A smart approach to optimize advertising & promotional spend during a complex customer journey.

INTRODUCTION  In most cases media planning is simply executed by optimizing reach & frequency within a defined target audience, based on available (cross-)media reach data and media-owners (net) ratecards. 

But when the customer journey is more complex and the relevance of a large collection of (above & below the line-) media channels is changing during the customer journey the ROI of media investments can be heavily downgraded. A smart piece of customer research will help to optimize advertising & promotional spend and improve ROI.   

In this article we will explain the basics of better understanding the relative importance of ‘touchpoints’ during a customer journey and how to help recruit /retain more customers and therefore contribute to develop penetration/loyalty within a category.


The different phases in a customer journey 

So how do we make this work? 

Basically, we identify 3 phases in the project setup: 

  1. Research the customer journey: determine the Key Moments of the consumer journey and the exact sources of information (or Touch Points, which are the relevant above and below the line mediachannels that are impacting the buyer’s preference & purchase decision) as consulted actively or passively by consumers along their journey. 
  2. Map the reach and impact of each touch point for selected key moments of the journey.
  3. Identify and recommend opportunities to adjust the mediaplan. 

Project execution  

In phase 1. of the project the key moments in the customer journey are defined. Interviewing respondents within the relevant target audience (-segments) will reveal their key moments and which are the sources of information that are actively or passively consulted within the full decision-making process of the customer. 

These will, if available, be matched against internal data (e.g. sharpen with internal stakeholders the key moments of the buyer journey and identify all touch points). 


Next, in phase 2. a representative and sufficient sample of respondents, for the selected key moment(s), will be interviewed to identify the touchpoints as a source of information and inspiration and how influential each of these touchpoints has been to them. The results of this research will be mapped across the 2 dimensions reach and impact for the respective key moment. 


Touchpoint mapping

Finally in phase 3. this mapping will be used in combination with a TURF’-analysis ( a statistical modelling to identify the optimal combination of touchpoints to minimize ‘waste’) to select the touchpoints or mediachannels and to prioritize within the mediaplanning. This analysis adds granularity to marketing mixed modelling. 

Furthermore it will make a customer value journey (for converting ‘strangers’ into high-value customers and brand promoters) assessment more accurate. 

The addition of the reach and importance dimension of each mediachannel will improve the efficiency and ROI of the media investment and through better use of scares resources help recruit and retain more customers and therefore contribute to develop penetration and loyalty 


By Ben van der Werf - Lead Consultant


If you are interested in knowing how to better optimize your advertising and promotional spendings, please contact us.