Planning the media for an advertising campaign has become increasingly complex as new channels and the rise of technology have shifted the media landscape forever. However, throw in an international target audience across multiple regions and platforms and the international planning process becomes a daunting affair. Perhaps this is why many global brands plan and implement ‘multi-national’ campaigns across a number of individual countries, but fewer are successfully executing truly ‘international’ pan-European campaigns that take a single, unified brand message across the whole region. And yet there is a major cost benefit in taking this approach, rather than advertising through national channels, as international channels tend to be much more efficient as you reach the whole of Europe with one TV spot. In addition, the audiences they offer tend to be more affluent, internationally-minded consumers who are harder to reach through traditional media outlets – so this is a particularly useful route for luxury, finance, automotive, travel and tourism brands. Not only that, a truly international advertising campaign is also the best way to create consistency with brand messaging, helping to strengthen brand values across a target audience – plus, specifically talking about international TV channels, ad breaks tend to be shorter so impact can be greater. Here are the six key steps you – and your marketing department – need to take to successfully navigate their way through the international communications planning process: 1. Research your market and media The majority of international media outlets – international TV, online and print titles – are monitored by audience measurement firms such as Ipsos or Kantar Media. This kind of Advertising Intelligence Data is invaluable for identifying the best international media channels to reach a specific target audience. Among the key information needed for evaluation is how well matched the profile of their target audiences are to an advertiser’s own (in terms of demographics and behaviour) and the size of the audience each channel provides. As many pan-European media targets are specialists in specific areas (e.g. sport, nature, business, news) depending on an advertiser’s market sector, smaller channels or titles may actually deliver more of the desired target audience than the bigger ones. Advertising Intelligence Data can also show how much, how frequently and on which platforms competitors are advertising. 2. Create an international media brief Next create a shortlist of the best media platforms and outlets for an international campaign. Invest time in writing a clear media brief that summarises the communications strategy, objectives and budget spend. It should include: detailed background to the campaign including information on the client, product and positioning, competitors and previous advertising history etc; target audience; business and marketing objectives; priority countries and regions; preferred media platforms and any that should be disregarded; creative/content requirements; campaign timing; key performance indicators. This should then be circulated to the shortlisted media owners to respond with proposals on how they intend to achieve the objectives, including research that demonstrates how well they connect with the audience, any brand exclusivity, promotions, programme sponsorship, conferences etc that they can offer. Continue reading on page two to find out how to execute the ad campaign successfully…
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