Undoubtedly, your marketing team uses a variety of mediums to execute your marketing messages on a daily basis. In fact, I'm willing to bet a typical campaign includes at least three.

Those mediums — including social media, email, and paid advertising — are part of what's called a business's media mix, a process that can be helpful for businesses that need a little organization. They're also especially helpful when planning out future campaigns.

Additionally, making decisions such as timing and design are more informed when looking at previous campaign metrics.. A media mix looks at these numbers and how they contribute holistically to a campaign.

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Think about the last campaign you saw from one of your favorite brands. What did they do differently that really clicked with you? By incorporating a media mix into your yearly planning, you can find that one thing that really clicks with your audience.

A media mix is another term for an overview of the channels businesses choose to execute their marketing strategies on. Ultimately, media mix optimization is the process of analyzing the performance of those channels.

That was a brief overview of how media mixes fit into marketing. Now, it's time for a little bit of a deep dive into how to optimize a media mix, and what that model looks like. 

Media Mix Optimization

Media mix optimization provides businesses with an understanding of how their messages are coming across to customers. It allows a brand to invest more time and money into marketing strategies that are best suited for their audiences.

Marketers might consider optimizing their media mix if they want to gain some helpful insight into what time and capital is needed to target their audience in a way that gives customers a personalized experience.

But, while media mix optimization is a powerful opportunity for methodizing data collection online, it's not the best strategy for marketers who employ a lot of traditional marketing techniques, since you can't really measure the success of a billboard or newspaper ad.

However, to make guided decisions such as what font to use in creative design, when to publish social media posts on various channels, or where to invest resources, this method can be helpful.

Optimizing a media mix means looking at the analytics and ROI of various marketing strategies. This can be anything from engagement data of social media platforms to views on the newest commercial.

That's where media mix modeling comes in. If media mix optimization is the "What," modeling is the "How". Every model can and should look different, depending of the goals or the mix of that specific business.

Media mix models can be used to analyze the relationship between a dependent variable and an independent variable. For instance, let's say a business has a question like, "How did paying for a sponsored tweet affect overall blog traffic?"

The business's media mix model should then accurately depict how a dependent variable — like overall blog traffic — relates to an independent variable, such as investing in Twitter.

For businesses still deciding if a media mix optimization is a good idea for them, we've put together tips to refer to when creating a media mix model. Let's explore those, next.

Tips for Optimizing Your Media Mix

These tips are meant to get the ball rolling when modeling your list. You don't have to do everything on this list to be successful, but paying mind to these items will guide your experience creating a media mix. 

1. Collect personal level data.

What it means to collect personal level data is to focus on analytics that will help provide an accurate picture of how customers engage with a media mix.

Analytics software is expansive and offers an array of tools for use. If you're in the market for one, HubSpot has a post on some pretty great SEO tools for analyzing webpage performance. When creating the media mix model, don't focus on all metrics if they aren't helpful towards your main goal.

Having too many metrics can be confusing and lead to inaccurate data. The best plan is to have an idea of which metrics need to be tracked so they can be right at the beginning. A normal media mix optimization process takes six months to a year, so collecting the right information at the beginning contributes to getting the most accurate information overall.

2. Make sure data can be analyzed online.

This tip is why media mix optimization might not be the optimal strategy if you use traditional marketing methods. As stated above, it's difficult to measure the results of a billboard or newspaper ad.

For that reason, consider adding more online marketing channels into your campaign strategy so results can be justifiably measured. It's a huge risk spending copious amounts of money on a billboard that might not yield a great boost in sales.

By migrating some marketing campaigns online, you have a more accurate ROI to inform future decisions. Email marketing, AdSpend, conversions, social media engagement, and lead generation can all be broken down into data online. Having a gap in a media mix, like billboard return, will lead to inaccuracies.

3. Choose the right platform.

Marketing teams that use CMS or analytics software are already ahead of the game. Software like this is essential to optimizing a media mix because it can give you numbers that would otherwise take some time to figure out manually.

A brand can analyze its media mix with the use of platforms that collect engagement data in real-time and compile that data into tracking reports..

Look for a platform that can give a holistic view of results across the board, so results will maintain consistency. It's also good to choose a software that specializes in the marketing channels being used at the time.

Because optimizing is measuring a lot of different data at once, stick to as little systems as possible. For businesses that are in the market for a CMS, HubSpot's offers tools that are easy to use for brands of any size.

4. Be able to analyze the data.

We've been talking a lot about the kind of data and analyzing that needs to be done in a media mix optimization, but another important factor is being able to interpret and understand that data.

It's no secret that in the marketing world, there are an abundance of processes and acronyms floating around. While first getting into the groove of understanding them and what they mean can be intimidating, it's important to know the data being collected and how to use it to your advantage.

For instance, if a marketing team had especially high click-to-open-rates for weekly newsletters, that's useful information to infer that the next campaign could benefit greatly from an email-marketing rollout. Alternatively, if a marketing team has no idea what a click-to-open-rate is, those numbers aren't going to be helpful — just a little confusing.

Reading data to understand its usefulness is just as important as collecting it.

5. Think about public perception.

Knowing how the public perceives your brand can help fill in some interpretation gaps during the modeling process. In the media mix model, think about how to fit in customer opinion. That way, the numbers will have some customer opinions to define them.

There's a couple of ways to do this. To gain a public opinion, the quickest way is to visit social media and search. Take note of the positive things, the negative things, and what people are saying. Using that knowledge, create a survey and ask customers to give a net promoter score (NPS).

An NPS asks customers how likely they are to recommend a business to a friend. Knowing this will aid in figuring out how a business fares among the competition in the market. It will also assist in future marketing endeavors.

For instance, if customers fill out your survey and ask for more personalized Instagram stories, your team could take that knowledge and include it in your next campaign.

This method ultimately gives the media mix optimization reigns to the customer.

Media mix optimization can help your marketing team figure out which distribution channels will best promote an upcoming campaign, and can ultimately help strengthen your marketing strategy as a whole.

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Originally published Feb 12, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated February 12 2020

Topics:

Media Planning