Every good media strategist needs to know his or her chosen medium of expertise. They need to know what formats work best and what the best practice for creative is within that medium. Any decent Out Of Home strategist will be able to tell you straight away what creative will or won't work on a billboard and the same can be said for any media channel.
When it comes to digital this concept is amplified considerably. Digital media is often referred to as a singular channel, but those that have been involved in a full digital campaign will understand that it can be a lot more fragmented than that. A digital media strategy can consist of a plethora of different channels depending on the objective or target market. Each of these channels is unique and has differing levels of creative or technical requirements.
Having a digital media strategist that has experience across the digital marketing spectrum ensures a more holistic approach and provides better results. Having worked in both a full service digital agency environment as well as a pure media agency environment, I have seen the difference that these skills can make. I have looked at a handful of ways that the additional digital halo effect can impact your digital media campaigns:
Understanding the channel and the media space is not enough. Media strategists and planners that have experience working with creative teams understand the limitations of certain formats as well as the opportunities.
Being able to analyse work during the creative process allows the opportunity for the implementation of strong call-to-actions, correct animation length and other best practice guidelines. Media and creative go hand-in-hand and one cannot work without the other.
A basic understanding of technical development unlocks the doors to innovation. Knowing where to push the boundaries is a vital part of marketing and not understanding the technical aspects will limit this.
Whether it's live streaming, auto-tweeting functionality or even just data capture within a display banner, these ideas are an integrated effort between development and media. Staying up to date within development in both areas will greatly benefit your work.
Tracking and optimising
Understanding the analytics process from start to finish, the way click-tags and floodlight-tags function plays a crucial role in ensuring that your digital media campaign is setup correctly and that you can actually see the results that digital is known for. Similarly the user experience is a major factor in achieving your objectives. Understanding the process and potential barriers for the user allows you to make impactful optimisations and results in a far more successful campaign.
While any digital media strategist or planner could have these skills regardless of their work environment, it is my experience that working within a full service digital agency ignites these skills, builds the digital halo effect and results in not only a better media plan but a better campaign all round.
Matthew is Head of Media at NATIVE VML. He is addicted to everything and anything digital. He is also an avid photographer and a not-entirely-useless gamer. You can follow him on twitter or read more articles on his personal blog.
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It's so true, Matthew, that a content marketer needs to incorporate all of these traits to create great content. As we often talk about at www.ProseMedia.com, there are many facets to content marketing, and it's important to know these ins and outs to be successful.