Data-Driven Marketing: Media Plan Considerations

Data-Driven Marketing: Media Plan Considerations

People have so much different content hitting them at any one time that it is difficult for your customers to filter out the noise and hear your story. To really be successful, you need to target your content to your consumer several times along different media channels (TV, Radio, Targeted Display, and Targeted Mobile Display, Print, etc.).

One of the most powerful and growing media platforms today is data-driven mobile audience targeting. This strategy is where we can match online consumer profile data with a big data solution or curated consumer profile data. Then, a marketing campaign is launched where a mix of advertisements are served on desktop computers and laptops, but more importantly, on mobile and tablet devices.

With a matched list, you know ahead of the campaign how many consumers are going to be reached. You also the number of mobile and tablet devices we will serve your advertising content. We have a related eBook about the tremendous benefits are of going mobile and I encourage you to check it out.

That’s where a media plan comes in – to help us determine media delivery channels, audiences and budgets. The purpose of the media plan is to define the best strategy and to outlay the goals of the marketing campaign. When formulating the media plan, you should consider how you will measure success of the marketing campaign, like inbound leads generated, likes, new customers, or social shares.

In the process of developing a media plan, you need to ask yourself:

  • What does my target audience look like?
  • How many advertisement impressions do we want to serve?
  • What is our campaign budget?

What does my target audience look like?

First, when the team at SA Interactive meets with a prospect or current partner, we want to know what the ideal audience looks like. We review company personas, Ideal Client Profiles (ICP), and conduct interviews with staff to give us a make up of a typical audience member. A lot of time is invested in determining who is an ideal audience member.

There is also a lot of debate as to why someone should or should not be included. It is important that we get this right early on, because marketing budgets are limited and gone are the days of the corporate blank check. The size of the audience is just as important as who is in the audience because the larger the audience, the more costly the campaign.

How many advertisement impressions do we want to serve?

It is important to factor in that a high frequency of touches is going to have to happen before you determine the scope and costs of the campaign. Consumers are inundated with different distractions competing for their attention. It makes marketing campaigns more difficult to break through that noise.

We want to determine how many touches or impression we want to deliver to these audience members. This is often tricky to answer because if you consider a traditional TV ad, a best practice is up to three impressions over the course of the campaign. When considering the number of media inputs a consumer has these days and the fact that most of us are living on our mobile devices, three may not be enough to tell your story.

If your campaign cycle is 30-days, delivering 45 impressions per person via a data-driven mobile audience targeted campaign, it would be a bit overbearing. That means your advertisement is seen at least once a day, if not more!

Now if you were advertising an upcoming event where say a sign up is required, then, maybe that would be an appropriate number of impressions. You also need to ask yourself when was the last time that a brand like Coke, or Ford was in your media stream at least once a day. Probably not too often.

Well, how many is too many?

The main factor is you do not want to upset your targeted audience member with too many advertisements. In political campaigns, this is an issue raised often. The political campaign experts will tell you that if you are in the final stretch – last 30 days – they would recommend a strategy of 16-20 impressions.

This is where you should consider A/B tests and launching different media plans to two sub audiences at the same time. We always recommend that a marketing campaign have room for test and tuning. When you combine a data-driven mobile audience marketing campaign with a marketing analytics platform, you can see in real time how your campaigns are performing. There is no need to wait until the completion of the first campaign to launch the second anymore!

What is our campaign budget?

Let’s take a look at some factors when determining costs. When it comes to building and using data driven marketing tools, not all consumer profile audiences are created equal. Big Data is used to construct an audience and it takes time and is very costly to build a data warehouse.

Some of this information is readily available like census or voter data, other data sets require relationship building with corporations and big budgets to obtain this data. Because of the difficulty of building some of these audiences, it costs more to serve to one audience versus another.

In our view, if you are not using Big Data to define an audience, you may never know if you actually reach your ideal audience. That is why we are not really big fans of just IP Targeting as a digital marketing strategy. This strategy serves ads to everyone down at the local Starbucks or at an airport.

Sure, IP targeting is much cheaper, but risk of not reaching your target audience means that you may have to spend more in the long run. We have talked to prospects that previously only used IP Targeting and they were not satisfied with the promised Return On Investment (ROI). Data-driven audience targeting is more costly and our ideal partners have an annual marketing budget of at least $50,000. Our partners tell us it is worth the investment because we can provide measurable and attainable results.


We leave you with three media plans we created to give you an idea of the power and scope of digital audience targeting, as well as the costs. We are transparent with any prospect about the upfront costs because they can eat up your annual marketing budget in a hurry, thus we left in the costs for these examples.

The three campaigns are:

  • Regional IT Recruitment
  • College Student Recruitment
  • Geofencing Brand Campaign

With some insight, and guidance you can build better media plans. As a data driven marketing agency, we have a combined 40 years of experience and are ready to help with your digital marketing needs.


I have been in marketing and technology for more than 20 years and have worked in many industries and worn many hats. From independent consultant, to cooking school, to establishing technology centers, it was a Spirit led adventure that landed me in the president & owner’s seat at Element 502.

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