With a new financial year fast approaching – where did the last six months go? – There’s no better time for brands to take stock and, if needed, put some new year resolutions in place.
Now, I can see your eyes rolling. Yes, we all make new year’s resolutions with the best of intentions but then life gets in the way. We get bored with being good and have a blowout but that’s usually because we’ve been lured by shiny new media fads or crash CPM diets.
So how can you ensure your EOFY resolutions stick?
Start with a health check of your brand.
Just like our bodies change as we get older, so do our businesses and it’s important to understand what anchors good health at every stage of a brand’s lifecycle.
If you think about the brand as being the patient, you’ve got two qualified physicians on hand: the owner of the brand and the agency that makes recommendations on how to grow the brand or maintain its health. And like any good health care plan, it’s best if your doctors are working together. So these two pros should buddy up and run some tests.
For an accurate diagnosis, start with some basic blood work. Look at where you have invested media spend across the course of the year and the business outcomes it delivered. Not the media outcomes but the business outcomes. Use that as the basis for your planning in the coming year.
Just as not all food offers the same nutrients, neither does media. If you live on a diet of fast food or love a good sugar hit – ie performance media – it’ll just make you bloated and, over time, rob your chances at long term health. Instead, opt for a balanced and sensible diet. To help you work out the portion sizes, take a look at the Media Engine a free online tool that provides a guide to the optimal media mix.
While you’re at it, assess your brand’s blood pressure. If it’s on the high side, you might need to dial back the risk. Look at what channels you are investing in and the consistency of their return. Are you gorging on ones that fluctuate or remain stable? Use the Media Engine to work out what your tolerance or threshold is and adjust spend where needed.
Healthy media choices involve growth in both the short and the long term. You’ll want to balance out near-term business outcomes, such as sales or growth, with longer-term vitality – brand-building and brand strength. By doing that, you’ll ensure your brand stays in the consumer’s mind and is mentally available when they’re entering or considering the category.
To help stay on track with your media resolutions, keep it interesting. Continue to experiment with 10% of your budget but be sure to keep 70% of your budget tied to the workhorse elements that deliver day in and day out. Then innovate with the other 20%. That doesn’t necessarily mean tech or other untested new and shiny toys. Yep, I get excited about new and shiny things like a fancy outfit for the gym or a whizz-bang juicer. But fads come and go.
Try instead to find new and innovative ways to spend with the channels you know work for your brand, such as a TV sponsorship or a brand integration to drive the outcomes you want. Consider shoppable media from Seven, a BVOD Premium Pause on 10 Play, Nine’s Dynamic Ads or Foxtel’s FoxTest experimentation platform.
By taking the time now to conduct a health check, your media choices will be better off helping you to make resolutions for the year ahead that power the outcomes and results you want. Lycra not required.
Kim Portrate is the CEO of ThinkTV.