These are the ingredients for a well thought out media plan

“At the table with…” is a segment in which a New Sales Company employee talks about a subject within his or her specialty. This can be an interesting case they were involved in, a vision on certain developments within online marketing or sales, or trend watching for the future.

New Sales Company - Jacob Poortinga

Today we’re in the “White Room” with Managing Partner Jacob Poortinga. Jacob has been involved in online marketing since he arrived at New Sales Company 8 years ago. He made the previous label MKBanner successful and is always up to date on the latest developments in (online) media. In that capacity he helps clients set up a well thought out, strategic media plan. We asked Jacob how this process works.

Which ingredients do you need to create a good media plan?
“First of all, it’s about the content, or the story you want to tell. As a company, you need to offer something good that aligns with the needs of the customer. It’s also important to determine which target audience you want to reach. Knowing how to reach the target audience and the intensity with which to communicate to this audience is part of our expertise. The better the description of the target audience, the more targeted we can work.

Other than that we also determine the strategy with the goal in mind. The goal often depends on the phase you’re in as a company and how well-known you are with the audience. You can think of different goals, like branding and awareness, which increase brand awareness, but also increase trust and authority. You can also have marketing goals aimed at conversion, like contact forms or online sales. As a last ingredient, I need to know what the budget is before I can start setting up a media plan.”

How well do clients have these ingredients in order?
“The target audience, for example, is an interesting one. This is because, even though you can have this completely thought out, often it turns out that the online target audience is different, or behaves differently. You don’t get a clear idea of this until you’ve done something about communication and have gathered data.

A while ago we did a campaign for Stichting Citymarketing Gorinchem. They had their ingredients in order. They hired a research agency to map the current situation of the city Gorinchem. This research showed that, for example, brand awareness within a 25 kilometre radius was very good. People knew how to reach the city. This wasn’t the case outside of this area, where Gorinchem was mostly known because of traffic news on the radio. The goal, target audience description and budget were clear.”

“You can be as high and mighty as you want, but you need a thought out strategy to build a brand.”

You said that the phase your company’s in often determines the media strategy. How do you adjust your strategy to this?
We highly believe in the contact moment strategy. This means that you need a minimum amount of contact moments with your target audience to convince them to do something (a purchase or filling in a form). The strategy also depends on the product. Do people need your product year round, or during certain periods only, or only when they have a problem?

A great example of this is an acquaintance of mine who built a company handling car damage. His biggest challenge is that no one needs him, until their car is damaged. How do you make sure you’re visible or findable at the right moment? This demands a different strategy. You have to make sure you’re in their evoked set and that, at the moment of damage, your brand pops up with a select few others.”

How do you do that?
“You need to make sure the basics are in order. You have to be findable and easy to reach. The thing is, being findable in a market like that costs a lot of money, so you have to make sure that you use ‘branding channels’ that reach as many people as possible. This can be radio, TV, digital out of home etc.”

As a start-up, you often don’t have that kind of money.
“That’s true, so you can be as high and mighty as you want but you need a thought out strategy to build a brand. You do this by gathering data, through website pixels and during online campaigns, for example. By doing this you can set up efficient campaigns by implementing programmatic advertising.

An advantage of programmatic is that you can move budgets quickly if you see something that will work better. You can also target very specifically, by using mosaic data that shows the customer’s profile, combined with geographical segmentation, for example. After you gather campaign data, you can extend this to the rest of The Netherlands.”

“Other than brand awareness, you need to build trust and authority. You need objectivity.”

Can you only use programmatic with display advertising?
“No. You can also use programmatic with Digital Out of Home nowadays. You can target geographically but also respond to certain times, events and even weather expectations. It’s interesting to combine Digital Out of Home with Spotify for example, which is a great alternative for a radio campaign. Spotify also allows you to target geographically (or based on age or music genre), so you can align your channels and make them stronger.

What more can you do to build your brand?
“Other than brand awareness, you need to build trust and authority. You need some objectivity. Nowadays you can do this perfectly by implementing branded content in relevant magazines, news websites or well-known Facebook pages.

A great example is the Louwman Groep, the well-known automotive player. They saw the market change in terms of mobility and responded to this by starting Driven, a flexible mobility provider that aims at marketing and media companies in big cities like Amsterdam. These often have employees that live in the city and use public transport. Driven offers an alternative that we promoted on, for example, the marketing platform Emerce. One of their journalists wrote an objective piece that was published on the online platform, in their newsletter and print magazine.”

Why did you also choose to incorporate print?
“Not because they have enormous reach, but to make it tangible for the Louwman Groep’s employees. A copy of the magazine was delivered to every Louwman location, which meant we also took care of internal marketing.

We also did this for the PON Groep, for example, for whom we published an article about DutchLease in Quote and Autoweek. These magazines, with a DutchLease cover, were sent to all PON locations. We also noticed this works for our own brand. We had a radio campaign on BNR (Business News Radio). A radio campaign doesn’t necessarily only bring you new clients, but can also serve as validation for our current clients that they’re working with the right party.”

How can you still surprise clients?
“By trying new things. We always try to be a frontrunner when it comes to new channels, new ideas and innovations. That’s how you can surprise people. Examples are online radio, Spotify and also Pinterest. Most people didn’t even know you could advertise on Pinterest.

What I do notice is that people think a certain channel won’t work for them, even though the results tell us differently. It also happens the other way around, when people want to use a certain channel even though results can show them it doesn’t work. Of course we tell our clients this.”

Because online everything is measurable…
“Yes, that’s the big advantage, but at the same time also dangerous. When you look at Google Analytics to the attribution model, they often tell you all your results come from Google.

At that point you have to look at what else you did. If you’ve done a big branding campaign, for example. Then you automatically know that search traffic for your keyword or brand name will go up during that time. You can’t attribute this to Google, because people don’t suddenly search for your brand name.”