It’s often said, and is a fact, that one of the most expensive parts of the advertising cycle is production. So for that reason, it’s always a good idea to check back and see how you’re doing against agreed budgets. If you need to make sure you're utilising the best of what you have, here’s a few ways to make sure you’re still on track.

1. Do you know who you want to get to?

Sounds quite simple, but you’d be surprised how many still get this part wrong. Target audiences can be tricky especially as digital has opened up more channels to reach even more consumers. But who do you really want and NEED to get to?

Why? Mainly because there’s an automatic assumption that we need to target anyone and everyone who could possibly be interested in our product, service or platform, all without drilling down to those that really matter. Digital has also disrupted this process. As we’re in an ‘online’ world, there’s a tendency to widen the target net further and feel we should be across every platform. In reality, target audiences tend to be a lot smaller or they should at least start this way and grow as your campaign does.

Generally, you can narrow down your targets audience with a process of elimination through insight before you have perfectly defined your audience. In my experience, a campaign is more successful and targeted once you home in on who it should be aimed at. It will not only make it more successful (of course dependent on other elements), but you’ll find that this will help keep ad budgets and spend in line with what you originally set out. The more you focus, the better the outcome and the more targeted your campaign.

Quick tip: Think about who you want to get to and why, break it down, then break it down again!

2. Think tech

So what’s next? It’s time to think about how you’ll build your campaign and what you’ll use to get you there. Whether social media content, TV spots, print ads or banner campaigns, you should use a technology platform that allows you to reach audiences in different platforms – and preferably in one go. Often people think about the individual elements of a campaign and how it is displayed without thinking about how elements can get dynamically generated. There are a Digital Asset Management and ad building platforms such as Double Click, Flash Talking, Sizmek which offer an integrated, future-proof solution. The key is to think about smart production methods. But if you want to take the hassle out of doing it yourself, look for an advertising production agency to help you.

3. Use existing content and assets

Every time you build a new campaign, it doesn’t mean that you have to create new assets to run alongside it. Why does something need to be brand spanking new?

Re-using content and existing materials is a great way of keeping ad production budgets to a minimum. And if you’re worried that the content will look the same, there are many ways to adapt and tweak things so it doesn’t. Always think ahead as there will be elements and ideas you can easily use again – but in a different way. Try doing things from one central point. It’s all about centralising production to get the best outcome. And for brand consistency, you may top and tail with the same look and feel, but it’ll be the content in between that changes. If you have a good production facility, they’ll be able to take multiple variations and blend content in a way that will look like new.

4. Be creative

Being creative poses a challenge as one idea may work well in one territory, but not so well in another. Then factor in the sheer nature of the campaign – the target audience, the outcomes, the mechanics, and how it will eventually look and be perceived – and it can often mean any creativity tends to go out the window. As dynamic and personalised content begins to take precedence, creativity will become more important.

5. Stay on track and keep focused

We’ve all been victim to straying from initial plans. With so many variants, audiences, technology, engagements and interactions to think about, it’s easy to veer off track. It can be a challenge with some many activities happening simultaneously, but try to stay focused.

Take time to think back to where you want to get to – and most importantly - who you want to get to.


By Nicole Meissner, chief digital officer at Hogarth Worldwide

GDPR Summit Series is a global series of GDPR events which will help marketers to prepare to meet the requirements of the GDPR ahead of May 2018 and beyond. Further information and conference details are available at

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