Removing barriers for CX-based media planning

How can we ensure that CX remains at the heart of how we plan and deliver communications to consumers?


Media planning. The art (and science) of delivering the right message, to the right person at the right time. Very few people would disagree with the validity of this definition, or with the relevance of such a mantra in striving to deliver optimal customer experience (CX). However, have we lost sight of how to achieve it?

Allowing ourselves a moment of self-pity: things have got harder. Much harder. The mass fragmentation of media channels and ever evolving consumption habits, combined with shortening attention spans and increasing customer expectations, have made effective media planning a significantly more complex task.

But do not fear! Remove that fingertip from the panic button!

Some of the barriers standing in the way of brilliant CX-based media planning are self-imposed. Bad habits have been formed, such as labelling entire channels as performing a narrowly defined role, irrespective of the person we’re communicating with via that channel. This can lead to channel-focused rather than CX-focused strategies.

We sometimes also allow ourselves to believe that technology can do the hard work for us. Throw sufficient, ahem, ads at a wall and some of them, for some of the audience, will stick. Don’t get me wrong, the use of programmatic technology can produce fantastic results, but the technology itself will not ensure that you’re speaking to people in a way that shows that you understand them and their needs.

To deliver great customer experiences we have to focus on the customer and their requirements. This means defining the key personas within a target market and gaining a thorough understanding of the needs and preferences of each – who are we talking to and why should they care? Once this has been defined we must find the best way to deliver the message to each persona.

Alongside needs we have to also consider context. Location, time of day, day of week, channel, device type, customer journey stage, etc. will all have a big impact on the likelihood of a given persona type engaging with the message you’re putting in front of them.

Finally, we have to apply this rigour to all channels within our media plan. Every single one of them. If you’re using blanket messaging within any channel you’re almost certainly not delivering a CX-focussed campaign – speak to people how they’d like to be spoken to irrespective of where the conversation takes place.

So, it’s not so complex after all. No panic button pressing required. It’s simply the application of carefully considered media plans that are crafted with the customer’s needs and preferences in mind. Of course, this requires a strategic approach and involves more effort to deliver, but the prize on offer is a sizeable one: increased awareness, conversion and loyalty from the most important person to any brand – the customer.