Series - A take on audiences (part 3 out of 5) | Articles

How are campaign budgets and structures impacted by audience-centric strategies?

In our previous article we provided a methodology on how audiences should be put in place in order to deliver on their potential. In this article we’ll be looking at the impact of this approach on campaign structures, planning and media budgets.

Classic campaign structures

Marketeers and advertisers typically have two sorts of campaigns:

  • Always-on campaigns: The objective is to create a continuous stream of qualified leads. This setup is typically very heavy in SEA while very light (or non-existent) in terms of display.

    In other words, the upper funnel channels aren’t driving large amounts of traffic down the funnel.


    • Standard campaigns: The objective is to move along with seasonality, launch a new product or push the demand for a brand, product or service. This setup is typically very heave in terms of display while very light (or non-existent) in SEA. In other words, the lower funnel channels aren’t aligned in order to capture the increase in demand generated through the activation of the upper funnel channels.


      In terms of targeting on the display side this typically comes down to what we’ve seen in our previous article: multiple audiences, one message.

      Audience centric campaign structures

      A performance approach towards audiences forces advertisers and marketeers to shift towards a hybrid model in which always-on campaigns are designed with both the upper funnel activation (e.g: display) and the lower funnel capturing mechanism in mind (e.g: SEA).

      The reason for that is that audiences based targeting forces marketers to think about the product they’re selling and how that might interest a potential customer (read audience). This exercise ensures the marketer matches the audience with a relevant message. In short - the relevancy of your advertising increases and as a result, so should your impact.

      To some extent, this is exactly what David Ogilvy referred to in his book ‘Confessions of an advertising man’ when he said the following - ‘I found it easier to double the selling power of a commercial than to double the audience of a programme’. By matching message and audience, we’re increasing the impact of our advertising while using the same budgets.

      The objective of this type of campaigning is to create a hyper relevant always-on prospecting pipe-line that creates a continuous stream of high-quality leads.

      Even though the impact for the same budget increase, budgets are still impacted in two ways:

      1. The idea of creating an always-on prospecting pipe-line means that it will consume more budget than a classical always-on campaign. The reason is that we’re transforming budgets that would be used for classic campaigns into always-on campaigns in order to foster a continuous flux of qualitative leads. As an example, thousands of people are getting married every year. If you have a product that’s relevant to this section, it makes sense to reach out to them on a permanent basis as the cookie base keeps renewing itself. Pushing all your budget during a one month time frame would result in reaching limits both in terms of volume and quality.

      2. Next to the shift of budgets between campaign types a shift takes place within the distribution of the budget for each always-on campaign. As audience centric always-on campaigning implies different messages for different audiences, the share of budget required to create these adapted messages increases (as more messages / visuals are required).

      3. The dynamic between client, media agency and creative agency will change. Briefings will require more preparation as media agencies and creative agencies need to sync around audiences. Time invested in the strategy will increase, as well as in the audience design and messaging.

      When audiences are aligned with the message, the marketer needs to adapt the way campaigns are structured and operated. This might event impact the structural ways of how media agencies are being operated. However, it’s worth the challenge as this ensures the creation of a steady pipeline of leads or sales for the client by transforming data points (audiences) into revenue.

      Read Part 4 here !

      Author: Glenn Vanderlinden


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