What’s the Ideal Media Mix for Marketers Who Don’t Understand Consumer Journey?

Marketers are struggling to keep up with consumers as the number of channels and platforms grows. Multiple studies and trend data offer a complex portrait of the customer journey, which many marketers struggle to address. The only constant seems to be that consumers are all over the media map.

This isn’t to say we haven’t discovered some sturdy trends related to consumer behavior around mobile usage, local search and more. However, a new Millward Brown study found that 55% of senior executives from advertisers, agencies and media companies are not confident in their understanding of the consumer journey.

Despite this, marketers need to take some kind of media stance and experiment with strategies to discover the appropriate marketing and media mix for an advertiser. As the chart above shows, marketers are putting time and effort into digital outlets more so than traditional.

Traditional advertising (TV, radio, newspaper, etc.) captured the largest share of the media mix among individual outlets. However, when grouping each outlet into either traditional or digital, we see a clear digital preference.

If we consider “events” and “direct mail” as traditional advertising methods, traditional advertising accounts for 25% of the ideal mix. The rest of the 75% falls into some form of digital advertising, with “websites” and “search” leading the way.


While advertisers are embracing digital without overlooking the importance of traditional methods, marketers aren’t confident they have the right media mix (above). The study discovered that while media mix confidence is improving, doubt and uncertainty is growing faster. According to the data, confidence has increased 18% since 2014, while uncertainty grew 47%.

This is all to say that the advertising and marketing industry is still reeling from the disruption caused by digital media. So what is the answer? According to the study, it is data:

Marketers have an idea of what the ideal media mix looks like, but getting there means understanding the consumer journey—the audience’s online and offline behaviors, attitudes, and preferences. If successful, marketers can master media mix allocation. Knowledge of the consumer journey is the cornerstone, as understanding the touchpoints that influence consumers along their path will mean the difference between failure and success.

Since the vast majority of purchases still happen in brick and mortar stores, location intelligence is emerging as a key tool to understand the consumer journey and which channels are “working.” As the study says, marketers need a data strategy, and location data present an important opportunity for agencies, publishers and advertisers.

The 2016 Place Conference will explore cross-platform proximity marketing, indoor experiences and location analytics. Multi-location brands, retailers and agencies can’t afford to miss it. Learn more.

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