Best of 2019: Planning Your Media in 2020

Rachel Curasi, Director of Media

With 2020 planning well underway and the presidential election and summer Olympics in the very near future, it is important to consider how these additional events will affect your media campaigns throughout the year.  Political candidates are projected to spend $9.9 billion across TV, digital and social media on elections in 2020, compared to the $6.3 billion spent in 2016 source: Wall Street Journal.  And this is not just inclusive of Q4, but the entire year. If you consider the primaries in Q1 and Q2 followed by the conventions and Olympics in Q3, it is a year full of additional competition that could drive up the cost of your ads.    
You might think because your ads are not political-related you are exempt, but that is not the case. In 2016, non-political advertisers saw their share of TV fall from 77% to 51% source: Kantar.  And that drop extends beyond TV into digital display and paid social.   
These events will even make an international impact, with global media projected to increase 6% to $656 billion next year because of the summer Olympics in Tokyo. For the first time, digital advertising will now make up more than half of that total at $336 billion source: MarketingDive.  
So, what exactly does this mean for you when you don’t have budget that can combat political ads? It is necessary to be strategic with your campaigns throughout the year:

Stay targeted.
This is the year that proper targeting is more important than ever so that you are eliminating that wasted spend.  That can include remarketing, building look-a-likes, third party data segments, targeted geographies and even day parts. Test and refining these audiences throughout the year is key to seeing success.  

Invest in digital and streaming.
OTT (over the top) media services media has allowed us marketers to leverage TV on a much more targeted level, but still letting us take advantage of the scale that TV provides. Additionally, paid search is the channel that you should see the smallest amount of impact, unless you are bidding on political-related terms. Leveraging paid search will allow you to reach those actively searching for a solution right at that moment of need, with little political clutter. 

Do not go dark.
It is important to keep investing in media throughout the year, spending wisely on the channels and tactics that are performing for you. Going dark will not only hurt your bottom line but it will take much longer for your performance to pick back up when your turn campaigns back on.  Instead, apply seasonality to your strategies and find the times that make sense to go heavy and then light. 

Utilize machine-learning technology. 
‘Think smarter not harder’ is a phrase that we have all heard but applying machine-learning technology might be new to you. Utilizing bid management platforms for paid search and a DSP (demand side platform) for programmatic allows you to spend the time analyzing results and applying insights to future campaigns.   

Engage an agency. 
Agencies have many other clients in the same position, looking to strategically drive results during a hectic year of increased competition.  Because this is what they are doing day in and day out, they can quickly apply insights across all relevant clients and navigate through the clutter. 


About the author: Rachel Curasi

As the Director Media Planner/Buyer, Rachel oversees the development, management, and optimization of media strategies and campaigns for R2i’s largest accounts across multiple industries such as tech, healthcare, and finance. She loves keeping up with industry trends as well finding new and innovative ideas for media campaigns. Her free time is spent going on hikes with her cockapoo, watching everything on Bravo, and practicing Yoga.

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