Out of the agency and into the lab

With the rise of user friendly platforms, technology automation and internal marketing teams, traditional advertising and digital media agencies are finding it harder to prove the value they provide in their retainers they bill clients each month. Finding audiences and placing media has never been made easier so how do agencies adapt and change to prove there worth? The answer is to get scientific with it. Turn the agency into the lab.

Find the formula

No longer is it acceptable to just place media whether that’s on social, digital and traditional channels and hope for the best praying that the creative you push out works. Each industry, business and campaign is completely unique so you need to find the formula that returns the highest return on investment for your spend. Agencies should be continuously testing different media mixes, both online and offline and monitor how performance is impacted.

You will soon find that spending $5,000 on Facebook ads isn’t the answer to every single advertising strategy and in fact a potential mix of $2,000 spend on radio at 7am followed by $1,000 spend on Facebook at 3pm mixed in with traditional display ads is what works. Test, tweak and iterate continuously until you find the formula that returns ROI for your business. Advertising budgets should move away from being fixed and planned 6 months in advance and move to an agile model where you push spend into the channel mix that is most effective.

How do you organise and run a testing framework?

This is where the rise of the data analyst comes into play. Having a data analyst inside your marketing department is one of the best investments a business can make. They take away all the heavy lifting when managing and testing your media mix while also having the ability to provide expert and insightful reporting. Setting up a testing framework is an organisational culture change a business has to decide they want to make, from here you need to decide what you want to test, and then simply test it.

Store your IP

The bi-product of constant iterations and testing in a marketing strategy is that your business team ends up with a whole lot of intellectual property. It’s important you build a data centre where you can store all of these learnings, insights and tests. As complex as that sounds it doesn’t have to be, a simple excel sheet with columns stating what you tested and what the outcome was will allow you to store IP incase employees leave or forget about what they have been optimising the past few months. 

Summary

Getting a customer's attention followed by acquisition is becoming more competitive than it has ever been before. Therefore, to get ahead you can’t do what everyone else is doing. A traditional advertising strategy will only get you so far when trying to get cut through. To get real returns for your results iterate, test and tweak until you find the formula. Once you find it, test again. Turn the agency into a lab. 

Published Date: January

Published By: Alex Jordan