3 min read

How Rogue Thinks: Taking a Long and Short View on Paid Media

For many businesses, the motivation to move in any direction is based upon immediate impact.

If we choose to do something, what can we expect to achieve right now?

It often sounds a little like this: “let’s try ______ tactic out, because we need it to result in (number of) sales or conversations…” Or “let’s look into _____ as long as it takes less than six weeks and means __ results.”

Businesses need their marketing initiatives to work. We get that.

Others desire to think about innovation and building programs and strategies that will set their business up for what’s coming next… but so often that strong desire is replaced by a need for immediate benefits.

More often than not, strategic long(er)-term thinking finds itself shelved at the altar of immediacy.

You probably already know that in today’s marketing world you have to pay to play. Paid media is not a “nice-to-have” it’s a must have. It’s of no use to build a great story or build a fancy commerce/brand site if you don’t pay to drive traffic to it. Brands must pay to have their message heard and some distribution channels are just better than others… for reach, or mass or even targeting demographics. And, yes, depending on what you do, different channels can be useful for different things.

So knowing that your company likely needs to ensure it can compete in the future… while delivering stellar results right now… is it possible to enter into an approach that delivers short-term immediate results while permitting the team to learn something and test its way into results that will guide its future? Rogue has found that by using a fairly simple strategy, the answer in the world of paid media is a resounding yes!


When you work with Rogue Marketing and utilize the powerful tool of paid media, you’ll be quickly introduced to these three numbers: 80, 15 and 5. Once you understand and buy into the thinking behind them, you’ll greatly benefit from engaging with an agency that can guide you through the best and most-right channels that can help you achieve optimized results.

The thinking goes like this.

There’s a minimum spending threshold every industry and business needs to make on a routine basis to achieve their desired business outcomes. It is different for every client Rogue serves… and it relies heavily on the targets and goals a company is looking to achieve. (A team of qualified strategists can help you work through the data to: understand the platforms, the available universe you could market to and the cost of media across different channels to reach target personas.)

For simplicity sake, let’s say that the minimum threshold to be successful in your industry is $10K a month, that means that the Rogue team would divide those monies into three buckets:

  • 80% — or $8,000
  • 15% — or $1,500
  • 5% — or $500

Eighty percent of your budget would be aligned toward vehicles and channels that are proven to get the response you desire. This means they have an immediate impact. That $8K is not being spent to get the word out necessarily… it’s being used to get people to take some sort of an action. Buy a product. Fill out a form. Attend an event.

Fifteen percent of your budget is assigned toward vehicles and channels that have had limited success in (your) prior campaigns or for other industries. This could show up as a channel that is providing some results but the team hasn’t hit just the right mixture of elements to really make it fire on all cylinders… or it could be that there’s a target persona type or geography that hasn’t immediately converted for the brand before, but it has been a powerful market for a competitor or similar client type. The idea is to spend less and continue learning and optimizing for better results.

Finally, five percent of the budget is assigned to emerging vehicles and channels. These may be unproven, untested and grossly unknown in your space. But it’s important to note that just because it’s unproven for you doesn’t mean it’s completely unproven. For example, some clients Rogue works with would place a Pandora or Spotify buy in this 5% category… but for others who have already found the inherent value, it’s a driving component and budgeted as a part of the 80% allocation.

And that is the magic of the strategic system.

Channels and vehicles can move in and out, or up and down the allocation stack depending upon the results they’re achieving. But perhaps most importantly, a brand is not spending all the capital they have attempting to generate immediate results to the detriment of future channels. Consider this: it is very likely that those channels that are considered emerging and unproven today, could very well be the lion share of your 80% bucket allocation tomorrow. Investing at smaller levels and testing to find out what works provides valuable insights to the brand on how to relate to different markets or how to tweak a message for greater channel relevancy. Companies that desire to remain relevant must be continuously changing… and this strategy provides a calculated way to do just that. Staying relevant and delivering messages in sometimes unexpected but powerful ways.

The method may be simple… but one thing we say a lot at Rogue is “simple is hard.” Often what seems on the face simple is highly crafted and well-thought out, based on years of practice. It’s not always that effective when you attempt it on your own. If your brand could benefit from a group of thinkers–that can also do–then it’s time to Go Rogue.

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