The Media Channels That Drive Brand Growth

If I could use only three paid media channels to grow a brand efficiently, I would use Social, Wildpostings and Advanced TV.

Most of my readers are probably thinking that these three media channels have no business going together, and for some brands that is true. Wildpostings in particular tend to make sense for young, urban demographic personas. But if I want to break through and gain brand salience, I would combine all three channels and relentlessly measure.

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With most CMOs only marginally confident in the ROI of Traditional vs. Digital media (see sources), what is verifiably true is that these channels are always better when used together. 

Social - The world’s best full funnel media channel

Paid Social is arguably the world’s best full funnel media channel. Social wins at driving consumers from first-time awareness all the way through purchase and even advocacy better than any single media channel…except perhaps TV. 


Advanced TV - A must have for the modern media plan

When TV is too expensive to maintain (and even when it is on the plan), Advanced TV is easily the next best solve. Growing 20% YOY (sources) with the precision targeting of digital media and the power of big-screen sight, sound and motion, Advanced TV is the new “must have” media channel. With the scale that ad-supported inventory is now reaching, Advanced TV’s costs will stabilize moving ahead, making ROI and effectiveness a key benefit of this critical channel. Now is the time to enter the market while all the DTC brands are making it look cool.

Wildpostings - Where boldness and creativity are rewarded

Wildpostings are imperfect, edgy and best serve brands with an urban demographic. Of course. But to be at eye level with messaging that breaks through, where boldness and creativity are rewarded with attention, and CPMs are lower than nearly every other major media channel, Wildpostings build familiarity and involvement. They are a steroid shot for brand salience and make up the third in this effectiveness triumvirate.

Anywhere But Not Everywhere

Would I run these channels nationally? Almost definitely not. But they are all scalable, flexible channels available in every market (except Wildpostings). Instead I would run in my top opportunity/ROI markets based on a simple BDI/CDI and profitability analysis (perhaps another blog post?). 

What might a media mix look like to bring each of these together? It depends on the brand and its goals, but the more awareness-driven a brand is, the higher your investment in Wildpostings and broad reach Social. The more conversion driven the brand is, lower funnel Social goes up accordingly. Advanced TV complements these with either an awareness (higher reach) or consideration (higher frequency) throttle.

What Growth Oriented Brands Should Do?

1. Don’t over rely on one media channel.

We recently spoke with a brand who invested all of their marketing budget into Facebook and their ROAS was exactly $1. They didn’t care because they were seeing “growth”, but I would not want to be their VC investor when the bottom falls out of this business plan. Diversify media, allow channels to work together and maximize your ROI.

2. Awareness does not equal impressions.

Your real goal is to drive recall, make a connection and create preference with consumers so that you might drive them to purchase. This is much more challenging than just blasting eyeballs and requires not only appropriate media placements that drive attention but creative that resonates emotionally. Sometimes going for more expensive CPMs/lower impressions delivers higher actual awareness.

3. Creativity matters.

Of the channels discussed here, the most forgiving is Advanced TV because it is effective even with weaker creative. Even still, emotional, memorable creative goes a long way. This is different than Wildpostings and Social, which require you to arrest someone’s attention or risk not reaching them at all. Consumers are most receptive to Wildpostings, seen as the least intrusive of the three ad formats. Take advantage of the increase in attention and the phone (likely) in their hands to learn more about you. Create intrigue and win.




  3. OTT spending is poised to grow 20% in 2019, according to Winterberry Group data, but is still less than 4% of TV’s spend. This is a huge gap to make up and the biggest prize is for those who get in early.

  4. The majority of marketing leaders are somewhat or not confident in their ability to quantify Digital vs Traditional ROI.