Register Now
Request Demo
    Hero Shape

    What's the Secret to a Top-Performing Media Mix?

    November 2, 2023
    8 minute read
    What's the Secret to a Top-Performing Media Mix?

    Marketing in the digital age means having more media channel options than ever. There are traditional print and broadcast media outlets, plus social accounts, digital advertising programs, owned content platforms, email marketing, affiliate marketing — and the list goes on.

    Leverage too few of these channels, and you lessen your chance of reaching enough people. But try to do too much, and you run the risk of stretching yourself too thin.

    The solution is to cultivate the perfect media mix for your brand or retail platform — one that includes the channels most likely to reach your audience and that invests in these channels according to their potential for return.

    It’s a tall order, and one that will require a lot of careful consideration. Read on for some tips on developing your perfect media mix. 

    What Is a Media Mix?  

    A media mix is the variety of different media channels an advertising team uses to get its message out. It can include traditional print media, broadcast media, digital media, and more — if an ad can be put on it, it can be included in your media mix.

    For ecommerce brands and retailers, your media mix may lean more heavily on digital channels like social media or digital advertising. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore traditional media formats. A good media mix is omnichannel, meaning it takes advantage of both online and offline channels. 

    What’s the Difference Between a Media Mix and a Marketing Mix?  

    The terms “media mix” and “marketing mix” are often used interchangeably, but they actually have slightly different definitions.

    While a media mix refers to just the media used in a marketing campaign, a marketing mix includes all the marketing strategies being implemented, media-related or not.

    In addition to media channels, a marketing mix could include promotions, free giveaways, sponsorships at events, and more.  

    What Are the Channels Used in a Media Mix?

    The potential channels that can be used in a media mix are almost too numerous to list.

    Some examples of media mix channels include:

    • Email marketing
    • Social media channels
    • Search engine optimized (SEO) content
    • Influencer marketing
    • Online advertising
    • Public relations material
    • Broadcast TV or radio spots
    • Billboards
    • Print media advertisements

    Ideally, your marketing mix should include owned and earned digital media channels and a healthy amount of traditional media. However, the exact channels you use will depend on the nuances of how your target audience is best reached.

    How Do You Determine the Right Media Mix?  

    Optimizing your media mix requires balancing a number of factors, including budget, audience preferences, and current media trends.

    Follow these broad steps to get started on the right path toward an omnichannel mix that gets results. 

    Establish Your Media Mix Goals

    The first step of any successful marketing project is establishing clear goals. These goals should be highly specific, measurable, and actionable.

    For example, you could create goals that specify exactly how many new prospects you want to reach, what percentage you want sales to increase by, or how many more conversions you want.

    Once your goals are established, you’ll have an easier time creating a media mix that meets your needs.

    Research Your Audience

    The right media mix is the one that reaches your target customers where they already are. To achieve that, you need to know exactly who your audience is and what forms of media they’re most likely to engage with.

    Take the time to look at engagement data, conduct surveys, or hold focus groups to understand what types of media outreach your target shoppers respond well to.

    It may be resource-intensive, but channel-focused customer research is the most effective media planning strategy, according to respondents in a HubSpot survey.

    Develop a Strategy That Facilitates the Buyer’s Journey

    The most effective media mixes don’t rely on isolated engagement, but instead move a potential consumer down the funnel toward conversion.

    Think about where in the buyer’s journey your target shoppers are when they engage with different media channels, and use that knowledge to develop a strategy for moving them along their journey.

    An integrated marketing mix may take more time to develop, but it’s much more likely to be effective. 

    Implement Your Media Mix and Track Its Performance

    Once you’ve completed all this planning, it’s time to put your strategy into action — and track each channel’s performance as you do.

    Invest in digital tools to track audience engagement with your online media channels. Tracking engagement is a bit more difficult with traditional media or certain digital channels, like retail ad spend, but it’s still possible with some strategic analytics. Even in cases where tracking is difficult, it’s worth it to know that your media mix is working.

    Evaluate Success and Refine Your Approach

    Based on the data you’ve collected, evaluate whether the mix you’re using is appropriate and if there are any changes you need to make.

    As time goes by and media trends change, even the best media mix will need to be updated. So even if your analytics are great at first, keep tracking performance and periodically assessing it. Constant refinement will help ensure continuous success. 

    What an Effective Omnichannel Media Mix Looks Like

    Every brand’s media mix is a little different, but every successful media mix is omnichannel and built around customer preferences. Let’s consider some hypothetical examples of effective media mixes. 

    Example 1: An Established Retailer

    Imagine a retailer that has an established chain of brick-and-mortar stores and wants to develop a media mix to drive more shoppers to its ecommerce platform. This retailer may start by connecting with its existing offline audience through traditional media, such as poster ads and flyers in its store locations, as well as things like print media and broadcast spots.

    To then move people to its digital shelf, it could put QR codes for its ecommerce platform on various print media channels. This omnichannel approach could work alongside proven digital media tactics, like a consistent social presence and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, to spread the word about its online store.

    Example 2: A New Consumer Brand

    Now imagine what shape a media mix would take for a small, independent skincare brand that’s just getting off the ground. Without the resources of an established company, this skincare brand would likely focus heavily on digital marketing to build brand recognition with minimal overhead. They may begin by investing in social media, influencer deals, and content marketing on an owned blog.

    Even a new, digital-first brand does better with an omnichannel approach, though. This brand could reach an even wider audience with targeted traditional media placed where its ideal buyers will see it. For example, it could use broadcast spots during TV programs that appeal to its target demographic or put inserts in beauty magazines that entice new buyers with discount codes.

    Reach Your Shoppers Wherever They Are

    Building a successful media mix can be an involved process, but following the guidelines and examples above can help get you on the right track — and reach your shoppers where they are. 

    The Complete Guide To Omnichannel Strategy for Commerce

    For even more pointers on creating a strategic omnichannel media mix, download this guide for insights into connecting with your target consumers — both online and off.


    Written by: Nicole D'Angelo

    Nicole D’Angelo (she/her) is a freelance writer, editor, and content marketer with over eight years of experience creating content for a broad range of industries. Before launching her freelance business, she managed content production for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, including...

    Recent Posts

    Subscribe to the Below the Fold Newsletter

    Standing out on the digital shelf starts with access to the latest industry content. Subscribe to Below the Fold, our monthly content newsletter, and join other commerce leaders.

    The Complete Guide To Omnichannel Strategy for Commerce For even more pointers on creating a strategic omnichannel media mix, download this guide for insights into connecting with your target consumers — both online and off. DOWNLOAD GUIDE