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The Maddening Puzzle of Multi-Channel Campaigns

Advertisers waste a lot of money by blindly assuming that cross-media interactions will always translate into sales gains. Here’s how they can solve that puzzle

Trying to tease out all the interacting effects within a multi-channel advertising campaign seems almost impossible. That’s why most marketers rely on convenient data points, accepted wisdom, and raw instinct. The problem is that, by doing so, they’re wasting a lot of money, says Ceren Kolsarici, Ian R. Friendly Fellow of Marketing of Smith School of Business, Queen’s University. In a ground-breaking study, Kolsarici found that firms can see a double-digit lift in profits if they use analytics to strategically plan which channel to use with other channels. In this video, she discusses why advertising synergies don’t always happen and which channels work best with others.

Video Highlights

0:12     For multi-channel campaigns, marketers have to choose from among a thousand different traditional and digital alternatives. “It’s a very convoluted decision. . . with huge implications on the top line and bottom line of the brand.”

1:20     About 45 percent of the money managers put in advertising creates synergy. But 25 percent of that budget creates negative effects. “Synergy is a much more nuanced concept than managers usually think about. And it’s not the de facto outcome of most multimedia campaigns.”

2:12     Low-budget media spend, such as a newspaper ad or a radio spot, can boost the effectiveness of high-budget media, such as TV advertising. This means managers can see a better sales lift from their media spend at low incremental cost or even spend less without suffering a drop-off.

3:38     Optimizing a multi-channel campaign is “a combination of art and science. Science comes from the analytics and art comes from manager expertise or gut feeling. You have to find the right combinations of channels, and the right spending ranges at the right time so that your campaign is effective.”

4:30     Firms should invest in collecting high-quality data and training key personnel in analytical methods, and then find someone who can translate that information so actionable insights can be generated from the results.