channel effectiveness

Nowadays marketers have many different ways to target consumers and buyers. With the rise of digital channels, subsequent ad options, and trackable interactions the temptation is to throw money behind metrics and proclaim these channels as the most effective at our disposal.

With the rise of marketing’s role in influencing real sales and being an innovative business partner, the pressure has been on throwing money behind efforts that appear to contribute to direct sales via the latest digital trend and channel.

Our infographic summarises some key channel insights when it comes to usage and effectiveness.

channel effectiveness infographic

People may even dismiss more traditional channels as passé and predictable, in terms of use rather than results.

Therefore, channels such as radio, newspapers, magazines, out of home, and direct mail can be overlooked in terms of effectiveness. Even the original digital communication email is now considered old hat, despite research often highlighting it as the top performing tactic in the mix, particularly within B2B.

And it seems us marketers can be the ones most susceptible to overestimating effectiveness in favour of the latest trend. Not surprising considering we’re often briefed on a desire for the new and experimental over the tried and tested.

So, when Ebiquity released an evaluation of traditional vs more modern marketing techniques (Re-evaluating Media) that revealed marketers underestimate the effectiveness of the traditional methods which are often seen as ‘dated’ we were interested in the results, and of course methodology.

The research established the most important media attributes to growing a long-term brand are:

  • Targeting. Important to ensure you get your ad in front of the right people, at the right place and the right time.
  • Return on investment (ROI). Whether a decrease in Cost per Acquisition (CPA), more sales orders, influenced pipeline, or increased market share, what the campaign results in vs the cost matters.
  • Connects the audience with the brand in a positive way. It goes without saying that increased brand preference, perception, or likelihood to buy from the brand is a good thing.
  • Increases the brand’s relevance within its target audience. Helping people understand how and why something is useful and appropriate for them is an important part of the customer journey.
  • Reaches as many of the target audience as possible. Whether reached via paid targeting, shared content, utilisation of owned channels, general WoM or buzz – the more the merrier.



Using these factors as indicators of effectiveness they asked marketers which they believed would be the most effective channels at achieving these.

The below graph shows the most effective channels based on the evidence as to how campaigns actually performed vs the marketers’ perceptions.



TV scored top in both showing that marketers are aware of the effect it can have and hopefully shows that they are utilising this to its full potential. This is arguably the ultimate advertising channel and in fact, increases business effects by 40%. And with great targeting options, more specific channels and sophisticated media options via the likes of Sky Adsmart it is a commercially viable option for brands that may have thought it previously unfeasible.

Although TV advertisers and agencies underestimate traditional media, this doesn’t mean online video and social media aren’t effective. As in most cases, it depends. It depends on the audience, type of campaign, and the long-term goals.

You need to be able to understand your audience in order to see what is effective for that particular market. These mediums, both offline and online, are all effective depending on the audience and depending on the message you are trying to convey. Integrated activity, even when a couple of methods are used, can be most useful when they complement each other.

The IPA in the UK recently released a PDF collection of The Greatest Hits of Binet and Field, featuring a summary of the longstanding view that a 60/40 split between brand building and sales activation is best for long-term growth.



Each campaign is different, not all campaigns will be able to get an exact 60/40 mix. The idea is that 60% of ad spend should go towards relevant channels that will grow the brand and the other 40% towards short-term results, which can be evenly distributed across online and offline media.

The chart below shows how the approach can be effective in building a brand and achieving sales over different timescales.



In summary, it seems we need to bear a few things in mind when planning effective marketing activity:

  • Don’t follow the latest trend, unless that works for your audience.
  • Embrace a classic combination of traditional and trending to broaden targeting and metrics.
  • Start with the audience, not the channel.
  • Set short and long-term goals and split spend accordingly.
  • And finally, use research to test your thinking, not dictate it.

first 100 days framework for marketers

first 100 days homepage

First 100 Days

Today, on day 99 of Donald Trump’s presidency, we are launching our ‘First 100 Days’ offering.

The Marketing Society recently reported that the average tenure for UK CMO’s is now only 18 months – for some this is down to choice – for others it’s the result of pressure from the board for marketing to deliver tangible results quickly.

Getting on with the job is important, but shooting from the hip and cracking under demands to ‘just do it’ is a short-sighted approach that can lead to a shortened tenure.

Meanwhile, agencies, partners and even internal teams can often be slow to get behind a new leader’s vision or appreciate their urgency.

Consequently, the first 100 days in the role can be pivotal for a marketing leader to put the foundations in place for both immediate and future success.

Our First 100 Days offering is intended to achieve just this.

First 100 Days is a framework to realise key landmarks that every marketing leader should be aiming to achieve within the early stages of their tenure.

The framework has four main streams that deliver these landmarks within a 100-day timeframe:

  1. Customer – a full understanding of your audience, clearly segmented and developed personas that are integrated into your CRM for sales, marketing and customer services.
  2. Positioning – a powerful and compelling position in market that resonates across your key audiences, allowing you to stand apart from the competition.
  3. Activity – campaigns that land the positioning with your core audiences aligned with their customer journey and channels of choice.
  4. Experience – the digital, physical, sales and content experience each audience has with the brand to realise quick wins and make every touch point with the brand seamless.

Our First 100 Days roadmap to success below shows how each stream develops over the century.

The key landmarks are indicated by their associated icons and pink background, whilst the eagle-eyed will see how the flow of each stream is very particular where one area impacts another to ensure a smooth yet well-informed way of working that leads to great results in the shortest timeframe.

First 100 Days framework

If you are a marketing leader starting a new role, or maybe a marketer who wants to bring this framework into your business, feel free to get in touch at for a no-obligation discussion.

getting closer to clients


“Agencies should break up current operating models where account teams are gatekeepers to planning and creative.”

“They don’t understand the numbers and can’t build business cases, particularly creative agencies.”

“They think, wrongly, that a marketing director is all-out creative when, in fact, less and less of their time is spent on that.”

All the quotes above are taken from a 2015 survey carried out by the IPA and The Marketing Society to understand client opinions of marketing and advertising agencies.

The findings clearly signify that the traditional agency models are grasping to stay relevant to the real world of a client-side marketer.

The obstruction created by account management ‘gatekeeping’ the relationship.

The desire to keep creativity on a pedestal whilst the remit of the marketing department expands into new territories such as marketing technology and customer experience.

The lack of understanding that ‘big ideas’ for creative campaigns are now a piece of a much bigger puzzle that requires a business case to justify any significant investment.

Agencies so often come to the table with an agenda. They have the answer before a client has even asked the question.

It’s this element of distance from the real business strategy of clients that led to the development of Pretty Pragmatic.

We felt there was a need for greater access. Both ways. The gap between agency and client had gotten bigger rather than smaller, and we felt that needed to change.

Agencies should feel like an extension of the team, but with the remit of providing outside perspective. Stopping the potential tunnel vision that can be inflicted upon marketing teams via the day-to-day processes and pressures within the business.

They should also listen to the problem and answer it in the best way possible, rather than the most profitable or confined to what they are able to deliver in-house.

So it’s a small thing we do here, you can pick up the phone and speak directly to the strategist. Not an account manager who will get them on a conference call with you 48 hours later.

We cover the breadth of what a marketing department now has to consider, from the pretty stuff (brand building, product campaigns, experience ideas, core creative ideas) to the pragmatic stuff (technology implementation, data, customer journeys, personas, content mapping, and CRM).

It means we come to the table impartial.

We don’t have an answer ready to ‘sell’ because our product is strategic problem-solving. Without hearing your business objective, we don’t have a leg to stand on.

We then identify the areas that will get the greatest benefit, form the business case, and then realise the solution with the help of our specialist partners and freelancer ecosystem.

It’s a new model that we’re finding works pretty well.

Give us a call and we can chat it through, you’ll get straight through to us!