Over the last decade, the number of channels for marketing products has more than doubled. As expected, the amount of spending has matched the increased number of channels, with businesses in any industry striving to make the most of their advertising budgets so as to take advantage of as many marketing channels as possible.
With so many options available, it’s essential that organizations only invest in channels that actually prove their worth. Figuring out what those channels are early and getting in on the ground floor can put a company miles ahead in the game. To help out those businesses looking for the scoop, 15 members of Forbes Agency Council offer their insight into where an organization should put its advertising money this year for optimal results.
1. Focus On Digital And Win
For the placement of a successful advertising message, the target group must still be addressed exactly where it spends most of its time. Due to the digital change, the advertising budget has not only increased in recent years, this change will also continue to assert itself with regard to technologies such as augmented reality and artificial intelligence. Agencies that focus on online advertising will be among the winners! – Markus Hetzenegger, NYBA Media GmbH
2. Invest In What Consumers Want To Watch
More and more video content is being consumed on our mobile phones. This content ranges from watching a long-form series on OTT platforms to short-form vertical videos on TikTok, Snapchat and Quibi. Instead of interrupting consumers viewing this content with banner ads and pre-roll, brands should start creating branded entertainment that viewers will want to seek out and engage in. – Kaaren Whitney-Vernon, Shaftesbury
3. Diversify To Multiply Your Advertising Effectiveness
Time and again, research has proven the multiplier effect on awareness and consideration that advertising across multiple channels can have. The essential growth strategy for 2020 is to diversify. Try adding another channel into the mix. It’s also important that your advertising is optimized to each channel’s best practices — don’t just copy your ads and messaging from one channel to the next. – John Keehler, RUNNER Agency
4. Allocate More Funds To Personalization
We’re going to see more ad dollars devoted to personalization. Consumer targeting will reach all new targeted peaks as brands build out robust multichannel marketing strategies yet manage to deliver personalized messages to each individual customer. Consumers want brands to make them feel special. Agencies that want to get ahead use data to deliver messages tailored for each individual customer. – Danica Kombol, Everywhere Agency
5. Spend It On The Customer Experience
As everything commoditizes and advertisers continue to struggle to be noticed, it seems the best thing to do in 2020 is spend your money on the customer experience. Many of the typical media channels are so saturated that every dollar spent on the stakeholder experience may yield higher returns. With so many advertisers “screaming” at the consumer, actions might be the best advertising. – Bo Bothe, BrandExtract, LLC
6. Invest In Paid Social Media Targeting
The media landscape continues to evolve with new digital players such as TikTok disrupting the game. However, the key to maximizing ad budget and ROI will continue to come down to your ability to effectively target your audience. With TV, print and billboards you are guessing. That’s not the case with paid social on Facebook and Instagram, which will remain the best place to spend money in 2020. – Kristopher Jones, LSEO
7. Leverage LinkedIn Promotional Media
In business-to-business, this year’s trend will be to utilize and leverage various aspects of LinkedIn in a single campaign. Sponsored ads will lead to original posts which will lead to landing pages and calls to action. The concept is to begin by targeting a specific audience with something attention-getting, then transition to a thought leadership article or educational information, and eventually to a company’s website. – Francine Carb, Markitects, Inc.
8. Don’t Underestimate Facebook
Facebook ads have been saturated for quite some time and the cost of “real estate,” so to speak, has been high. As many companies are shifting ad spend to other platforms, it will open up spaces on Facebook to gain cheaper traction within the platform, given the right model. – Michael Smith, MDS Media Inc.
9. Focus On Mobile Video Advertising
Two massive audience trends are set to converge in 2020 — the migration to mobile and increased interest in video. Mobile’s share of the U.S. digital advertising market has grown to almost two-thirds, and more than half the population watches video content on mobile devices regularly. Agencies that produce compelling mobile video ads will be ahead of the game in the coming year. – Scott Baradell, Idea Grove
10. Prioritize Influencer Marketing
With digital ad spend slated to overtake traditional ad spend, we’re going to see more companies prioritizing influencer marketing in their increasingly digital budgets. With all the ways to measure influencer performance, ROI-based campaigns are going to replace the initial wave of experimentation. Brands are turning away from fads and vanity metrics in favor of real KPIs. – Danielle Wiley, Sway Group
11. Go Native
Native advertising has gone through several reputation iterations, from seedy clickbait to social media staple. In the open web, it’s savvy programmatic buyers’ best-kept secret: When done right, native ads are content previews and lead to the highest post-click engagement. About $2.98 billion will go toward native ads outside social networks in 2020 — the fastest growth of any channel, according to eMarketer. – Lon Otremba, Bidtellect
12. Personalize Customer Touch Points
“Best spent” means ROI to me, and advertising dollars that go toward direct, personalized customer touch points will deliver the most ROI. This includes email and mobile, but could encompass creative remarketing across digital and social channels, including in-home touch points like product packaging and direct mail. Marketers should think less about channels and more about omnichannel and experiential. – Tripp Donnelly, REQ
13. Put Your Money On CTV
Connected TV will have one of the largest rates of expansion over the coming year. People still want content, but they continue to want it delivered on more diverse mediums, and Connected TV can reach them wherever they are. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC
14. Place The Media Around Consumption Habits
There are so many options when it comes to buying and placing media. Agencies and businesses can get ahead by only placing media around the target audience’s consumption habits. People who are 18 to 24 years old consume media differently than 35-to-44-year-olds. The social platforms they use, TV shows, magazines — all different. To avoid large amounts of wasted impressions, the execution needs to be hyper-targeted. – Sean Allen, Twelve Three Media
15. Spend Your Ad Dollars On Content Instead
When you buy traffic, you only get one ROI. When you spend it on content, you make that ROI over and over again from earned organic traffic. The investment is longer term, but sticking to the inbound methodology will eventually lower your cost per acquisition below paid media. If you want to get ahead in the game, invest in content — you’ll still be generating traffic when your budget is gone. – David Ward, Meticulosity