Staff Writer
Oct 26, 2023

Pivoting for Value: Overhauling the media mix for a digital-first world

Changing economic conditions and media consumption habits are among the many factors prompting a shift in marketing approach. Meta’s latest whitepaper charts the path forward.

Pivoting for Value: Overhauling the media mix for a digital-first world

How can businesses remain a step ahead and maximise their campaigns in response to the evolving behavioural patterns of digital users? The answer is simple — reevaluate your digital strategy. Despite the hype, marketers tend to keep digital strategy on the sidelines of their core spending plans when it should be the focus, but Meta’s latest whitepaper suggests that a hard rethink is needed for the way to success.

Meta’s latest whitepaper, Rethinking media mix effectiveness in the new digital landscape, dives into the major opportunities that marketers in Asia Pacific can tap into to deliver more with less in an increasingly sophisticated and fractured media landscape. Driven by research and analytical insights by Kantar and Nielsen, the report identifies the key learnings for brands to adopt in a world where digital is not just the future, but also the present. Here are the most important takeaways to keep in mind.

Busting media mix myths

Despite the effectiveness of digital advertising, many modern marketers still treat digital media as an extension of their core spending plan, rather than a main focus. When it comes to measurable results at a lower cost, digital channels are outperforming traditional platforms, making them a crucial element in the toolkit of any business looking to maximise their spending. Kantar research established that advertising dollars go further on Meta, where, despite accounting for just 6% of the average share of spend, the platform delivered the second-highest reach (44%) after television.

Abhinav Maheshwari, VP of marketing effectiveness, APAC, at Nielsen, adds, “Our research shows that brands diverting marketing funds to digital platforms have reaped rich rewards, including a 14% increase in total media return on ad spend. Brands have the potential to take long-term profitability to new heights by investing in more formats and ad solutions that digital platforms have to offer.”
But why is this shift so strong? Firstly, it’s important to take consumers’ behavioural patterns into account. Consider the sheer number and variety of digital touchpoints and online channels you traverse on a daily basis, whether for communication, entertainment, shopping, or social connection — a complicated but interconnected online media experience Meta calls Multiplicity. With the help of machine learning, marketers can leverage multiplicity to their advantage and cumulatively gain more effective outcomes, especially among digital native demographics.
Secondly, the long-held belief that TV is the only medium for brand-building also no longer holds true. According to a study by Oxford University and Kantar, an optimal media mix of both traditional and digital can generate campaign results that are 2.6x more effective.
Thirdly, linear marketing funnels are also becoming a thing of the past. In the age of Multiplicity and fluid consumer behaviour, marketers must consider their advertising strategy from a holistic perspective in order to drive more impact online, especially amongst millennials and Gen Z.
Out with the old, in with the new
It’s time to treat digital like the viable, long-term brand-building channel it is. With the rise of AI-powered solutions, brands that increase spending on digital platforms are in a promising position to see greater returns on ad spend and cost efficiency; through a restructuring of the media mix to integrate digital as an influential brand-building channel, machine learning can help businesses shift from audience-centric planning to outcome-driven planning.
Let the outcomes come to you
Advertisers on Meta who applied AI to their campaigns reported over 20% more conversions and higher returns on ad spend, while a recent survey found that 77% of advertisers who tested Meta’s AI-powered Advantage solutions saved “several working hours” while using them. “Meta’s AI-powered solutions not only save brands time and resources by making it easier and faster to set up ad campaigns, but help them reach and engage their audience more effectively and efficiently. By shifting to an outcome-based approach to planning, brands can choose campaign optimisation options in line with their business goals, and make the most of their time and budgets,” says Tawana Murphy Burnett, director of global category & client of APAC at Meta.
Tomorrow is already today — don’t fall behind

Forge ahead to positive results and succeed with efficiency and profitability by reframing your thinking on digital platforms and including emerging technology in your marketing strategy. Instead of relying heavily on TV and other traditional forms of media, brands must diversify their media mix to feature digital more and make use of each platform’s best practices to achieve maximum ROAS. Here are three things to keep in mind to restructure your media mix as efficiently and effectively as possible:

  • Embrace Multiplicity: Digital consumers continue to develop more complicated behavioural patterns, so it’s crucial that marketers experiment with different formats and surfaces — including shop pages, live shopping, short-form videos, business messaging, and more — to reach audiences. Increasingly sophisticated AI solutions and tools, such as the ones offered by Meta, can deliver efficient, personalised, and better-performing ads to consumers in a cost-effective way to maximise advertising budgets while using less data.
  • Plan for outcomes, not audiences: Assess the effectiveness of your media mix in different ways and categorise them into evaluations of actions versus outcomes, rather than simply basing the success of campaigns on metrics like CPM to indicate reach efficiency without considering metrics that capture the end outcomes for businesses. With digital platforms — like those in the Meta ecosystem — optimising for outcomes and ROI is simpler and more straightforward than it would be in traditional outbound media.
  • Build foundations, but experiment with new solutions and formats: Brands have a major opportunity to supercharge their marketing by leveraging the full capabilities of digital and creating unique marketing solutions within new formats. Meta has observed the rising influence of content creators, whose word-of-mouth marketing drives spending decisions and builds authentic connections with audiences. Engagement with short-form videos (such as Reels) is growing at a rapid pace, and businesses building relationships with consumers through direct messaging is becoming a common part of the customer journey. All of these developing trends are opportunities for brands to transform their media mix for the better.
In a digital-first world, figuring out how to utilise digital platforms most effectively in your media mix is critical for any brand. Those that substantially integrate digital strategy into their media mix are on the right path to building stronger brand equity, delivering optimised campaign performance, and achieving long-term growth in the new digital landscape. Embracing this reality will yield better results for marketers, and there’s no time like the present to make the change. Digital isn’t the “future” or the “top-up” on your campaign — it’s the strategy of today, it’s mainstream, and it’s here to stay.


Campaign Asia

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