Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

A new age of media experimentation: How to test, learn and scale with confidence

By Dale Griffiths, Worldwide Head of Integrated Planning, T&Pm

In today’s digital marketing landscape, where data not only flows in abundance but stands as the most valuable resource for brands and marketers, the opportunity to test, learn and scale is greater than ever. On the flip side, the pace of media innovation and increasing fragmentation of channels can be daunting to navigate when building the optimal media mix for success. This a growing challenge faced by contemporary marketers, particularly when budgets are pressed to demonstrate clear incrementality and tangible proof that each dollar spent is contributing positively to the bottom line.

This article offers a pragmatic approach to simplifying today’s complex media landscape through three strategic actions, helping brands and marketers test, learn and scale media strategies with confidence.

Step 1 – Prioritise your hypotheses

The cornerstone of a successful media strategy starts with a clear set of growth objectives, alongside set of hypotheses to test. These hypotheses should address critical business questions, whether they originate within the marketing team or from other departments such as product development, customer service, data analysis, or technology. For instance, a hypothesis might explore the impact of certain audience segments, ad formats, content platforms and messaging strategies, all running in parallel. Prioritising and aligning on these questions upfront ensures that testing and learning budgets focus on initiatives that promise the greatest holistic impact across the business.

Step 2 – Holistic & connected measurement

Navigating the media landscape effectively requires a measurement strategy that encompasses all aspects of media performance. The 333 Measurement Framework is designed to provide a clear and comprehensive view of media impact across various timelines. This framework measures immediate reactions (under three seconds of ad engagement), short-term effects (such as a three-week surge in website traffic), and long-term brand health metrics (like brand consideration over three months).

This approach facilitates informed decision-making by highlighting which strategies are performing well and which are not, thereby optimising the media spend. It also ensures marketers can demonstrate to stakeholders the direct correlation between media spend and business outcomes, reinforcing the short- and longer-term value of their marketing investments.

Step 3 – Unlocking content agility & efficiency

Today’s digital ecosystem requires content to be not only compelling but also adaptable across various platforms and formats. Dynamic content capabilities are essential for marketers to test and learn at scale with efficiency. This agility allows for the quick iteration of content to match changing audience preferences and behaviours. 

There are a range of AI powered tools and platforms that enable rapid modification of content variables – such as channels, formats, visuals, and copy – allowing marketers to experiment and refine their media strategies without significant increases in cost.

Summarising the steps to success

The combination of prioritising hypotheses, employing a holistic measurement strategy, and embracing content agility is key to navigating the complexity of today’s media landscape. The approaches outlined here are not just theoretical but offer practical, actionable steps proven to drive success within digital marketing strategies. Moving forward, these steps will become fundamental for marketers aiming to thrive in the digital age – testing, learning and scaling with confidence.