that their target audience – monied workers, always eager to go on holiday – were using the London Underground and reading papers such as the Evening Standard. They understood that the story resonating with these people that week was the break up of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie – and they capitalised on it. 

With a scalable intelligence platform such as Attest, you now have access to real-time consumer insight. This provides unprecedented ability to tap into the topics, behaviours and attitudes trending among specific segments of the population that day, which you can incorporate into your media planning from the outset, whether it’s a ‘hot’ media opportunity, a trending topic, or both.

It’s this ability to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right people, that has made digital ads so effective and attractive to marketers. As we look at the key trends for 2019, dynamic media planning will start to deliver the same leap in ROI for above the line advertising.

If the idea of more agile media planning excites you, we’d love to talk.

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