Unlike print, television, outdoor, and any other form of media, online is hopeless, complicated, and ever growing in its complexity. Every day it brings a new list of ad units, serving options, compensation models, targeting options, and, of course, KPIs (define). To try and enter the industry now, without the benefit of gradually building up a knowledge base to get you up to speed, is difficult for many people. For clients who aren't seasoned online marketers but find their advertising increasingly channeled into the digital space, the task can be daunting.
To help agencies help their clients make sense of all the dimensions and options that can go into an online media plan, I have outlined the four dimensions of online media in this column. They include targeting, compensation, ad units, and metrics.
Even with all the options and opportunities we have to maximize value and customer impact, I still see agencies planning buys based on pre-determined ad units or creative concepts. The best plans take elements from all over the spectrum to create all-encompassing campaigns that deliver branding (impressions, reach, and frequency) as well as good old fashioned measurable return on investment (conversion, leads, sales, etc.). Also, any seasoned media planner should be able to give examples of each one of the items listed under the four dimensions.
So here's the list, with some of the elements that make up each dimension. I'm sure some things are missing, so please feel free to add them to the comments section. If you're a client and are presented a two-dimensional campaign plan (i.e., just CPM based banners), the first thing you should do is look at this list and ask if this thinking was applied to the planning approach.
Online marketers that don't take the time to test the right combinations of these dimensions are much less likely to discover viable online marketing channels for their clients. This especially holds true if there is any element of direct marketing in your goals.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
As founder and CEO of Overdrive, Harry Gold is the architect and conductor behind the company's ROI-driven programs. His primary mission is to create innovative marketing programs based on real-world success and to ensure the marketing and technology practices that drive those successes are continually institutionalized into the culture and methods of the agency. What excites him is the knowledge that Overdrive's collaborative environment has created a company of online media, SEM, and online behavioral experts who drive success for the clients and companies they serve. Overdrive serves a diverse base of B2B and B2C clients that demand a high level of accountability and ROI from their online programs and campaigns.
Harry started his career in 1995 when he founded online marketing firm Interactive Promotions, serving such clients as Microsoft, "The Financial Times," the Hard Rock Cafe, and the City of Boston. Since then, he has been at the forefront of online branding and channel creation, developing successful Web and search engine-based marketing programs for various agencies and Fortune 500 companies.
Harry is a frequent lecturer on SEM and online media for The New England Direct Marketing Association; Ad Club; the University of Massachusetts, Boston; Harvard University; and Boston University.
March 19, 2014