With so many channels such as social, display and email coupled with the various types of device including mobile, tablet and desktop, how do you decide what works best for a particular campaign?

The perennial shift in marketing best practice, which is largely inherited from a heavily saturated and evolving digital environment, often leaves companies wondering how best to stay ahead of the game.

In today’s multi-device consumer society companies face a whole new set of challenges. Consider this – 91% of all people alive in the world today own a mobile phone, 50% of these people use mobile as their primary Internet source and 52% of all tablet users prefer to purchase via their tablet than a desktop computer. To quote the wonderful Bob Dylan, “the times, they are a-changin’”.    

With this comes concerns around the most efficient channels and platforms to employ in order for advertisers to most effectively communicate their message and reach their audiences.

Data is the answer

The answer to this dilemma is data. There is so much data out there and readily available to you, you just have to know where to find it and how to use it.

Take Google Analytics for example, once implemented across your website you can gain valuable insights into how your content is performing, how people are coming to your website, who your visitors are, what terms they are using to search for your site, how they behave once they arrive at and navigate your website, and which channels are currently most effective for you.

Data should form the backbone of your digital strategy, which as well as being a key component of your overall business strategy, is more and more commonly becoming the root of your strategy as a whole.

Your digital strategy is a comprehensive roadmap of how you aim to achieve your business goals in the online space, which may incorporate any or all of the following: your website, organic search marketing, PPC, social media, mobile, email marketing, display advertising, affiliate marketing, online PR and apps.

The channel selection decision for any campaign should be based on organisational objectives and the KPIs that your business has set in line with these. Underpinning your digital and marketing activity with measurable, clear and achievable objectives allows you to build in measurability from the offset and ensure you are in a position to adapt and evolve your strategy on an ongoing basis.

Split testing

Another essential process in deciding upon which platforms and channels to maximise on for a campaign will be testing. Using techniques like A/B testing you can examine what types and formats of campaigns perform best and refine your communications going forward.

Effective channel and platform selection is based on a thorough understanding of your business and its offering, your audiences and your marketplace. So, ask yourself:

  • What do you want to achieve / what is the organisational objective behind the campaign?
  • What are the metrics of success?
  • Which channels are most effective for achieving this goal / have been most effective for you in the past?
  • Who do you want to speak to / target?
  • Where do your target audiences currently exist online?
  • What devices do your target audiences typically use to access your digital content?
  • What resource do you have available to manage the channel and campaign?
  • Is your content suitable for the devices you wish to use?

Channel selection should continue to evolve based on ongoing measurement of your digital marketing and, as a result, a more informed view of your target audiences’ online behaviour and needs.