“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”Benjamin Franklin
Campaign planning is the difference between running a successful campaign and throwing darts in the dark, media planning and pre campaign research is an integral process before running any campaign. There is a lot that goes into campaign planning, determining a sizable audience pool, knowing how to split your budget between channels and target audience, estimating your performance according to your budget, bid and campaign duration, and validating your target audience.
Let’s start with validating your target audience, based on your actual property sales you know that the majority of your buyers are aged 35 to 40 and are parents with children aged 12 to 18, based on what you know, you replicate that target audience through digital. But the real question is, how well does what you know translates to digital? In order to find out, we can use tools like Facebook Audience Insights, take demographics as a seed to your validation, parents (child 12 – 18). You’ll find that based on this, you now see that those who are parents with children around that age are aged 35 to 55. You can now expand your target audience further to broaden your reach.
Now how does one decide in splitting their budget across their audience segment? I’ll use a bucket example here, for starters, let’s say you have 2 audience segments.
You have a total budget of RM 10,000 to split between 2 buckets, your objective is to collect as much water in each bucket, but the real question here is, what size bucket do you buy for each segment? Get a bucket too small, and you won’t be able to be able to collect the maximum amount of water you can collect from a segment. Get a bucket too big, and you have wasted spend. This analogy is your audience pool and your budget, if you allocate a budget too small to a segment, chances are your ads will poorly perform at start. You’ll typically see little to no performance. Allocate a budget too big to a segment, and your performance fluctuates unpredictably and your Cost Per Lead is far likely to become expensive. Now of course there is the question of what is a sizable audience pool, you’re very much good to go as long as you’re looking at a population size above 100,000. Besides that you may potentially stun the growth of the other segments.
So now say you’ve done your per campaign research in checking the available audience pool of each segment, say segment A population size = 500,000 and Segment B population size = 100,000. According to your media plan, your budget split shall be as illustrated below
You now have a starting point with a properly balanced budget allocation. Pre campaign research not only validates your digital audience but it tells you how big a bucket you need in order for your campaign to run well without restrictions and wasted spend from the start. Of course later down the line further testing and optimisation can be done to further improve the quality of the leads collected and fine tune your ad spend.
Now continuing on with your media plan, you now need to know how much would it cost to fill in your bucket. So say you plan to fill the bucket in 30 days, you’ve allocated a budget of RM 8,300 to Segment A and to Segment B RM 1,700. The estimated amount of leads within a month you can get from Segment A is say 400 and the estimated amount of Leads you can get from Segment B is say 200. How to get these estimates is easy, before you run your campaign during campaign setup, the platform of your choice will provide you performance estimates based on your budget, duration and bid. For Segment A, your Cost Per Lead would be RM 20.75 and for Segment B, your Cost Per Lead would be RM 8.50. I bet you’re thinking, wait, if the Cost Per Lead for Segment B is so cheap, why should I allocate a bigger budget to Segment A? Well here’s the thing, much like everything else, the law of diminishing returns and scarcity applies. Given your effective budget, if you were to do so, as the available population pool decreases, the higher your Cost Per Lead. There is a negative correlation between available population pool and Cost Per Lead. Marketing is a long term investment, the more you let it grow, the more you benefit from it.
Based on the estimates above, you’re looking to spend no more than RM 25 per lead for Segment A and no more than RM 10.20 for Segment B. As a rule of thumb, you want to allow about 20% expansion in your Cost Per Lead to ensure that you don’t run into bidding restrictions. If you’re asking what a bid restriction is, Digital Advertising generally works like an auction house, you’re not the only one fighting for people’s attention. Set a bid too low and you lose out in the auction, set a bid too high and you pay too much. The idea here is to have your bid competitive enough in the auction. A non-competitive bid much like budget restrictions, means your ads from day one may not even perform or it’s mediocre performance day one and dead the next.
This here can be carried on further than just campaign planning between segments, it can also be used for multi-channel campaigns. All you have to do is just group your market segments under differing channels, find the available population size, set the budget accordingly and decide your bid the same way you would do so with each segment. Work your way from bottom to top and not top to bottom.
Now that you have further understanding on the fundamentals, I’ll throw in a little freebie. Overlapping audience is another thing you want to look out for, you need to ensure that your target audience (in other words your segments) is as distinctive as possible. Though 30% overlap is fine as long as your audience pool is large enough, but minimal to no overlap is best. Much like an auction, not only are you bidding with others, you’re now effectively bidding with yourself. This in turn causes your one segment to leech off the other, but the downside is that both your segments will have a higher Cost Per Lead due to internal competition. This holds true as well as well on a Campaign level. The bigger the overlap the higher your advertising cost.
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