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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

Avoid these five common digital media mistakes

Digital media is a crucial part of today's marketing mix. While it is important to ensure that you have a digital media plan to support your campaign, it's even more important to make sure that you achieve the best results.
How do you know if you're getting the best possible return on investment?

Stay clear of these five common digital media mistakes and you are well on your way to running an effective digital campaign.

1. Not clearly defining your strategy

This is the most crucial mistake. Not having a clear, concise and measurable strategy will hamper your campaign's effectiveness right from the start. Make sure you've looked at all the data available, you have a good understanding of your target market and you've mapped specific and measurable objectives.

As part of the strategic planning process you should forecast your results, based on previous campaign performance or even just standard benchmarks for your industry. Having a clear idea of what success looks like will go a long way to evaluating the effectiveness of the campaign and assist with optimisation decisions.

2. Not implementing full tracking

This is a very common mistake. If you have planned your strategy and set your campaign KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) correctly then you have a good understanding of the type of metric and data you need to track. However, if you haven't thought the full user journey through you will miss out on key tracking steps.

More than likely this will only occur to you at the end of the campaign when you are compiling the report and asking questions around how effective the campaign was. "If only we had added a tracking pixel to all of the product pages, we would have had a much better view of the media's cross selling effect."

Think it through, imagine the final report and the data that you want to have at the end of the campaign and then set it up correctly from the beginning.

3. Cancelling placements without in-depth insights

Optimisation is one of the strengths of digital media, the ability to refine and shift budgets based on real time results can result in improved performance. However, make sure you have all the data at hand before cutting ad spend from certain placements.

If your campaign is driving newsletter signups then cancelling placements based purely on CTR (Click Through Rate) may not be the correct move. A placement may be delivering a high conversion rate despite the low CTR that you see on the surface. Properly assess all necessary data when optimising in order to ensure that the changes you make have a positive effect on your objectives.

4. Not defining your target audience well enough

Many digital channels provide rich targeting parameters allowing you to reach a specific individual within your target market. Setting up a new Facebook advertising campaign and just targeting females aged 18 to 55 is not making use of the wealth of targeting options available.

Think about your consumer, their interests, browsing habits, devices and even the time of day they access the internet. The more targeted your campaigns the more effective the advertising message will be and the better the return on investment.

5. Not testing or optimising your campaign

Planning and setting up your campaign is only the start of a great digital media campaign. Make sure you take advantage of the analytics and data on hand to continually optimise your campaign.

There are three key aspects to digital media optimisation: targeting, creative and pricing. These main levers can be manipulated to improve your campaign performance. With targeting you're changing who sees your ads; with creative you're changing the message and appearance of your communication, and with pricing you're changing when or where your ad will show and how much exposure it will get. Make sure you test all three of these elements with the goal being to find the right audience with the highest performing creative at the lowest price possible.

Digital media is a highly-effective channel if used correctly. By avoiding these common mistakes you will have a better digital campaign and benefit from improved results.

About Matthew Arnold

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.
David Barnard
Great article, very insightful and spot on!
Posted on 23 Jul 2014 11:07
Stuart Magooze
Great read. To often agency boast about sending 100 000 visits to their clients website, yet the agency running the campaign have not implemented any tracking code on the site. So they cannot say how many of these visits have turned into potential customers. tracking code is so easy to implement, yet nearly always overlooked. can also help you improve your return on investment for online campaigns.
Posted on 24 Jul 2014 15:23