How to make your media decisions based on data.

What is data-driven media optimization? For which goals (KPIs) can you optimize media? 

Data-driven media optimization basically means you look at your media landscape through data and make all your decisions based on this data.  

It all begins with collecting data and creating insights into this data. This step is already of great added value, as it provides the necessary transparency in the media landscape. All of a sudden you’re able to tell how much value media channels contribute relative to your investments in these channels.  

Once you are gathering the necessary insights and know what your media landscape looks like, you can turn this information into action. Which actions are best depend on your business dynamics, the factors of influence and the insights you can extract from your data. 

Depending on your goals, you can optimize based on different KPIs. for example, brand KPIs, performance-based metrics such as sales or revenue, website traffic or reach.  

It is generally about achieving a certain level of efficiency of your desired KPI relative to the investment. When you reach this, you are optimizing.  

Do you need attribution to optimize media? 

Attribution is used to map the value of customer journeys. The question here is: “what is the goal of this media investment?”  

If your goal is to generate additional conversions or increase revenue, then I would say “yes, you need an attribution model to calculate what the generated value in conversions or revenue is for each investment.” Analyzing this generated value relative to the level of investment allows you to optimize these investments.  

At the same time media is used for branding. You absolutely don’t want to evaluate this based on conversions or revenue. The goal is usually completely different: you might want to reach a certain target group x amount of times to stimulate brand awareness. Steering on reach or brand KPIs can also be data-driven. We often see that comparing the reach of online and offline media channels already provides many insights. It allows you to see which media, for example, you need to use to reach a young target group that you aren’t reaching with TV. This allows you to determine an optimal media mix to reach your target group. It doesn’t necessarily require attribution.  

How often can you optimize investments? 

In general, you can optimize as often as you want. I would advise the following: 

Make sure your optimization process fits your internal decision-making processes. This ensures you analyze the most urgent questions and that advice and optimizations are applicable.  

For example, the following moments are important during the year: 

Make sure to carry out important strategic-level optimizations during your yearplan. These can be big decisions concerning large media budgets and negotiations and optimizing them can be of big impact.  

After that there are cycles of media campaigns with specific goals. Make sure to ask the right questions in the early stages of each campaign to ensure you can collect the right data and use it to answer these questions during and after the campaign.  

Always-on campaigns provide you with a continuous basis for analyses and optimization.