December 3, 2020 inMedia planning

CRO guide for media planners

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How to use media planning to boost conversions in your next campaign

What many marketers forget in the media planning phase is what happens once the campaign brings a potential customer to their destination. They know all the moves - eye-catching creative, engaging copy, targeting, retargeting and hypertargeting - but what happens next?

If your top-of-funnel engagement is high, but you’re not seeing the results reflected in your bottom line, our CRO guide for media planners will help you align activity from end to end.

First things first: What is CRO?

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO), or simply conversion optimisation, is the systematic approach to increasing visitor action on a website or landing page. “Action” is most often associated with a purchase, but it really means any deliberate choice that nudges a visitor from browsing to clicking:

  • Purchasing a product
  • Signing up for a newsletter
  • Joining a loyalty club
  • Downloading gated content
  • Filling in a contact form
  • Booking a consultation
  • Signing a petition

All these actions – conversions – have one thing in common, they are the pointy end of the marketing funnel, where a visitor becomes a customer.

Media planners have an important role in improving marketing campaign results with CRO. From the very first strategy session, the focus should remain on getting the visitor to the goal line and bringing them back into the funnel as a returning customer.

Where media planning meets CRO to improve marketing results

User journey

Sending an interested customer from Instagram to an in-app landing page, to a form page, back to the landing page and finally to a payment gateway, is guaranteed to deter all but the most enthusiastic person.

Media planners’ insight into the conversion tools available on each platform is crucial to mapping out the proper channel mix. If the goal is product sales, for example, then a shoppable post needs to convert without bouncing away from the initial touchpoint.

However, if a conversion means signing up for a consultation, then a platform supporting embedded forms might be more appropriate – and a media strategy needs to get the visitor there.

Delivering the right content

High bounce rates are often the result of a landing page being markedly different from campaign creative. There’s no room for communication silos in the bottom of the marketing funnel. Media planners need to understand the campaign goals in-depth, and marketers are responsible for ensuring the execution matches the entry mechanism.

Otherwise, a user will feel confused (or worse, cheated) and that means a dropped conversion opportunity.

Campaign performance monitoring

Waiting until the end of a campaign to identify low-converting tactics is too late. Improving marketing campaign results is a team effort, so the team needs to be working with the same holistic data source to recommend effective CRO tactics.

For example, if a media planning agency uses social media listening tools to gauge how an audience talks about a brand online, but the in-house brand manager bases their decisions on website analytics, there is going to be a communication breakdown from day one.

Alignment here is mission-critical. When the brand manager and media planning agency can see the entire ecosystem, they are better positioned to implement innovative CRO tactics that play to an audience’s preferences.

Solving CRO’s 3 big challenges

Smart Insights called CRO “marketing’s most underused weapon”. They go on to lament that CRO is resource-intensive and complex, and leadership buy-in is a big challenge. We believe they overlooked the common thread, one of Mediatool’s favourite topics to dive into: the power of data.

1. Analysing data to determine drop-off points

Getting to the root of the conversion problem has traditionally taken a lot of time and effort. Before media planners can implement best-practice tactics, they need to understand where a visitor is losing interest. That could be at one or multiple stages of the funnel, but it’s difficult to see the trends in segregated data sources.

This is where a holistic dashboard improves marketing results. By displaying real-time data from all active channels, the dashboard effectively solves the data analytics problem for media planners. It’s easy to see whether the creative is garnering impressions but not clicks, or if the landing page bounce rate is sky-high, or if campaign creative is failing to make a good first impression.

2. Testing marketing tactics to find a solution

Dashboards don’t just save time in identifying the problem, but also in solving it. This is because a real-time media planning dashboard, which automatically integrates third-party data sources and presents metrics relevant to campaign KPIs, eliminates lag between implementing tactics and assessing results.

A/B testing is a popular CRO tactic. With a powerful and flexible dashboard, marketers can A/B test across multiple platforms and see the results in real-time. And they can dig into the data to learn more about user behaviour on a granular level.

For example, a skincare brand might A/B test CRO tactics by driving traffic (in a random 50/50 split) to two similar, but different, landing pages. They discover the page with emotional language performs better than the page advertising a discount.

But then, by deep-diving into the data, they discover the trend reverses for men aged 18-30, who are a minority audience but vitally important for brand loyalty KPIs. This insight informs everything from audience segmentation to creative choices, landing page copy to CTAs.

Because the skincare company invested in a powerful marketing dashboard tool, it took less than 5 minutes for the media planner to turn the data upside-down and learn something new about their audience.

3. Presenting a case for website budget

Landing pages cost money. So do sign-up forms, new creative assets, front-end design changes, digital display ads and virtually everything else a marketing team might use to increase conversion.

Every marketer and media planning agency is familiar with the struggle of extracting more budget from finance. Whether it’s an appeal to upper management or a challenging conversation with the client, justifying CRO spend can feel like a battle.

But not when you have a sound business case to back up your recommendations. Creating a report that clearly identifies pain points – whether a high bounce rate or low click-through on Google Ads – takes a few seconds with the right marketing management tool. Historical data, overlayed with recommendations informed by insight, creates a strategy to improve marketing results with CRO.

How leading media planners launch optimised campaigns

Better doesn’t always mean bigger; it might seem like big brands and global agencies have an advantage when it comes to data access, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Mediatool provides equal access to global brands and agile media agencies making a name for themselves. With a user-based pricing model, the cost barrier is dropped, allowing brands and agencies to grow one campaign at a time.

Mediatool houses end-to-end campaign management and optimisation tools in a cloud-based platform and facilitates custom access for the entire marketing team, wherever they work.

Features like real-time data tracking from all the popular platforms, instant reporting, fast and flexible analysis, target tracking and collaborative media planning tools come together to save time and improve marketing results every time.

Book a free demo to find out how Mediatool can optimise the way you work.



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