Real world media means always going the extra mile for clients

Real world media means always going the extra mile for clients

By Suzana Lay, Planning Director, The Grove Media

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen headlines in the press about marketing budgets showing strong levels of growth. At The Grove Media, we are seeing real positivity about above the line activity from small and medium sized advertisers, the heartland of UK advertising. But it’s not back to ‘business as usual’. 

While many advertisers are holding or increasing spend, they are looking to get a lot more for their money. There’s now far more focus on short term results, which puts greater pressure on media performance evaluation over shorter time periods. And we’re working harder than ever – using the latest attention metrics – to justify spend on longer term media, such as broadcast.

This focus on value for money, means that we are continually stepping up our activities to deliver an ever better ‘real world media’ service. There are three critical areas where this higher level of service matters most for our clients.

Ensuring value for money in a tough market

One of the key things we always offer new clients is an audit of their Google and Meta accounts. In real world media terms, it’s a digital MOT to make sure that the strategy is really delivering on goals in the most efficient way. Many of our clients spend a significant proportion of their budget on platforms such as Google and Meta, so it’s essential that their budget is used in the best way possible. This is about getting the basics right, giving all other media a solid foundation.

We interrogate the existing account set-ups and make sure that data is being properly tracked and reported. We assess the account structure, keyword set-up, audiences, placements, account settings, ad copy and so on. On many occasions we identify potential savings – often between 5% and 10% – through simple changes, such as removing non-converting keywords, improving ad ranks, excluding non-converting demographic segments, implementing frequency caps and applying audience exclusions. This is all about driving effectiveness, so that budget is delivering maximum performance. 

For our ecommerce clients, we look at seasonal purchase trends, and working with the Agency Support Team at Google, we optimise shopping campaigns to maximise return on adspend (ROAS). This work drives the impact that campaigns have on overall account performance.

We are 100% focused on ensuring that all online elements are working efficiently and effectively. An audit for one new client at The Grove led to the complete reappraisal of their online investment strategy which enabled them to reduce investment on certain platforms and diversify their media to reach new audiences.

Delivering great service in the real world

The second area of focus is day-to-day service. All agencies like to say that they go above and beyond the call of duty, but actually doing this in practice can be challenging. At The Grove, we have the right structures and cultural behaviours to be agile, flexible, ‘always-on’ and are genuinely able to go the extra mile.

We truly become an extension of our clients’ marketing teams and support them beyond a typical media agency scope of work. We organise bespoke inductions for the client teams we’ve identified as needing support in understanding media – whether it’s , the media landscape, roles of media, or how we plan and buy. For one of our biggest clients we put together a full-day training session for their more inexperienced junior staff. We created a shorter two-hour induction for another client who just wanted a deep dive into  the London media landscape.

We know that ensuring our clients are kept continually up to speed on both media and opportunities in their marketplace means they will meet their long-term goals. One of our retail clients was finding it increasingly challenging to justify offline spend over online – even though their campaigns are focused on building brand awareness. So we continuously update her on the latest research and data points, pulling together summaries and key points to help her build her case. We have now built such a strong relationship that she comes to us with any business or marketing issues to get our expert view.

Making marketing spend work harder through innovation

Thirdly, there is an ongoing need for innovation – which is arguably the fuel for value and service. Much of this is driven by technology, and all of it is about a relentless marketer focus on effectiveness and efficiency. Recent advancements in AI are really helping advertisers – particularly SMEs – to get more from their budgets.

And it’s not just about agencies facilitating new platforms, innovation is just as much about making existing media work better. For example, attention metrics and technology are helping to show the true value of TV, and dynamic creative solutions are making CTV advertising a better and more personalised experience.

Even though CPMs can be higher with new platforms, we know that the audience will be more targeted, so there’s significantly less wastage. Our client centremk was one of the first proponents of Sky’s AdSmart back in 2015, which only launched the year before. They have been using it ever since are really seeing the benefits in terms of effectiveness.

We’ve also tried and tested mobile and programmatic platforms for clients that boast highly  relevant offerings such as footfall attribution, impression-level creative and targeting matching as well asset creation as part of the service. This type of innovation really makes marketing spend go further.

And we know all too well that true ROI and response measurement on limited budgets can be hard to achieve. So, for clients focused on direct media, we’ve introduced addressable direct mail which uses over 30 live data sources to identify the most relevant named households to mail to. Subsequent purchases can then be linked back to the exact name and postcodes. The really is real world media innovation in practice.

We are delighted that optimism is returning to the market and that advertisers continue to spend during difficult times. But we are also very aware that for SMEs, making small budgets work, managing with small teams and justifying offline media, can be very challenging. We are experts at real world media challenges and always go the extra mile for our clients. If you want to talk with one of experts about how we can help solve your real world media challenges, please get in contact [email protected]

Featured image: Clark Tibbs / Unsplash