Digital strategy: How to merge ad channels and allocate your budget

In an ideal marketing world, customers always make a purchase as soon as they see an ad for a product or service. Unfortunately, this happens in fairy tales or with the perfect marketer no one has ever seen.

In reality, people prefer to conduct their own product research before buying, and as research shows, it takes from six to eight touchpoints to generate a lead. Using lots of devices is, of course, convenient for users, but it creates a lot of difficulties for marketers.

In this article, we consider what multi-channel marketing is, how to analyze users’ interactions with digital advertising, and how to correctly allocate your budget across channels.

What is a multi-channel digital strategy?

The purpose of any marketing strategy is to ensure users’ movement along the sales funnel, bring qualified leads for defined products or services, and increase the conversion rate throughout the customer lifecycle.

Today, marketers are forced to keep pace wherever customers operate:

  • Online — Search engines, voice search, social networks, websites, mobile apps, email, chatbots, games, etc.
  • Offline — Newspapers, journals, TV, radio, and more
The global media landscape by GWI

As you can see from the infographic above, people get brand information from literally everywhere. That’s why marketers use multi-channel digital strategies to ensure their brands are present in customers’ lives.

However, simply showing everyone the same advertising is ineffective. Companies must provide relevant product information to their target audience on a particular device and right when customers need a particular product. Marketers around the world share the same challenge: ensuring a seamless customer experience through various touchpoints enriched with customized engagement based on a user’s earlier actions.

If you don’t want to turn into a crazy octopus trying to reach out to everyone everywhere, you cannot do without marketing analytics.

The pandemic has accelerated the globalization and digitalization of businesses. The most crucial matter for companies today is their ability to quickly adapt to new conditions and assess what’s working and what’s not, what needs to be changed, and what to stop doing altogether.

How to analyze users’ interactions with digital advertising

If you want to keep your hand on the pulse and monitor the overall status and progress of advertising campaigns, you need to collect and analyze marketing data.

What you get with data-driven marketing:

  • A complete overview of all advertising channels: the effect of each channel on conversions and, accordingly, on revenue
  • Various cohort reports for making decisions on budget redistribution, audience segmentation, funnel assessment with the AIDA formula, etc.
  • Hypothesis testing: new positioning, setting up ads for another audience, and so on
  • The ability to respond to problems before they become critical
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Optimize your marketing budget based on the objective sales contribution of each advertising campaign with the help of business intelligence (BI) tools. OWOX BI shows a channel combination for different types of customers as well as areas where you can grow your marketing strategy.

High demands and expectations and, of course, instant results for customers require informed decisions and actions based on specific data. Let’s look at exactly what data-driven marketing is and how a data-driven marketing strategy can help your brand achieve its business goals.

To take full advantage of data-driven marketing, you need to set up advanced analytics. Let’s take a look at what steps you should take, regardless of the size of your business and the niche you work in.

Step 1. The most crucial step is collecting data. Because if you don’t collect all data or you collect the wrong data, you’ll take actions based on faulty information (marketers waste 21% of their marketing budgets because of bad data).

You need to collect all possible data in one place (cloud data storage is ideal) and normalize this data (bring it into a single structure and format). You can obtain data from sources such as:

  • Google Analytics
  • Your website and mobile app
  • Your CRM system
  • Advertising platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Note! We believe that Google BigQuery is the most appropriate data storage option for marketers.

Step 2. Merge the data collected from multiple data sources so it’s ready for creating reports. You have to blend data to get a clear overview of the ROI in order to identify underperforming platforms and reallocate the budget.

Note! Data blending typically requires analysts to use SQL queries. However, marketers don’t always have time to wait for an answer and schedule a time slot with a team of analysts. That’s why the OWOX BI platform automatically merges and processes the data a marketer needs so you can easily set up advanced analytics and get any reports.

Step 3. Though you can evaluate user behavior by looking at columns of numbers collected in datasets, how many insights can you get at one glance? To monitor and compare data for different periods, you need to visualize the data. Maybe you’ll need to view different variations of reports and build several ad-hoc reports. The good news is that earlier, an analyst was required to complete these tasks, but now OWOX BI has made it possible for every marketer to do so.

You no longer have to wait for reports from an analyst, switch between reports, or manually merge data to compare the effectiveness of ad campaigns. With OWOX BI, you can free up the time you spend preparing reports for more crucial tasks.

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As you can see, to make informed decisions, businesses need to take three simple steps in setting up advanced analytics. Of course, if you do it all manually, you’ll spend all your resources on collecting and visualizing data and nothing more. However, what’s really important is that data works for you and benefits your company.

Simply put, you need marketing automation! Martech platforms allow specialists to focus on the essentials: finding powerful insights from data and avoiding the routine work of collecting and uploading data. With bespoke options for small and large businesses alike, there are solutions to help you achieve your goals.

How to correctly allocate the budget among channels

After obtaining high-quality marketing data, you have all you need to define a more profitable marketing budget allocation. And assessing advertising campaigns is quite impossible without marketing attribution.

When a marketer faces the challenge of attracting a certain number of conversions without exceeding the budget, they must make sure the attribution model they apply helps them make the right decisions and understand the model’s logic.

It’s important to mention that paid managed traffic channels (PPC) usually occupy up to 30% of the marketing budget. And don’t forget that no machine learning technology will be able to make a decision and allocate the budget in place of a marketer. When expert management is required, only a person can make the final decision. Marketing specialists have the whole picture in their head, and for management solutions to be sound and balanced, BI services such as OWOX BI provide reports of all possible kinds (performance, cohort, RFM, ROPO, etc.).

Marketing dashboard templates in OWOX BI

With the help of marketing reports, you can review the performance of various segments: channels, regions, product groups, new users, returning users, different cohorts, mobile and desktop visitors, etc.

This approach will give you an idea of what to do next and help you assess the impact of various parameters on achieving your KPIs.

The essential data you need to allocate your budget correctly includes:

  • Touchpoints that had the highest returns and where you need to invest more in the future
  • All channels where you met defined goals
  • All areas where your strategy led to wasting money without any positive impact on your business

Things to do when setting aside a budget:

  • Consider your business and marketing goals
  • Evaluate your recent marketing efforts
  • Conduct research on where your competitors are
  • Determine the size of your budget
  • Allocate, track, and optimize

Key takeaways

Knowing which campaigns on which channels have led to the most sales will enable you to establish the success of your activities. Customers move across channels quickly, and therefore both your strategy and analytics should simultaneously adapt.

If you don't rely on data, there's a reasonable chance your business venture will end in bankruptcy, so you need an analytical ecosystem.

Optimize your ROAS  with data-driven insights