I outlined a model encompassing paid, owned and earned marketing. This post is specifically about the paid component. Paid marketing is new fancy word for online advertising (all advertising really).
There are 8 dimensions in paid marketing or media if you prefer. Out of the 3 types of marketing – paid, owned and earned – paid is the only one that is in fact media or advertising.
But what is paid media?
Paid is a new fancy word meaning advertising. Any opportunity you have to pay for to communicate a message to a specific audience in a particular geography at a particular time, is advertising (paid marketing). This of course includes television ads, radio ads, out of home ads, newspapers and magazines ads. It also includes online display ads, search ads, classified ads, email (advertising within a publisher’s newsletter), video and native advertising.
All these types of ads are well and good as a concept, but when you get down to executing a campaign using them, there are a number of parameters to consider. Each platform or format has its own strengths and weaknesses. Fully understanding each, as well as where they fit in the consumer’s patch to purchase allows brands to properly align the right ad vehicle and tactic with its objective to achieve marketing success.
However, marketing, particularly the digital space, is chock full of shiny new opportunities. It is awfully tempting to try each as we seek quicker paths to success.
I developed the 8 dimensions of paid media infographic below as a tool to help marketers ask the right questions to ensure maximal marketing alignment.
8 dimensions of paid media – online advertising
There are 8 specific dimensions for paid marketing, each of which opens into a breadth of possibilities.
Each is essentially a category of questions that need to be asked and answered before moving on to the next. Their purpose is to ensure you always select the best option(s) to further your objective, instead of systematically trying out the newest shiny option. For each of these, a good marketer will ask why this option would be better than this other one. Or, which ones will best work in combination to achieve success? Further, you should also ask yourself these questions of all options as for a few of these dimensions it could be important to not do something specific.
Here are the 8 dimensions of paid marketing in further detail:
Although this is obvious, it is the first and most important aspect of all advertising campaigns. The importance here is to identify one objective, not two or more. If you have multiple objectives, then you need to create multiple campaigns, one of each.
To achieve success, all the following dimensions must perfectly align with this one objective. Otherwise your campaign will head in various directions. Efforts will not be focused and success will not be achieved.
Digital campaign objectives will be a version of these:
- Direct response
Having a clear objective is all well and good, but ultimately useless if you have not set a measurable campaign KPI. You will track this campaign key performance indicator from start to finish. All optimization efforts should be done against your KPI
Meeting, or not, your campaign KPI at the end of the campaign will determine whether or not your efforts yielded success.
There are a great many metrics you can track. The important factor here is to ensure your chose KPI makes logical sense with your campaign objective. For example, if our campaign objective is awareness and your KPI is clicks, you will not achieve success. A click is a direct response metric.
Media pricing model
Proper, or fair, media pricing is important to be sure. However, here we are referring to the actual pricing model such as CPM (cost per thousand), CPC (cost per clic), CPE (cost per engagement) or CPV (cost per view) to name but a few. Pricing model is an important paid marketing dimension in that it tells the media vendor or the ad serving solution what to optimize the campaign on: visibility, clicks, engagements, views, or any other chosen model.
There are tremendously many different ad formats (if you consider all available dimensions and their specs). What matters here are the basic ad format qualifiers? Will your message best be presented in text or image format? Should your ad be animated, engaging or a video? Should it be large or small?
Besides which ad format has worked well for you in the past, which type of ad format will best serve your current objective?
Note that most ad formats you can think of can be bought through more than one pricing model, thus multiplying the possible combinations.
In which editorial context or against which type of content will your message and your ad format best be served? Ask yourself this question while considering the consumer’s state of mind while he’s on this site consulting its content. Is he in the right mindset to pay attention to your ad? What is his attention focused on when he’s on this site? The content? His friends? Your ad?
Bear in mind that most environments make available most types of ad formats from text to video at various pricing models.
Which device will the consumer be using to access his desired site on which your ad will show up? He’ll use a computer, a smartphone, a smart tv, a tablet or possibly a gaming console. Will your ad show up properly on all these devices? What if the consumer clicks on your ad to visit your site – is your site optimized for all of these devices?
Note that on tablets and smartphones most ad environments are available through a browser and apps while on smart TVs it’s currently only apps.
There at the very least 15 different types of at targeting options an advertiser can select from in order to place his ad creative in front of the right audience, on the right platform, in the right environment, etc… One can chose from demographic, to geographic, behavioral, time-based, sequential and retargeting, to name but a very few.
Which will truly help get the message there? While many sound great, they each have benefits and pitfalls (some largely ignored yet still there). Are you asking yourself the right questions to ensure you’re using the right targeting option for the right reason in the right context?
Ad creative / message
We now come to the last and often named most important dimension of online advertising. The actual ad creative or message is what the consumer actually sees. The consumer doesn’t see which ad targeting option you selected of if you adapted your messaging per technology platform, editorial environment. The consumer doesn’t know what your objective, KPI or pricing model is, and he doesn’t care.
Your ad creative is the cherry on top of the previous 7 dimensions. Without a clear message that tells the consumer what your objective set out to do, in a tone what will prompt him to remember what you want him to, or to act the way you’d like him to, perfect alignment of the previous 7 dimensions will lead to a poor performing campaign.