How to maximize your media spend in the new year


Believe it or not, Christmas is just around the corner. If you’re busy finalizing budgets for the new year, remember that you don’t need to make big sacrifices to save money or find entirely new revenue streams to see growth—at least not if you take a few important steps to maximize your media spend. I’m talking about taking more control over your campaigns to develop relevant and engaging creative that not only makes it easier for your audience to convert, but builds enough trust to create brand advocates.

Create more relevant campaigns

Creating relevant, personalized campaigns should already be at the top of your list, but unless you’re one of seven marketers who feels extremely confident in who they’re talking to, there’s a good chance you’re not accomplishing this—at least not well enough to see any marked returns. Closing that gap may seem daunting, but it’s worth a try: personalization can lift sales 10% or more and deliver five-to-eight times the ROI.

Plus, it’s easier than ever if you have the right tech partners. Programmatic creative has advanced dramatically in recent years, and although the industry has struggled with interactive formats in the past, marketers can now run high-impact creative that captures every gesture imaginable, revealing never-before-seen audience insights that can be used to develop more effective retargeting strategies and serve ads that reflect unique customer journeys at scale.

Dynamic creative optimization (DCO) is another powerful tool advertisers can use to achieve better personalization, changing creative components like product, message or call-to-action in real-time based on audience data, contextual data and external APIs, which can drastically reduce campaign set-up and production times to help free-up resources.

Leverage your most engaged audience

You can use the first-party data collected from interactive campaigns and your site to develop lookalike models based on your most engaged audiences, or take a more traditional approach to leveraging your audience and build brand advocates. Interactive ad formats that give your audience multiple ways to engage, and do so on their own terms, are a powerful and effective way to increase the time spent with your brand, build trust, and ultimately increase conversions.

Engaged audiences are 72% more likely to share a brand’s message, and research by Northwestern University’s Spiegel Research Centre confirms that those messages can have a dramatic influence over their peers’ purchase decisions. People are 270% more likely to purchase a product with five reviews than a product with none, and the vast majority of consumers say they trust earned media, like recommendations from friends, family and other consumers, above all other forms of advertising. Which means integrating social feeds into your ads, or giving your audience an easier way to share your content to their own, won’t just build brand awareness—it can also impact conversion rates.

Optimize your loyalty strategy

You know the old adage “it’s cheaper to keep customers than find new ones”? Well, it’s an old adage for a reason. A five percent increase in retention can increase a company’s profitability anywhere from 25 to 95 percent. We’ve seen the biggest brands optimize their loyalty strategies by utilizing apps, personalized offers, and flexible ways to collect and redeem rewards, both in an effort to meet consumers’ changing shopping habits, and as another way to differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

But app downloads and registration are some of the most common complaints in eCommerce usability, which is why more tech platforms are offering brands and retailers the opportunity to target consumers with offers that can be saved directly to their mobile wallets through unique barcodes or links shared via email, social media, display, and even video.

Start taking more control of your campaigns

In-housing has become a big trend in recent years, and an increasing number of brands are moving in that direction, especially when it comes to their programmatic ad buying. Building out your technology stack and recruiting the right talent doesn’t happen overnight. But when you consider brands like Bayer, which has saved millions by bringing their programmatic in-house thanks to fewer partners and more streamlined processes, it’s certainly worth the trouble. And we’ve seen similar results at Contobox. When a major retailer integrated our platform into their tech stack, they doubled their ROAS.

It’s not just the increased transparency or fewer hands in the pot that help marketers get the most for their ad dollars. When they’re able to take more control of their campaigns, they become less intimidated by the process. That leads to a better understanding of the data they’re collecting and the programmatic space, in terms of how it’s advanced and what’s possible. That can really spark their creativity, ultimately leading to better, more engaging campaigns, and we know that time spent has the highest correlation with conversions.