The Five C’s of Using Paid Media to Optimize the Customer Journey

Are you getting what you paid for? Think about your paid media provider relationship. Is it a partnership that pushes boundaries, or a transactional dialog without the benefit of critical thinking and strategic excellence? Media ad spending worldwide is expected to grow by 7.4 percent to $628.63 billion by the end of 2018 according to eMarketer. If you’re part of that trend, is the way that you approach paid media within the customer journey optimized to make the difference between success and status quo?

paid media

If you’re not satisfied with the answers, it may be time to reassess your paid media strategy and partnerships. Focus on the “five C’s” of safeguarding the customer journey – the best practices that should be at the forefront of each and every paid media campaign no matter what size or scope, especially given today’s heightened interest in social, mobile and integrated buying:

1. Collaboration. Knowing your business goals is critical – but examining these goals through the lens of the customer journey is where collaboration makes the critical difference in any paid media strategy. This collaboration needs to go full-circle: clients, media partners, relevant influencers, analysts, and all other parties critical to evaluating the right paid targets and media mix.

2. Consumption. Diving deep into understanding your consumers’ personas requires partners who are insight providers, not order takers. Consumption means looking at where your audience is and, perhaps more importantly, where your audience isn’t – mining for the right mix of presence and precision in all content delivery methods. Use data as both an input and an output of planning. Put intelligence at the heart of every decision and test, learn, evaluate, and evolve every step of the way.

3. Customization. Measure and track absolutely everything. The art of customization comes from seeing inside the consumers’ lifestyle and creating content and experiences tailor-made for them. It’s using real-time advanced analytics and decision-making dashboards to identify patterns and adjust engagement. It’s exploring programmatic buying to help bring the power of algorithms to buys of premium ad inventory. It’s looking for partners with both the talent and technologies to take customization further, faster and with stronger results.

4. Creative. Great creative approaches examine the best of paid and earned and reflect the customer journey and path to purchase differently, dynamically and with a definition of the medium in mind. Believe in creative outcomes that build off of data-driven insights and details that differentiate each individual’s unique customer journey.

5. Conversion. Every impression is only as good as what happens next. Innovative approaches to targeting and optimization make the difference between a solid effort and truly standout results in conversion. By emphasizing measurement, monitoring and dialog on conversion at all stages of the buy, rich opportunities can be realized for return on investment. Think beyond impressions and discover what conversion really looks and feels like within each call to action of your campaign.

If your company is in the midst of 2019 planning and evaluating your planned investment in paid media, it is an ideal moment to reflect on how the “five C’s” can work for you. Any questions? Reach out and connect with me.

Justin is a Vice President within our Raleigh office who specializes in digital strategy, search engine optimization (SEO), paid search, and programmatic buying.