In a complex and fragmented media world, it is increasingly difficult to maximize the return on investment of the media budget. Thoughtful mass marketing, the continued presence and consistent advertising (to refresh memory structures) is necessary to growth and defend the market share. A budget distribution across multiple media leads not necessarily to greater effectiveness. The media mix should be composed in a way that the greatest synergy between the media can arise. According to a CNBC-study, following ways are providing the best conditions for synergy in the media mix and delivering the best result:

  • Cumulative reach of the target group: Only those who are reached by the campaign may be affected. The largest revenue effect by advertisement is caused by the first contact of an individual with the campaign (zero-to-one exposure). Timely repeated stimulation can be positive, but has a less pronounced effect. First, the medium which covers the broadest range of category buyers (heavy buyers to light buyers) should be chosen. An effective multi-platform campaign uses complementary media with a minimal overlap and also reaches more people, more times, in more situations. Niche media are often unsuitable to achieve a high coverage.
  • Extension of the context and timing of touch-points: A multi-platform campaign mix can increase the receptiveness of consumers around purchase decision points. Consumers use the best screen option in each situation (smartphone on the go, desktop or TV at home, etc.). A multi-platform campaign mix increases the accessibility (time and place) and reinforces the brand message.
  • Enhanced repetition (not only frequency): Advertising messages across various media, can achieve a stronger effect (forward encoding). Here, the first medium strengthens the power of advertising in the second medium. This can be done in two ways: (1) The stimulus in different media is evaluated by the brain rather novel than known. (2) The distribution across different contexts (e.g. advertisement and branded content) are counted as two different exposures, instead of a repetition. Both methods provide improved storage in the consumers long-term memory (e.g. 30-40% higher in TV-campaign / online-content combinations). The advertisement budget should be distributed over a large period of time, rather than concentrated on a short time period. Availability is much more important than the frequency of exposure. A high frequency even reduces consumers’ attention and mental processing, which results in less memory. Instead, longer intervals between exposures promotes learning and leads to a 20% improvement in memory. This psychological effect is called ‘spacing effect’. Multi-platform campaigns allow for a broader distribution of advertising through various media and thus can make advantage of the spacing effect.
  • Neuro-rich campaigns: Emotional-oriented advertisement gets greater attention and enhances the efficiency of purchase. The campaign mix stimulates the senses of the consumer best, by addressing the individual strengths of each medium and covering a wide range of senses. The combination of emotionally rich broadcast media (push media) and direct media (pull media), such as online media, is particularly effective.

Understanding how effective advertisement works, can help to reduce the amount of advertisement money that is wasted.