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.

love/hate island

Love Island has divided the nation with people becoming addicted to – or turned off by – the controversial show.

In a nutshell, the show is based on beautiful young people looking for love, or who love the idea of the fame that comes with appearing on the series. This year they’ve soared in the ratings, dominated conversations amongst friends, families and colleagues. And as if Monday’s weren’t bad enough, tonight’s final means our evening entertainment over the past 7 weeks is coming to an end!!

In our opinion here is where they’ve struggled and smashed it. And it’s all about the LOVE.


As the picture suggests we purchased the coveted water bottles and waited for 3-4 days with bated breath for them to arrive. Alas, no sign and after 1 week we logged our concern. After 2 weeks, this escalated to a complaint. We got a lovely email back explaining we were in the next batch – yey!

So, having forked out the best part of £20 per bottle, how could we feel so high and dry? The email alluded to, and the many social posts indicated, that they just didn’t anticipate the demand and the engine wasn’t quite as well-oiled as the Islanders’ bods! Having a backlog and waiting list certainly highlights the scarcity and potentially drives more demand. But, ultimately customers were left posting in social channels with no response to their enquiries regarding their missing orders. In this day and age, the social media team should be integrated with the service team so they can respond to complaints and compliments alike.

But the success of the product itself just goes to reaffirm that Share a Coke was really onto something – simple personalisation ideas connect with the masses. However, gauging the potential demand and garnering feedback about the product during production could have maximised the sales during this moment in time/moment of madness.


The contestants have gained lots of fans and followers due to their popularity based on their partners, personalities, and looks.  So, whether it’s charcoal toothpaste for a bright white smile, fake tan to emulate their bronzed bodies, or a protein powder to get stacked; they’ve been endorsing these on a daily basis and earning a fortune for the posts and pleasure.

Superdrug is the main sponsor for the show, no surprise with their products being perfectly aligned to the pampering people are craving from luscious lashes to plump pouts. So, all islanders stand to make a pretty penny even if they don’t scoop the competition cash prize of £50k. Proving that influencer marketing can be a viable career with brands looking to align with these relatable reality stars.


Fair play, you can’t knock the variety of content disseminated over the different Love Island channels. The hero content (the main evening programme) provides tonnes of material that gets quickly carved up into social posts and polls that generate loads of engagement.

The spin offs are the winners though i.e. Love Island Reactions and the Love Island Reactions Back Up pages. Great content sourcing and selection, proving curation and commentary mean you don’t need to be the originator to gain attention and make an impact!


The Love Island YouTube channel has regular updates of videos and clips from the show with around 3 or 4 clips uploaded each day. And it’s all fairly basic, slapstick stuff. For example, the most popular piece of content on the official Twitter page was a clip of Kem hitting his head in the hideaway which received over 28,000 likes and over 9,300 retweets.

But the main channel engaging the audience is Instagram with over 1 million followers! Perhaps not surprising when YouGov data shows that the viewers of the show are younger and female. Predictably, their hobbies feature shopping and ‘sitting around doing as little as possible’!

People who like Love Island described the show as ‘addictive’, ‘cringey’, ‘dramatic’, ‘easy to follow’ and ‘bizarre’. On the other hand, people who disliked the show described it as ‘crude’, ’embarrassing’, ‘cringey’, ‘boring’ and ‘bizarre’. So it would seem the reasons for loving or hating this show are fairly similar – one person’s love is another person’s loathe. No judgement.

#LoveWhatYouLove #WatchWhatYouWant #HatersGonnaHate

twitter performance

Twitter text image stat

On the 19th September 2016, Twitter finally implemented changes to the content it counts within its 140 character limit.

This means you no longer use up any characters when posting either native video, images or GIFs.

Now that including richer content doesn’t come at a cost of 23 characters, you have to choose which of these three content formats will drive the greatest engagement (retweets and likes in the case of Twitter).

In recent best practice releases, Twitter has helped marketers by providing guidance (though sometimes in quite a cryptic fashion) as to how various different content formats perform on the platform.

Here at Pretty Pragmatic, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to make sense of this in as simple a manner as possible (no cryptic stuff here!).

Twitter Content Engagement

So, the numbers behind this (and their sources):

Twitter recently released research stating “videos are six times more likely to be Retweeted than photos and three times more likely than GIFs” (see bullet point 4 at the bottom of the article).

Whilst prior to that, Twitter had stated that tweets with images generate 313% more engagement than tweets that are solely text.

Therefore we can boil it down to the image above, and create a hierarchy of performance between the various different content formats on Twitter.

As these stats are platform wide, there’s no accommodating for different personas and audience segments (to help you with that, we’ve shared our persona development structure here).

It’s worth bearing in mind that the response to different content, especially for niche audiences, can vary significantly to these numbers from broad audience research.

We’d also recommend taking a look at our content mapping structure. There you’ll see the best practice of how to structure your various marketing content, be it on Twitter or elsewhere, in a customer-centric manner through the customer journey.

And there you have it, a league table of the content formats now available for you to post on Twitter that no longer come with a cost of characters in your tweets.

make more of your content

Content marketing

For most of this decade, the term content has become synonymous with marketing.

Frequently used to vaguely refer to marketing ‘stuff’, nicely covering the breadth of agency outputs used to fuel an increasing spectrum of digital platforms.

Videos, infographics, images with statements on, images without statements on, vignettes, whitepapers, advertorials…even the dreaded microsite gets thrown into the ‘content’ bucket.

In the process of content becoming king, it seems many have noticed that there is an absence of effectiveness. That filling the bucket with more content isn’t necessarily correlating with an increase in customer attention, retention, or sales.

A recent report from TrackMaven found that marketer’s content creation over the course of 2015 increased by 35 percent, whilst engagement fell by 17 percent.

When one piece of content doesn’t deliver a return the habit can be to make another piece in an attempt to fulfil its role. However, it is often more beneficial to re-evaluate the use of the content instead of the actual content itself.

Would it be more effective in an alternative format, distributed through other channels, or promoted at a different time?

To do this, we suggest taking a step back to audit your existing content against your different audience’s needs.

We’ve found the model below allows you to re-evaluate your content in reference to the customer journey (a broad example of which is applied to the boxes running across the top of this framework):

content mapping framework

The framework has 4 core areas that should be created for each audience persona:

Mindset: What is the top level thought that the customer has at that point if you asked them to articulate it in a sentence? This is simple but provides the foundation for the elements that follow.

Questions: What do they want to know? This covers both the broader category, your brand and the product or service. What will they find useful to know that will help them progress to the next mindset?

Channels: Where would their attention be at this stage? Is it something they will be proactively looking for or are they likely to be passive and need the content presented to them? This should also indicate when different channels fit into their routine – which platforms have their attention during the various stages of their day?

Content: Finally, we come to what content helps answer those questions, based on their mindset, and aligned to the channels and times of day that they will be willing to give the content due consideration. This then, aligned to the audience persona, defines the format the content should take in order to match the audience’s profile.

Once the framework is complete, evaluate is against your existing content, specifically the ‘Questions’ and ‘Mindset’. If you’re answering those areas with the content you currently have then the challenge is actually the format, channel, context and distribution of the content.

It’s here where you can ‘recycle’ the content you have in a way that the audience will find more valuable, which in turn will deliver greater effectiveness as it gains the attention required to shape consideration.

This approach has proven to be very successful for our clients, with the strategies and content outputs that have been developed winning awards from both B2B and B2C industry bodies.