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How to make your media spend work harder, for longer

3 min read - by Michele Reale - Media Director

Four ways to strike a better balance with your marketing

Are you making waves, or is your media spend a drop in the ocean? Media Director, Michele Reale, explains how to create a bigger impact with a long-term approach.

As well as being a marketer yourself, you’ve probably been hit by your fair share of B2B marketing. Yet, when you cast your mind back over the past 18 months, you might struggle to remember a campaign you’ve seen out in the wild.

I know I do. Click or no click, I’ve forgotten them all. Even campaigns that enticed me to engage haven’t stuck in the mind. Within the year and a half that represents the average B2B buying cycle, the marketing has stopped working. In other words, your media spend isn’t having the lasting, brand-building impact that could be crucial to purchase.

When you look at the big picture, it’s telling. In the 1970s, only 20% of the market value of S&P 500 businesses came from intangible assets. Now, that figure is 84% – a quarter of which comes from brand[1]. Yet, our media spends are going in the exact opposite direction, as brand budgets are eaten away in favour of short-term tactics.

Digital media, and the constant measurement they’ve made possible, are partly responsible for this shift. Clicks and downloads are compelling, and metrics aren’t going away. So how can we strike a better balance, but without returning to finger-in-the-air advertising?

These four key steps can help you make your media spend work harder – and keep it working longer:

  1. Show the stats to as many stakeholders as possible

    Now, data and proof-points are everything – and rightly so. So, try to secure some budget for the long-term view if you can, but always using stats to show you’re working from the data. The figures I mentioned above, for example, come from The Board-Brand Rift. Access the report here if you need to make a convincing case.
  1. Consider premium advertising space

    Often, you get what you pay for. Premium ad space is expensive for a reason: it shows that your provider is putting its readers, and their needs, first. When those readers are your buyers, that built-up trust reflects well on you and is good for performance – in the short and long term. Plus, as privacy issues grow more and more important, these ad spaces might be the most reliable and responsible way to find your audience.
  1. Hire a range of skillsets – not just numerical geniuses 

    In recent years, marketing departments and agencies have hired data-whizzes to stay in touch with a changing industry. While that’s essential, it’s still important to balance your teams. Some of these skills might not always overlap with a long-term, strategic mindset. In fact, your approach to HR might be the most important factor in making sure you take a balanced approach.

  1. Have data behind you, but don’t look back 

    You can have the best media plan in the world, but without the right creative, you’ll never make a big impression. Since creativity is all about new connections, data can be a great starting point. In fact, I’d recommend setting up your media strategy (and getting detailed insights on the audience for your specific brief) as early as possible in the process. After all, most creatives will tell you that it’s the tightest briefs which make them most inventive. Once you’ve established that foundation, it’s time to break new ground with some brave work.

Want to discuss your media strategy in more detail? I’d be more than happy to chat through your needs. Just drop us a message.

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[1] IPA and the Financial Times, The Board Brand Rift, June 2019.