When launching a campaign, marketers have a whole range of channels to choose from – but how do they know which is the right one? The decision only becomes more difficult as the channel mix gets bigger and more complex. In fact, a recent survey found that half of respondents felt that they wasted 0-20% of their marketing budget “on the wrong channels or strategies”.
To know where best to spend your advertising dollars, you first need to build a solid understanding of the benefits and particularities of various channels. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring four of the most popular marketing channels – out-of-home, TV, CTV and radio – as well as offering expert advice from DCMN’s experts on how to run successful campaigns.
Take a deep dive into the world of performance TV
TV marketing is a tried and tested way to send your reach to the stars. But you want more than just eyeballs. You want campaigns that drive traction to your website or app – with measurable results.
First, let’s look into what exactly is a marketing channel. A marketing channel is any type of medium used by a brand to communicate about its product or promotion. Channels are generally divided between offline – such as out-of-home, radio or TV – and online, which includes anything related to digital marketing. In this article, we’ll primarily focus on offline channels.
What is out-of-home advertising?
Out-of-home advertising is any form of advertising that appears outside a consumer’s home. This can be in the form of billboards, posters, placements on public transport or on street furniture, for example at bus shelters or train stations.
Today, out-of-home advertising falls into one of two camps: traditional (static) or digital out-of-home (DOOH). DOOH campaigns are usually hosted on digital advertising spaces, large-scale LED walls or outdoor screens, meaning they can make use of moving images and more interactive elements.
Benefits of out–of-home advertising include:
- Massive reach: OOH offers unparalleled reach, helping to connect brands with huge pools of audience they might not be able to get in touch with through other formats like digital advertising. In fact, JC Decaux estimates that OOH reaches over 90% of the UK each week.
- Tailored targeting options: Targeting might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of OOH, but focusing on seasonality, as well as your target group’s buying behaviour and location, gives you plenty of options to target consumers in the right place and at the right moment.
- Creative possibilities: With its capacity for larger-than-life storytelling and a wide range of sizes, shapes and formats available, OOH offers a whole host of creative possibilities. This can be especially impactful when used in conjunction with DOOH capabilities, for example in Fortnite and Balenciaga’s iconic 3D billboard.
Tips for building a successful OOH campaign
“When planning an OOH campaign, ask yourself which regions or cities best fit your target group and check how loud the noise level is there. This will have an impact on your budget: the “louder” the city or region, the bigger your budget will need to be”. – Ulrike Tusk, Global Expert Offline Marketing at DCMN
What do brands need to consider when looking to launch their first OOH campaign? We turned to DCMN’s Global Expert Offline Marketing, Ulrike Tusk, to learn more – and her first piece of advice is to start small. Many marketers are tempted to go all-in at the start, and make a big splash by booking expensive placements in high-footfall areas. But these areas are typically extremely crowded in terms of advertisements and require a big up-front investment. Instead, start with smaller budgets and limited placements, so that you can test what works and what doesn’t.
Ulrike also advises to plan upfront for more than one campaign, so that you can optimise with learnings from your first campaign – asking yourself if you achieved the right reach, if the creative was clear enough, and if you had the right mix of placements. This also makes sense given OOH needs considerable repetition to raise awareness, familiarity and trust with the brand.
When it comes to measurement, direct response – such as website visits or downloads – will help you understand the direct impact of a campaign. Ulrike also advises to invest in brand and campaign research before, during and after a campaign. This will help you measure more nuanced metrics, such as brand awareness and understanding, so you know how your campaign was received and the impact it had on brand awareness.
Examples of successful OOH campaigns
What’s an example of a successful OOH campaign? Here, we can’t help but make a shameless plug for our work with global travel brand Omio in Italy last year. The two-phase campaign, including cheeky creatives that played on the rivalry between Milan and Rome, was a big success: not only did we increase brand awareness by 7 percentage points, but Omio’s app went from 66th place in April 2021 to 11th by November in the Android store, with a similar uplift on iOS (53rd to 17th place) – highlighting that OOH can truly be both a branding and performance driver.
What is radio advertising?
Radio advertising is one of the oldest forms of advertising there is, and can take the form of ad spots, show sponsorships or live reads – where the radio host reads your advert in real time. While radio might not be the first form of advertising that comes to mind to launch a campaign, the channel comes with a huge amount of benefits: traditional radio has reach to rival TV, with the speakerbox estimated to reach 3.1bn users globally by 2025. It’s also a highly targetable channel that works best on a regional basis – and it’s just as good for brand building as it is for performance.
Another major benefit to radio campaigns is the speed with which you can book. No other offline media gives you the possibility to book so spontaneously – in some cases you can book radio inventory up to just two days before airing. This can be key for situations where you need to respond in an agile way to suddenly changing conditions, for example if you notice mid-month that you’re below your targets for a specific region, or you want to create an ad capitalising on extraordinary circumstances.
Tips from our experts for advertising on radio
“Timing is big in radio: be conscious of target consumer behaviour and how that affects pricing and effectiveness in radio slots.” – Eric Vissers, Head of Growth at DCMN
There are two big idiosyncrasies with radio campaigns: firstly, prime time on radio isn’t in the evening. In many markets, commuting times are the most popular – and expensive – times to advertise on radio, as they see the biggest audience tuning in. Secondly, marketers should never underestimate the fact that you only have audio to play with in radio campaigns – so you need to get as creative with speech as possible. If your product needs to be seen to be believed, it might make sense to stick with a visual medium. When it comes to ad structure, DCMN’s Head of Growth, Eric Vissers, advises that listener attention is highest at the beginning of a spot, so frontload your most relevant content. He encourages brands to “transport their key messages in a strong opening and shift any secondary information to later in the spot.”
If you’re planning an international radio campaign, you’ll also need to investigate the regional differences and attitudes to radio: “Germany is extremely fragmented, with over 400 radio stations that can be targeted to very specific interests and demographics”, says Eric. France, on the other hand, has just a handful of national stations that offer almost total coverage, making it vastly more affordable and accessible, but with less opportunities for targeting.
Finally, as with any marketing campaign, it’s important to make sure all of your channels are aligned through the funnel to make sure that your potential customers are receiving consistent messaging along all of their touchpoints. In particular for radio, the customer is unlikely to convert directly since people often listen to radio in cars or other situations where they don’t have a second device close at hand. So capturing that new demand and converting the user with targeted digital ads at a later stage is crucial.
How to measure radio campaigns
Measuring the performance of your radio campaigns is historically not as straightforward as TV. Customers are less likely to be second-screening while listening to radio, so aren’t likely to download your app or visit your site directly after they hear your ad. This makes it nearly impossible to accurately attribute visits to individual spot airings, which in turn limits your options for optimisation by station and timings.
However, Bayesian statistical models are currently the most refined method for measuring the effectiveness of a radio campaign. The model tries to predict how a KPI (like website traffic) would look without a campaign running, and then compares it to actual traffic data. Here’s how a brand could use a similar bayesian algorithm.
To learn more about radio advertising, check out our guide, The Radio Star: A How-To Guide for Marketers.
What is TV advertising?
“There is still massive power in terms of trust with TV – and this extends to advertising as well.” – Ulrike Tusk, Global Expert Offline Marketing at DCMN
TV advertising has been around for close to over a century – and yet remains one of the most efficient marketing channels to reach a huge audience in a short amount of time. While cord-cutting is becoming more common – particularly in North America – TV is still seen as one of the most trusted medias for getting information. This was in-part driven by the pandemic, with people turning to TV more than ever to keep them informed and up-to-date. Europeans in particular view television as a relatively reliable medium, with levels of trust ranging from 26 percent in Greece to 79 percent in Denmark. This benefits the advertising industry too, who gain a captive audience and implicit trust from viewers.
How to create a winning TV advert
Your creative is the decisive factor in whether your target group will respond to seeing your spot, and any number of things can make a difference in how captivating your spot is. We have an entire blog post on how to create a winning TV advert, but some aspects to focus on include:
- Spot length (typical spot lengths range between 10, 15, 20 and 30 seconds)
- Clarity of messaging
- How well the creative concept resonates with your target group (both in your home market and abroad, if you’re planning to run the campaign internationally)
- Choice of voiceover actor
- Exact wording of the call to action (for example, are you encouraging people to buy your product, direct them to your website, or download your app?)
Dos and don’ts for TV advertising:
- Do test your creatives before going into production mode: Use market research to test different approaches to your TV spot in the pre-production phase. This will help you avoid burning cash on ads that won’t resonate with your consumers.
- Do prepare your app or website: Your TV campaign is likely to deliver a significant spike in traffic, and a huge percentage of that traffic will visit your website or app within 2-3 minutes of the spot going to air – so make sure that your servers can handle the uptick in users. If your spot features a particular product, make sure that it’s featured prominently on your website: customers can only convert if they find the product easily.
- Don’t see TV as just a branding tool: TV has long been seen as a brand-building medium, but thanks to big improvements in TV attribution technology, it’s now possible to measure an ad’s direct response and start building performance campaigns with lower cost values.
- Don’t buy into the idea that TV is a dying media: While CTV and digital video continue to gain popularity, marketers can’t afford to abandon traditional TV. Even in the US, consumers spend 53.7% (or 3:07) of their daily video time with traditional linear TV, compared to 46.3% (or 2:41) with digital. And in Germany, 72% of the population watches linear TV every day. Depending on your target group and market, TV can help you reach a huge untapped audience and boost sales goals.
How to measure TV advertising
When measuring the impact of a performance TV campaign, you’ll want to track the direct response. This can be a website visit, registration, an install or an order, depending on your product and whether it’s available on mobile, web or both. The idea is to measure uplift – exactly how much traffic is being generated by the individual spot airings – and then calculate the Cost Per Action based on how much you invested in that spot.
To learn more, our Director of Product, Maria Mryasova, and Global Expert Offline Marketing, Ulrike Tusk, hosted a masterclass at this year’s Online Marketing Rockstars conference on how best to measure offline channels including TV. Watch it below:
What is CTV advertising?
CTV is one of the newest channels on the block, and has seen a meteoric rise in the last five years due to the prominence of streaming services and smart TVs. Today, the US alone counts over 183.5 million CTV viewers. To capture this newfound demand, advertising spend is following suit: US advertisers spent $14.44 billion on CTV in 2021, an increase of 59.9% over 2020.
CTV advertising come with two big benefits: the ability to better target consumers, and more sophisticated measurement. Brands can leverage first- or third-party data on CTV in a very similar way to digital campaigns, although to connect your own first-party data with audiences on CTV, you will need to work with a partner who can provide you with data on CTV. Advertising on CTV also comes with a whole host of new terminology to learn – some of which we’ve outlined in the chart below.
How to measure CTV advertising
When it comes to measurement and attribution, there are three main ways to track campaign metrics and measure performance on CTV: directly through the DSP, through a third-party ad server and through a measurement provider. DSPs and third-party ad servers can provide their own impressions, clicks, completion rates and, with proper tag setup, purchases or installs. However, they typically cannot monitor and prevent attribution fraud – which measurement providers can.
Despite the variety of ways to track CTV campaigns, there remain challenges especially in combination with linear TV – for example with incremental reach or double attribution of leads – which is worth bearing in mind when setting up your campaigns.
You can learn more about how to set-up and measure your CTV ads in our connected TV report, written in partnership with Adjust.
Tips for building killer CTV campaigns
To help you build the ultimate CTV campaign, we spoke to Joshua Fulfs, Director of Digital Activation at DCMN, to share his advice:
“Many advertisers start advertising on CTV with a single untested creative. Given the budget outlay required for CTV, it’s worth testing creative concepts on lower CPM channels to find the winners. Running more than one creative also allows the flexibility to optimise around creatives.” – Joshua Fulfs, Director of Digital Activation at DCMN
- Josh also warns that as CTV is still a new channel, many advertisers first go directly to a publisher to guide them and set up a direct IO deal – but this can “limit the potential scale and lock you into a single publisher before you know if this is where your potential customers are”. Instead, Josh recommends starting with a broader programmatic approach to surface these insights.
- Josh also highlights the differences between running campaigns between the US and Europe, saying that “lower CTV adoption rates in Europe and GDPR restrictions limit the potential scale, targeting, and measurement possibilities available for campaigns in these markets.” He advises that when running campaigns across the US and Europe, advertisers should set realistic budgets for the CTV market size in each.
- Another option for brands is to combine linear TV and CTV advertising, channels Josh says “are best used in conjunction”. Linear allows brands to make a big splash, maximising their reach across nearly 121 million TV-owning US households while “CTV allows you to zero-in on your target audience, engaging with viewers that are separate from traditional TV, yet just as valuable”, says Josh.
Finding out which combination of channels will work best for your campaigns will take time. But by continually testing and refining your strategy, you’ll be able to make incremental gains that should keep you one step ahead.
Got more questions about how to build successful campaigns across channels? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.