YOUR JOURNEY WITH NLOM

Each step in your journey with Next Level Online Media is designed to guide you reach deeper into understanding your customers and the value your ads can provide. Shining light onto new customers and revealing the hidden potential of your brand.

When you’re looking for an Online Media Agency here’s some steps, to get a better understanding on what to expect.

Getting your feet wet

When you engage our Digital Media Agency our initial meeting is an opportunity to discuss your business, your experience, your pain points and what you want to achieve. It is also a chance to discuss or define your media KPI’s. This first meeting is also an opportunity for you to discuss what you expect from our relationship, and the resources we can bring to your media management.

Learning the ropes

We start with ‘deep dive’ analysis of your analytics and ad accounts, revealing how you are attracting and engaging with your target audience.  This ‘deep dive’ analysis can include your internal customer data, as well as data from Google, social media, publishers, other third-party data and our own proprietary research and attribution modelling tools. We use this information to define and refine your target audience profiles.

Situational awareness

Once we have defined and refined your target audience profiles, we use these profiles to optimise channel selection. We then arrange a discussion to help you understand how we intend to increase the reach and targeting of your media strategy. We also discuss the importance of the context of creative and content.

Mapping your journey

Once we have a consensus on where to reach your target audience, we then build strategy to define how. This is an opportunity to bring together your marketing, creative and media team into the discussion. It is also an opportunity to discuss how your new media strategy can complement your SEO strategy.

Dive in

Once you have approved your media strategy, and developed your creative and content, we then set about implementing your strategy. This process typically takes between 2 to 4 weeks. This process also includes establishing your online dashboard that allows you to have 24/7 visibility over your media strategy.

Adapting to your new environment

Your media strategy is not set in stone. It is a living organism, and as such needs to adapt to thrive. In the first 2 to 6 weeks we will test content in different context to see what delivers the desired outcomes. We will also continually adjust our media strategy based, with the same aims. This trial process is one of the most beneficial aspects of the service we provide, as it helps optimise your marketing ROI.

Diving with friends

Our promise is to help you understand what happens below the surface of your media strategy. To deliver on this promise, we agree to a schedule of face to face strategy and campaign reviews. This is your chance to ask questions, and for us to provide answers based on empirical data and our professional experience. It is also a chance to review budget allocations and respond to underperforming channels and creative. It is also a chance to engage with your creative and marketing teams.

Using your experience

The hallmark of many media strategies is diminishing returns. Our long-term strategy is the exact opposite. We believe that through continuous monitoring of your campaigns we can discover new and exciting ways to optimise results. We also use our deep understanding of the ever-changing media environment to ensure you understand both the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead.

If partnering with an Online Media Agency is right for your business. Let’s start a beautiful relationship and take your advertising campaigns to the next level! Get in touch today.

Experimentation Is Key

If we use the analogy of a racing yacht, a campaign (like a racing yacht) is never ‘race perfect’ when it leaves the boatyard. It needs testing and adjustment to perform at its best.

‘When should I stop experimenting?’

Never. Continuous experimentation is part of the new marketing paradigm, in the same way that R&D has driven product design, since, well..forever. From this point on, continuous experimentation should be an integral part of your marketing plan and budget.

Rather than see this as a cost or a burden, Marketers need to embrace the new paradigm for what it is: an opportunity like no other afforded any other generation.

The lament of past generations of Marketers

Previous generations of Marketers didn’t have the luxury of continuous experimentation. The analogue nature of print and the expense of television made it impractical to continuously experiment on different techniques, across different devices and channels. 
Their experimentation was limited to small focus groups in badly lit rooms.
They made decisions based on questionable, third-party information to drive their decision-making processes.

You don’t have the same limitations. You can continue to improve your techniques and creative, delivering a better ROI. You can achieve results other generation of Marketers could only dream of… and the heart of it all is continuous experimentation.

How, when and why

It goes without saying that you can’t be just experimenting. At some point, you need to take this information and commit…right? Wrong. At the heart of every successful new online (and offline) media strategy is built-in flexibility. Every ad you place, every social post, every piece of native content is, in fact, an experiment…without being an experiment.

The granular nature of the data that an organisation such as Next Level Online Media collects and analyses provides you with powerful insight into content and channel performance. This data allows you to treat everything you do as an experimentation, supported by empirical research. These insights allow you to adjust ads, content and media plans, reducing wastage and improving campaign performance.

If you’d like a first-hand insight into what this would look like for your brand, contact Next Level Online Media today.

Data Related To Your Goals

Campaign performance & analysis varies dramatically from client to client. Some clients focus on e-commerce sales, others on lead generation, others on brand equity or issue awareness. However, you currently measure success, our goal is to refine this process.

How do you define success today?

Without integration to an e-commerce solution, most of the metrics generated by a paid media strategy could be viewed as ‘soft’, meaning it represents ‘intent’, not action. For organisations that can place a dollar or other value on a qualified enquiry, completed online form or non-identified engagement (e.g. social ‘like’ or follow’), the ROI of our activity is easier to define. Our goal is to work with you to understand your current KPI’s, then help identify ways of turning ‘soft’ metrics into ‘hard’ results.

New ways to measure success

Do you look at campaign performance from a single perspective? Are you only measuring the performance of your paid media strategies by those who go directly to your website or complete a transaction? Are you using an attribution model based on sophisticated modelling that truly represents your business or organisation? Are you making an inaccurate assumption by using intuition to fill in the gaps with your current analytics?Most marketers make false assumptions about campaign performance by simply not having the right tools to assess campaign effectiveness. The other mistakes many advertisers make is waiting for the conclusion of a campaign to make assessments on campaign performance. Marketing today is much more nuanced. To be truly effective and maximise the ROI of your investment, you need to first develop attribution models that reflect your needs, then analyse and adjust your strategy daily, in the same way a racing yacht adjusts its sails to catch more of the wind. Next Level Online Media can walk you through how this process can work for you.

Moving beyond quantitative analytics

Today you may know about volumes of clicks and likes, however, this is only one half of the story. The other half is qualitative. Qualitative analytics is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. It provides insights into the problem or helps to develop new ideas and approaches. Ask Next Level Online Media how their advanced analytical processes and thinking can provide you with both quantitative and qualitative understanding you desire.

New Media Buying Landscape

What most media buyers say is that media buying is about understanding what you want to achieve and planning a strategy. What they won’t tell you is that media buying is really about finding connections between your needs and the needs of your target audience.

Power to the people

The digital environment has seen power shift from advertisers to consumers. Consumers choose how and when they engage with a brand. As such, your priority should be to discover the most efficient way to engage with your target audience. Is it a direct call to action? Is it building your online brand reputation? Is it creating greater connectivity between your above the line and online media strategies? Is it providing them with the information to make more informed decisions?

Context is everything

When and where your marketing messaging appears, and how they appear has a more significant impact on the success of your marketing than anything else. The best time to begin to influence your target audiences’ behaviour is when they are seeking a solution to a problem, not necessarily when they are ready to purchase. If you wait until a potential new customer is willing to buy, chances are you are too late. Influencing potential new customers at the genesis of their discovery journey is key to them making an emotional commitment to your product or service.

You only know what you know

The new media paradigm affords you something you never had before: the opportunity to fail fast. Advertisers are afraid to fail, so they make safe decisions, which deliver (at best) anaemic results. The new media environment allows you to experiment with new approaches, unearthing entirely new ways to engage and invigorate your target audiences. It’s how you develop game-changing media strategies that enable you to break from past performances and produce stellar results. This is where Next Level Online Media can help.

Next Level Online Media’s process

Next Level Online Media was born in the new media environment, which means it is not mired in the past. Our process is designed to inform our clients of the opportunities that this complex and highly sophisticated new media landscape offers. Helping you understand this ever-changing media landscape is the role of Next Level Online Media. We start afresh, allowing us to design and deliver media strategy that exceeds expectations. The key to this is our discovery process. We review where you have been, where you are today and where you want to be. We also benchmark you against your competitors and research the best opportunities to reach new customers and advise you on the right context in which to deliver your marketing messages. Our goal is complete transparency on every aspect of how we create, manage, and deliver your media strategy.

Planning Your Marketing Calendar?

The best time to engage Next Level Online Media is when you start creating your marketing strategy. Many organisations compartmentalise their media planning, whereas there should be a symbiotic relationship between your earned (existing database and organic traffic) and paid strategies, as they should enhance the effectiveness of each other.

Context is everything

Context drives all of our media strategies. It’s not just the context of where your paid messaging appears, it’s your organic profile, website, social channels…in fact, any form of direct or indirect communications you have with your target audience. We know that understanding how all the pieces of a marketing and communication strategy fit together are the key to building an effective media strategy that builds brand reputation, drives sales and exceeds expectations.

What lies beneath

Just as we need to understand what is at the heart of your marketing strategy, you need to understand what lies beneath our media strategies.

We start by working with you and your creative team to understand your marketing strategy and key messages. We then work with you to conduct a gap analysis to identify any areas that may reduce the effectiveness of your overall strategy (e.g. inconsistent or conflicting messaging, landing pages for both initial contact and remarketing, online forms and other qualification tools ETC).

Once this process is complete and we have a clear understanding of you and your KPI’s, we then set about identifying your target audience, using a combination of those already engaging with your brand, as well as 2nd and third-party data resources. The end result of this process is a sophisticated understanding of how to reach and engage your target audience in a manner that delivers your desired outcomes.

We can then work with you and your creative team to create and deliver the right messages in the right formats, in the right context.

Your media strategy

Your new media strategy is based on an understanding of your organisation and goals, as well as a sophisticated understanding of the best environments, times and ways of engaging your target audience.

Continuous experimentation

It would be foolish to ‘set and forget’ your media strategy. We continue to monitor and adjust your strategy on a daily basis, taking previous learnings and using them to enhance campaign effectiveness. This continuous improvement approach reduces wastage, optimises messaging and ensures that you are not stuck in a cycle of diminishing returns. Our ultimate goal is to always be improving your paid media ROI.

Visibility

Visibility has become a buzzword for the digital media space, however, it has come to mean many things. Next Level Online Media’s approach to visibility is simple; we charge a set management fee to clients and take no third-party commissions. We also provide you with an online, secure dashboard that allows you to monitor in real time campaign results. Our team are also available to assist you and your team with any specific enquires of how the process works.

Lets start a beautiful relationship and take your advertising campaigns to the next level! Get in touch today.

Programmatic Ads. The Smarter Way to Reach The Right Audience

One of the most overused quotes in advertising is ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.’

This quote captures one of the most important challenges of advertising; what works.

In Australia, advertising regulation and auditing provided advertisers with some confidence that they had some (if tenuous) understanding of the media buying landscape. In a post-regulated, digital media environment advertisers feel even more lost in the wilderness.

With so much publicity around the current visibility of media buying processes, questionable loadings, ad fraud and Brand Safety, it is important that advertisers understand the opportunities and pitfalls of this new media environment.

What is Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic Advertising refers merely to the purchasing of digital advertising using software. However, the explanation of Programmatic Advertising is more complicated than this.

Programmatic Advertising allows media buyers to bid for the best prices for digital ad placement. Programmatic Advertising will enable media buyers to automatically acquire those ads when market prices align with the price media buyers are willing to pay. Programmatic Advertising also allows media buyers to review the effectiveness of the media plans and adjust them in real time. Programmatic Advertising also allows for ‘opportunistic’ media buying, such as distressed ads.

The Complexity

This simplistic explanation fails to explain the potential benefits and current controversy around Programmatic Advertising. To ensure campaigns align with clients’ goals and expectations, Programmatic Advertising uses multiple online resources to qualify placement of digital ads better. With each new filter comes additional loadings, increasing the actual cost of each ad; however, there is a benefit to this increased cost.

The increased cost of the ad reflects the increased focus and increased effectiveness of the ad to reach and be seen by the desired target audience. This, in theory, increases the effectiveness of the digital media buy.

The problem is that Media Buyers are not providing what clients believe to be adequate visibility around this process. This problem has been further compounded by unscrupulous, unregulated media buyers adding additional loadings to increase their revenue.

How can Australian Marketers ensure they are getting value from their digital media buy?

Many Marketers now believe that the only way they can guarantee the value of their Programmatic Advertising buy is to bring this activity ‘in- house.’ In reality, this is much like saying that it’s cheaper to do your own dentistry. The media buying environment is in a constant state of flux. To even attempt to understand it requires complete immersion. To set up an internal media buyer makes little commercial sense when the focus of most successful businesses is to outsource non-core costs.

As unsatisfactory as it may sound, the secret to a successful programmatic media buy lies in the relationships you build with your media buyers.

How can Australian Marketers identify the best Programmatic media buyers?

Relationships are built on trust. Trust is a requirement of both parties. In the case of clients, they need to have faith that their media buyers have their best interest at heart. In the case of Media Buyers, they need to believe that their clients are committed enough to work through the inherent issues associated with a media environment in a constant state of change.

In short, a successful client/media buyer relationship requires clear communication and a commitment from both sides.

A soufflé doesn’t rise twice

A successful client/media buyer relationship is driven by the principle that ‘A soufflé doesn’t rise twice.’ In other words, what worked in the last media buy may not work with the next buy. The most effective Programmatic Advertiser campaigns factor in the time and resources for testing and experimentation.

In a world where clients want results today, the added cost and time it takes to test and refine a strategy can be frustrating; however, the results speak for themselves.

5 Ways To Optimise. Make The Most From Your Ad Spend

With digital advertising now superseding traditional marketing in most industries, how can you make sure your precious ad dollars are delivering impressive returns? How do you reduce wastage in your ads spend, but still achieve mass exposure?

Chances are you’re investing heavily in digital, especially in a programmatic environment, so here are five things you should check when planning any campaign.

1. Frequency

Managing an optimal number of impressions that lead to conversion is a fine balancing act.  Most campaign managers use a daily cap on frequency to monitor this closely.

Measuring the number of impressions that you campaign achieves before it results in a conversion will help establish a general formula that you can rely on.  By analysing the type campaign, the offer, the copy and the category that your product competes in will give you a more holistic view of the frequency needed to build up interest leading to a conversion.

2. Time of day

Analysing the daily pattern of display impressions and conversion clicks may give you clues about when your audience is most attentive to your marketing messages.  Some ad platforms also allow you to set active windows for your ads, which allows you to concentrate your activity on periods that match your audience’s activity patterns.

3. Targeting

Do you know what the general characteristics are of you converting customers? Do they have any similar behavioural traits or consistent patterns?

By refining your ad targeting with behavioural insights as the campaign progresses, you are far more likely to have a higher conversion rate that continues to improve over time.

In addition, when you refine your targeting based on an audience’s related product interests, or content sites they frequently visit, the probability of them converting increases. This is despite the fact that, the cost of addressing prospects increases as they become more targeted, and as the volume of prospects decrease.

The trick is to find the optimal trade-off between conversion, costs and volume.  This is an ongoing process of trial and learning.

Tip:

The importance of trial and learning can be seen in the ‘boost’ button in Facebook. The majority of experiences using the ‘boost this post’ deliver well below expectation, due to the ‘mass marketing’ approach of this tool. This highlights the importance of refined targeting.  The Facebook boost process is automated.  The poor results may be caused by the quality of algorithm.  More importantly, it is missing the crucial feedback mechanism, where campaign results are reviewed against objectives, algorithms are refined and rebuilt, and ads copies or offers are readjusted.

4. Relevant content

Are you serving the same ad or copy throughout the campaign? Are you matching the content a prospect sees to the different stages of their purchasing journey?

This is often overlooked, with a lot of ad wastage caused by repetitive marketing messages that result in ‘message fatigue’.  By differentiating campaign message based on customer interest levels, you establish an ongoing ‘conversation’ with your customer as they develop trust in your brand, and interest and confidence in your product.  This will increase your conversion.

5. Top of mind

Are you optimising your ads based on prevailing interest in a prevailing market?   Are you matching ads on free to air TV shows, news events or even with activities of your competitors?

By placing your marketing message in the context of the marketing conversation, you can begin to move your marketing messages into the best product consideration window, for greater conversion probability.

This can be achieved through a number of programmatic platforms, where audience targeting is set in the context of free to air programs.

Measurement

Managing ad wastage directly results in improved efficiency and in the end, increases the return on your ad spend.   To measure ad investment, a Return on Ad Spend calculation is commonly used.

ROAS is simply a ratio between revenue and ad spend.  Here is a detailed description.     https://www.bigcommerce.com.au/ecommerce-answers/what-is-roas-calculating-return-on-ad-spend/

In general, a ROAS of 1.0 is break-even point, where for every dollar spent on ad, it netted one dollar in revenue.    As Revenue is not profit, typically you require a ROAS well above 1.0.

The true value ROAS is in the trending of this ratio between months.  This is typically an indication of how well your marketing strategy is tracking.

Next step/ Call to action

Next time when you have a conversation with your campaign manager, ask them how they reduce ad wastage.  Ask them for a ROAS.

Finding The Limitations Of Search

The Limitations Of Search

Search is an effective way to address your audience. Customers who use search already have an established need, so we can assume they are in the middle part of your marketing funnel. These customers can give us valuable clues about what they are looking for, often expressed in keywords or brand words searches.  Search marketing does have its limitations however, which must be carefully navigated.  Here are five common limits with search.

1. Search volume

There are a finite number of key word searches.  Therefore, there is a limit on the size of the search market.  This could translate into higher costs in search impression, as more brands bid for these popular keywords.

2. Upper sales funnel

A search-only strategy cannot build interest, brand awareness or recognition of needs.   Search alone is not generally effective in building trust in a brand.

3. Some customer do not need search

Some customers do not need search to find their product. They may already have recognised or recalled a brand that fits their needs, which could be a strong competitor brand within your category.  These brands are more likely to have made the initial investment into building awareness or interest.

4. New challenger brands or new product

Consumers will not typically search for new brands or new products, as these are not in their common experience or realm of awareness.   Search alone is not an effective way to launch a new brand or product, as it relies on some form of previous engagement with a customer.

5. Generic words

Brands or product names with multiple meanings could be difficult to use in a search campaign.  For example in the auto industry, the keyword ‘Territory‘  (4WD/SUV from Ford) would be a poor option for the search terms as it would result in a high number of mismatches.   This may translate into wastage in impressions, as only part of this is in-market audience in your segment.   This in turn may translate into a lower ROI.

Solution

Search is one of the best ways to address the middle and lower tier of your sales funnel.  However, it is not effective in building a bigger audience.   A multi-channel marketing strategy is one of the best ways to grow your audience or expand your sales funnel.

If you are relying on search alone, you are forfeiting the upper sales funnel, especially to competitors who have a multi-channel marketing strategy.

Read our Case Study on how we effectively used a cross-channel strategy to drive awareness.

Multi Channel Strategy. Balance Your Budget And Maximise Results.

Have you got the right multiple-channel digital strategy for your business?

With so many channel agencies proposing different options, how do you effectively balance your ad budget to maximise results?

Interpreting Marketing Data and devising Insights is key to understanding your business growth opportunities and developing a multi-channel media strategy. If you need guidance reach out to us, we are an Online Marketing Agency in Melbourne. This is what we do all day.

Take a step back

If you reflect on your own experience, how often do you browse online and then make a purchase in-store? How often have you purchased on line and remembered that there was a reference to that product in an online review, or that you actually first saw the product on a friend’s social feed.

The purchaser’s journey is now truly across multiple channels, and your customers will have choices from, and relationships with, multiple competing brands.

Rarely will you own a customer relationship exclusively, and rarely will you engage in a one-on-one conversation with them where they are focused solely on your product or service. Because of this, we must create opportunities to grab snippets of their attention, at strategic points where their interest is at its peak.

Strategy

At its most effective, digital marketing should be about promoting specific messages at strategic points of a customer’s purchasing journey.  These messages need to be relevant to them at that part of the journey.

So, the question is not which channel is best for this, but what is the right mix of channels to be present on. Testing and learning helps to understand your own Marketing Data and Insights from which you can tailor strategy to suit your business uniquely.

Tabled below is a useful channel strategy check list.  It maps the channels to the sales journey of a typical customer, and describes what is relevant, and therefore most effective, for a brand, as they go through the different channels in the purchasing journey..

channelmost effective for brandrelevant for customer
native1. awareness/brandinginformation & brand recognition
display-acquisition2. education/interestchoices & options
display-retargeting5. conversionprice and value
search3. comparison/optionschoices & option
search shopping ads4. consideration/evaluationoptions & prices
social1. awareness/brandingtrust & social proof
social shopping5. conversionoption & prices
email4. consideration/evaluationchoices & prices
video2. education/interestentertainment & education
SEO4. consideration/evaluationchoices & brand recognition
TVC1. awareness/brandinginformation & brand recognition
print/letter drop3. comparison/optionschoices & option
Influencers2. education/interesttrust & social proof

Channel strategy calculator

You can use this as a calculator as a useful tool when developing your digital strategy.  This calculator can help determine where your marketing investment should be directed.

As a simple exercise to test how well your current strategy is working, write down the percentage of total marketing dollar spent last month in the last column.

Ask yourself, is the channel where my customers are, and is my message relevant to them when they are on that channel?   This simple exercise will confirm if you have the best channel mix that is appropriate for your strategy and desired objectives.

Next steps

For an in-depth analysis of your current strategy, contact us.