Marketing teams are increasingly challenged to show the value of marketing to the wider business. At a time when virtually all activities can be measured and scrutinized, marketing or media planning is crucial to this process. As marketers we can sometimes forget that not everyone understands how marketing works or how it contributes to business goals. Comprehensive media planning can help you articulate this to C-suite and other teams, so they understand how marketing affects the bottom line.
It’s not just about demonstrating value, but generating better results all round. The industry and technology is evolving every day, as is consumer behavior. You need effective media planning now more than ever, to give you clarity over the best course of action to take. Marketing teams that can pivot and iterate based on insights gained will help their companies remain relevant in the market. And agile media planning is the first step in the process to staying ahead of competitors.
Successful marketing planning is as good for marketers as it is for the whole organization. And those who get it right cite better results as an overall business, increased revenue and therefore bigger budgets towards future marketing activities. So how can you give your media planning a new lease of life to generate opportunity for your company? Buckle in as we explain.
Align Your Plans with the Business’ Strategic Goals
You might be thinking, yeh yeh yeh, I’ve heard this before. But most still aren’t getting this right. And it’s because many aren’t setting goals based on business impact. As a marketing leader or team you should set your goals based on how you’ll assist the rest of the business in reaching their targets, such as: revenue forecasts, return on investment and customer retention.
Often the company will announce their strategic goals, for individual teams to take the parts they think they contribute to and choose their targets from that. But to deliver results, every department’s goals should link directly back to the corporate targets. This actually helps marketing teams rather than hindering, as performance has a clear correlation with the overall business. While you might not like that goal, proving ROI and getting buy-in for future activities will be much easier this way.
One of the main reasons alignment is so important is that it gives everyone the same purpose. When it comes to daily work, everyone’s on the same page and knows what their part is in reaching the goal. For example, if a company’s goal is to increase customer retention. Part of your media plan can focus on delivering a loyalty program through email campaigns and special discounts via retargeting ads.
How to align your media plans with business goals:
- Create a detailed plan of how marketing activities will directly impact business goals.
- Define your marketing strategic plan, including: timescales, budgets, KPIs and metrics that will help you achieve your desired results. Strategic planning is super simple in Mediatool, and you can edit and view your plan in one dashboard. Take a look here to find out more.
- Layout the process and workflow of how you’ll execute this in your everyday work. Outlining who plays what role and how you’ll optimize your processes e.g. from using an agile marketing model. If you’re unsure on how to improve your processes to align with business goals, you might find this blog helpful.
Build Your Media Plans Based on Industry Best Practices
Media plans must not only link to company goals, but also to industry updates, the customer journey, and sales strategy. In order to be effective it needs to be extensive, especially for globally dispersed teams. For example, it must incorporate everything from different marketing and advertising channels, audiences, locations, product lines, campaigns, the list goes on!
To generate better results than what you’re doing now, your media plans need to cover all levels of complexity that come with the territory. The overriding purpose of planning at this level is to improve performance at scale, through prior thinking and organization. Planning is where you should analyze data, brainstorm ideas, spot issues, resolve them, challenge past decisions and make better ones. Having a set framework ensures better quality plans which are reflected in your results.
In Mediatool, you build your own structure and create scalable media plans at a strategic and campaign level. It’s customizable, exhaustive and we can give you advice on best practices for your industry. Need different plans for different regions, but for everyone to be working towards the same goal? Mediatool has you covered, so you’ll always feel on top of your plans.
Plans on their own can take a lot of time to measure if you record results separately. As marketing becomes more data-driven, so can your media plans when you manage them in Mediatool. Meaning you can adjust plans based on new insights you spot in your data.
Improve Collaboration on Media Plans
Planning can often feel laborious, especially at larger organizations and if you only use top-down planning. While marketing leaders need to be heavily involved in creation of plans, it can be a team project.
By making media planning a collaborative effort, leaders can focus on strategic goals and align plans with corporate targets, while delivery specialists can fill in the details needed for execution. CMOs might not know the latest tactics in paid search, while the Paid Search Manager will. By working together on plans, you can rest assured that the plan covers all eventualities to drive success. And you stop any bottlenecks forming. Teams that collaborate on projects feel that they’re contributing more value to the team results, boosting morale.
While too much top-down planning might be detrimental, so too much might bottom-up planning. The key is to strike a balance between the two; decision makers provide the team with a “why”. Focusing on company vision, strategy and revenue goals. While delivery specialists can provide tactics and techniques that can improve execution of daily operations.
In order for the team to successfully collaborate and drive marketing value, they need to have the tools to allow them to. Using Mediatool as an example. Teams can access and collaborate on marketing plans, managers can create briefs, staff can make edits and request approval once the plan is ready. This enables a mix of top-down and bottom-up direction, ensuring teams are adding value to marketing plans at all stages.
Teams that take marketing planning seriously like this, increase their credibility across the business. By aligning your strategy with the goals of the organization, structuring and creating detailed plans based on best practice, and collaborating with your teammates, you set yourself up for greater success.
On top of that, CMOs can easily demonstrate the importance and impact that marketing has on the company’s strategy. Increasing the likelihood of business buy-in for budget proposals and getting kudos for the hard work of the marketing team!
Mediatool is built for marketing teams and agencies who want better control over their media planning. If you’d like to hear more, book a call with one of our team to see it for yourself.
Like this? You might enjoy this white paper 👇