Triple Integration: Campaigns, Media and Measurement
This is akin to knowing better than to bring out the dessert before the main course arrives. While it may seem obvious, such tactical details sometimes can upset the end result.
One fairly common mistake is to allow production schedules, rather than optimal results, to govern flighting. Let's say a campaign kicks off, which includes a TV spot, a direct mail piece and an email blast. Each channel is the purview of a different agency. The mass agency begins storyboarding the TV spot, the direct marketing agency begins working on the mail piece and the email shop gets ready to blast. Simply because of production lead times, the email probably will be ready first, the mail piece second and the TV spot will take the longest. But if the campaign is allowed to roll out in that order, the results very well could be suboptimal.
By reversing the flighting order—TV, then mail piece, then email—the results almost certainly will be better.
So it's always a good idea to test and measure the effects of media flighting. In this way, you can determine an optimal media schedule for product, audience and seasonality. Be particularly sure to test direct response media flighting because of its controllable and repeatable nature.
Benefit: I've seen frequent examples of catalog and direct marketing having specific interaction effects that can provide either lift or suppression depending on timing. Getting it right definitely pays off.
Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is power. It's like flying a plane. We've got to know what's going on so we can make the constant corrections to keep ourselves on our flight plan.
This means we've got to be able to measure campaigns across multiple media using a common metric: cost per impression, cost per response, cost per sale, or whatever you and your analytics people decide is right. The main thing is that all channels use a comparable metric so you're comparing apples to apples.