More and more, brands are realizing the power of integrating tactics like events and digital campaigns into a larger effort to build the long-term relationships with their customers that help them reach their overall marketing goals.
However, budget, influenced by emotion, is all too often the primary factor in deciding how and when to employ these valuable marketing assets.
Enter portfolio planning: a strategic approach that allows companies to make informed decisions on the right number, type, frequency, and cadence of tactics needed to generate an optimal experiential marketing mix. In essence, “brand experience media planning”.
In the latest Jack POV, learn the 6 principles of portfolio planning and how you can incorporate a strategic approach to better engage your customers.
As always, let me know if you’d like to learn more about how brand experience media planning can help your business.
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 1
the new age of
Gone are the days of “do as they do” in the
world of brand marketing. Today companies
do not just want to have events or digital
campaigns to meet sales goals or educate
and motivate staff. They want to build long-
term relationships, utilizing these different
tactics to contribute to their overall goals.
It’s time to go back to the drawing board
and rethink how you’re executing tactics to
reach your company’s marketing, sales, and
This whitepaper addresses these external
programs and explain how proper portfolio
planning can help accelerate your pipeline,
increase effectiveness & efficiency, improve
ROI, drive accountability and achieve your
SVP, Client Strategy
and Brand Performance
a strategic approach that
allows companies to make
informed decisions on the
right number, type, frequency,
and cadence of tactics needed
to generate an optimal
experiential marketing mix.
In essence, “brand experience
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 2
Good relationships are built upon mutual
attraction, common or complementary goals
and a mutually beneficial exchange of value.
People do business with people they know,
like, and trust.
Building them takes time, and building an
optimal relationship-building platform is the
Holy Grail. As a result, companies invest
millions in building different marketing and
sales touch points to move audiences from
awareness to consideration, preference, and
Additionally, they invest in developing sales
and marketing activities to build loyalty and
advocacy with their customers.
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 3
Too often portfolios of live, digital, social,
and mobile marketing programs are organic
creations. Million dollar investments are
made for all the wrong reasons: ‘everyone
else is doing it’, ‘our competition is present’,
‘we must support the industry’ or ‘we’ve
always done it in the past.’ Copycats.
Touch points outside of traditional media
plans are powerful opportunities to touch
a brand’s audiences and participate in
meaningful dialogue, but too often the
objectives of participation are unclear,
experiences are not designed with
objectives in mind, and the opportunity
Each investment should be met with scrutiny
and aligned to brand, business, marketing,
and sales objectives to ensure investments
are made in the right places and the brand
reaches its intended audiences with a series
of viable and valuable experiences.
Choose the right approach
70% of agency
the number one catalyst
in driving client value
is viewing tactics more
55% allocating more
54% providing more
53% becoming better
informed on the strategic
value of events
53% evaluation and
measurement of tactics ¹
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 4
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 5
Marketing investments are often made
using budget levels as the primary factor,
influenced by emotion. These decisions lack
performance intelligence and data support,
and can contribute to a weak platform for
driving long-term business success without
mitigating any risk.
Marketers are already seeing budgets for
live tactics migrate toward more immediately
measurable activities, like email and web—
not because live is any less effective, but
because their performance simply hasn’t
been validated through measurement.
19% of agency
a portion of their
tradeshow budget may
be reallocated to other
Only 37% of marketers
are able to measure
the ROI for their social
media activities ²
93% of consumers feel
events are more effective
than TV commercials at
allowing them to better
understand products and
budgets for live
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 6
Does each tactic allow you to
interact with a viable number of
participants who meet your criteria?
Each tactic should play a
fundamental role; from awareness
and familiarity, to consideration
and preference, conversion, and
ultimately loyalty and advocacy.
Location and timing of activities are
viable filters by which to evaluate
its contribution to the program.
This includes both geographic and
Portfolio planning enables you
to evaluate and act against any
tactic. Tactics can be added or
removed and changes can be
made to optimize their role in the
Data is used as the primary basis for
which portfolio planning decisions
are made. Data trumps emotion and
gut instincts. Always.
Sharing your content mix the
right way, at the right time, has an
impact on its effectiveness. Is the
entire story repeated? Or, are there
chapters of the story revealed at
different touch points?
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 7
is a way to is not
• Accelerate your pipeline
• Achieve brand, business, marketing,
and sales objectives
• Increase marketing effectiveness
• Improve ROI
• Drive accountability
• A comprehensive strategy, but merely
a channel exploration. It helps
determine where you will address
your audiences, tell your story and
express your content.
• An audience generation program.
It does not determine target audiences
or create promotions to attract them.
• A brand experience—but the right
platform sets the stage to build share
of voice and accomplish your
• A measurement platform. Although
a strong metrics and measurement
system is required for portfolio
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 8
• Provide a structured process to
assess and prioritize tactics, turning
a typically qualitative evaluation into
a more quantitative assessment.
• Allow for a thorough exploration of
activities currently in the portfolio,
as well as potential new ones for
• Create a set of criteria and metrics to
evaluate existing and new tactics.
• Build a prioritized set of activities,
including those to remove, adjust,
• Standardize sets of objectives,
mapping to brand, business,
marketing and sales objectives.
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 9
Who is our single most
What would happen if the company
did not participate in any tactics?
What is the best way
to reach our audience?
What would the
tactic’s objective be?
What would the
If the company only had X amount of funding,
what would be the best investment?
If the company participated in just one
tactic, what would it be and why?
What level of investment would it require?
While many larger companies have built
large multi-faceted portfolios over time,
unraveling the complexity of legacy
programs can often seem daunting. In many
cases, the desired results are never achieved
because there are too many ‘immovables” in
the portfolio. For some companies, adopting
a “Zero-based” planning approach can
provide a fresh, unique perspective from
which to launch an analysis or validate an
Zero-based planning assumes one is building
a portfolio plan from scratch, with no legacy
tactics to consider. To initiate a Zero-based
portfolio planning exercise, consider asking
the following line of questions.
This approach allows you to start from
nothing and build a portfolio based on
minimal need. It’s an excellent tool for
driving prioritization of “must-have” tactics
against “nice-to-have” activities.
Sounds good? Then let’s get started!
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 10
There are several versions of portfolio
planning a.k.a. “Brand Experience Media
Planning” in the marketplace. These range
from one-off consulting projects to more
comprehensive, multi-year commitments.
The most effective programs are simple,
understandable, and scalable based on
needs of any business.
As a starting point,
a simple four-step
process can provide
into legacy programs
as well as provide a
platform for starting
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 11
Complete this exercise by using each
audience’s experience journey as a filter.
For each target audience consider which
tactic addresses each stage in the pipeline—
awareness, consideration, preference,
conversion, loyalty, and advocacy. Multiple
tactics at each stage will help ensure
coverage against greater target audience
• Aligning tactics to objectives
• Reviewing of audience
• Investigating key industry
• Plotting geographic coverage
• Understanding digital coverage
• Exploring timing of activities
• Developing high-level content
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 12
Evaluate performance. It’s important to
understand the contribution each tactic has
made (or will make) to the marketing mix.
Use this data to prioritize the potential of
• Reviewing performance
• Recording Success Metrics
(KPIs) were you successful
• Evaluating Diagnostic Metrics—
why or why not?
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 13
Portfolio planning is not just for filling gaps.
At this stage, evaluate both paid and owned
media opportunities, and compare these
to legacy tactics to decide the best tool for
the job. If a new tactic has a better chance
of achieving measureable objectives on
any existing tactic in the portfolio, consider
replacing the legacy tactic, or at the very
least, augmenting the tactic.
• New (paid) tactics
• Proprietary (owned) tactics
• Co-branded tactics
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 14
Create a tactic plan. Leverage research,
information, and data to develop the initial
• Consolidating based on set
• Removing underperformers
and those with no ability of
• Bolstering high performers
by investing more in areas of
success and leveraging these
best practices across the
• Changing participation
in tactics that have the
opportunity to perform at
expected levels with a shift
in investment or experience
A long-term approach is recommended
to take advantage of the full benefits of
portfolio planning. Collaboration is key!
Integrate portfolio planning into annual
strategic planning with internal stakeholders,
and continue to monitor progress throughout
the year. Building rigor into the process
will help ensure the enterprise recognizes
both continuous improvement and long-term
Creating appropriate tools to gauge data
points from audience to timing, investment
levels to content and beyond will support
Portfolio Planning for the New Age of Brand Marketing 15