Dan Kelly of DISH Media Offers a Multi-Dimensional Media Plan for Holiday Marketing

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Cover image for  article: Dan Kelly of DISH Media Offers a Multi-Dimensional Media Plan for Holiday Marketing

Last year the holidays were made -- and many would say saved -- by e-commerce, but this year's holiday season offers a more nuanced set of challenges. Advertisers have to strike a balance between retail and direct sales and cannot rely solely on social for prospecting and retargeting. To help brands, retailers and agencies plan their holiday media buying strategies, MediaVillage spoke to Dan Kelly, Director at DISH Media, about the need to take a multi-tiered approach to reach consumers; how to extend reach beyond consumers, and how to improve marketing ROI.

Based on what Kelly is seeing right now with his clients, he is expecting a longer shopping season; one that will essentially start right on the heels of back to school. That's good news for everyone, but he cautions that there are some challenges ahead. Here is his plan for making the most of this extended sales opportunity:

  1. Make Your Buy Multi-Dimensional

"On the buy side, brands have come in a little earlier, a little longer and are utilizing some broader targets to their approach," Kelly says. "They have widened up some day parts, widened up the demo target itself and are trying to go beyond their shortlist of go-to events." To counter this buying trend, Kelly recommends taking a multi-dimensional media approach: "It's digital, it's TV, it's connected TV, it's mobile," he explains. "You really do have to balance the need for some high-volume programming with impression-based targeting."

  1. Follow Consumption Patterns

The last year and a half accelerated how the viewership patterns have changed. It's not just traditional TV or CTV or social -- it's all of them, often at once. "Don't wait until you've laid down or you've picked up these big-time programs or day parts," Kelly suggests. "Work with that core target." The same goes for social. With the growing restrictions on tracking and the number of people who are choosing to opt out, Kelly recommends shifting some of those ad dollars from social and TV to CTV and cable because it allows for better control and attribution tracking, while tapping into how media is being consumed in the mainstream.

  1. Plan Around Your Customer

Be sure to put your customers at the center of your planning. For Kelly that means "following them across the various different devices that they might use, but also following them through their actual consumer journey. ‘Did they go online and start looking at something? Did they visit a retail location? Are they an existing customer?' By utilizing the data sets that are available with addressable TV you're able to figure out at what point you need to speak to the client and the consumer about the different things that help you to retarget and to continue the conversation."

  1. Find the Missing Audience

"If you're not dimensionalizing your buy with cable and CTV you'll be missing a large chunk of the audience -- and in many cases, a new and unduplicated audience." Kelly cites that critical point where a campaign plateaus, like with traditional TV campaigns. “Using retargeting and reach extensions allows you to still hit the wide audience cable provides, and not get stuck on that plateau. DISH Media, for instance, uses ReachBooster™ to help find the under-exposed and unexposed consumers that linear campaigns can miss."

  1. Sell in a Data-Rich Environment

Connected TV and addressable TV are all data-rich environments that allow a deeper understanding of who's watching and how they are responding. This viewership data lets advertisers target their messaging specifically to the households that are in the clients' demographic, which helps them extend their reach. CTV and addressable allow them to continue to find more and more people within their target audience that they would have missed by only doing a traditional linear campaign.

  1. See a More Direct ROI

"The end all and be all is the ability to really prove the return on your investment," Kelly says. "Using addressable, we get to tie back to numerous outcomes including direct sales matchback, pixel tracking for web site visitations, as well as retail location visits." He noted that DISH Media works with third-party vendors to do mobile-based tracking, so they can determine whether the household that had seen the ad made their way to a retail location.

  1. Put Flexibility in Your Holiday Sales

Kelly assures us that it's not too late to broaden your media mix for the holidays. "In addressable and programmatic you have the benefit of activating closer to your sales period," he says. "The wider your reach, the harder it is to be flexible. But when it comes down to precision, you get more flexibility to activate closer to the holiday window."

The key thing to remember, according to Kelly, is to “start your holiday campaign with your target consumer instead of a program, because at the end of the day what matters most to a client is whether or not you spoke to their customers or to the folks that you want to be their customers.” This is good, practical advice for the holidays, and beyond.

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