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Data-driven media planning: predict and optimise your marketing performance

Take your marketing performance to the next level in 3 simple steps

Media plans are a key part of any brand's marketing activities. Today’s marketers are increasingly adopting data-driven marketing practices. But no matter how much data is available to you, you can only identify your media plan's performance after you've run it… right? WRONG!

Traditionally, the process of drawing up a media plan starts with learning from your previous marketing activities. Based on the data available, you selected the main objective and then started adding campaigns to your plan, incorporating a variety of media channels. Next, you executed your plan and simply hoped for the best. Once the plan was executed successfully, brands gathered performance insights and factored them into future media plans. But what if you could skip to the good part? What if you could access the relevant insights before executing your plan?

Nowadays, marketers use marketing mix modelling (MMM) to explain how their media channels contribute to achieving their business goals. Next-generation MMM solutions go much further. Firstly, they can analyse your media investments in more depth and explain campaign performance, customer types, sales channels and the products that you sell. Secondly, they provide the tools you need to simulate your media plan and produce a forecast of business outcomes that will support you in optimising your investments. They will also help you justify your budget decisions and tell you the impact of changes to the plan. This will allow you to focus on generating value rather than assess your media based on flawed, channel-specific metrics.

Take your marketing performance to the next level in 3 simple steps

When it comes to marketing analytics, predictive marketing is the future. Many marketers have already switched to marketing forecast tools in order to take their marketing efforts to the next level. These tools can help predict the performance of your campaigns before you run them. Not only that ­–you also can use the outcomes to identify your performance drivers and outliers and tweak the various factors to come up with the ideal media plan.

1.     Create a media scenario

Before you can forecast the performance of your media plan, you first need to define your plan’s framework. Start by selecting a specific time period and then add your campaigns. For each campaign, select the timeline, campaign type – e.g. performance, branding or always-on – and product type (if applicable). Next,  select the channel mix for each campaign and the specific budget and media pressure foreach channel.

2.     Add business dynamics and other external factors to your media plan

Increase the accuracy of your forecast by incorporating other factors that impact your marketing performance. In reality, marketing performance goes beyond your microcosm and is influenced by external factors, such as events and market trends. The same media plan may perform differently from brand to brand, as a brand's business dynamics affect the results. These dynamics can include the price gap and the competitor spend. An effective marketing forecast tool should be able to incorporate these factors and generate the most realistic forecasts for your brand.

3.     Respond to forecasted outcomes to optimise your media plan

Predictive marketing is not just about insights. It also allows brands to optimise their efforts and increase their marketing impact. Advanced forecast tools allow you to create multiple what-if scenarios that anticipate campaign and budget shifts. The media plans you draw up will be actionable and will not result in stiff forecasts. You can continue tweaking the details until you arrive at your ideal scenario. Eventually, you will be able to select and execute the most effective media plan.

Increase your ROI through optimised marketing media plans

A recent real-life challenge that we solved for one of our clients was to help them create multiple scenarios based on an additional 500k investment inQ3.

First of all, we recreated their current media plan using our MediaScenario Planner forecast tool. This straight away resulted in a new insight, as our client managed to generate a business forecast for their media scenario.

Based on historic insights and experience, we then came up with the four most likely scenarios:.

1.    Adding the 500k to the best-performing campaign A in Q3.

2.    Adding the 500k to the second best-performing campaign B in Q3.

3.    Splitting the budget evenly between campaigns A and B.

4.    Splitting the budget evenly between campaigns A, B, C and D.

In all of the above scenarios, we used our Budget Optimisation Assistant to calculate the optimum budget and channel mix.

Out of the four scenarios, scenario 4 delivered the best results, followed by scenario 3. Scenario 4 generated 30% additional sales compared to the worst-performing scenario 1.

We learned that campaigns A and B had already reached their saturation levels, meaning that increased investments in these campaigns would result in a very high marginal CPO (link). Distributing the budget more evenly across all of the campaigns in Q3 would lead to the best overall performance.


Data-driven media planning is becoming increasingly popular among marketers. Traditional approaches to media planning have involved executing the plan and then gathering insights. However, new methods such as next-gen MMM and predictive marketing allow modern marketers to anticipate and optimise the performance of their campaigns before executing them. They result in forecasted business outcomes that help marketers optimise their investments. Predictive marketing enables brands to increase their marketing impact, generate more value and achieve a higher ROI. The case study presented in this article demonstrates how clients can run multiple scenarios in order to optimise their media plans and potentially achieve a 30% increase in sales.

In today's data-driven world, next-gen MMM is the future of marketing analytics. Brands that adopt this approach will have a competitive edge on the market.

Discover how our other customers are using Objective Platform to turn valuable insights into valuable results.

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