There are many different working methods; some fx brokers have an in-depth process for selecting, negotiating and optimizing online media while others do things on a more ad-hoc basis. In addition, there are differences in target audience and strategy and thus in the media selection required to reach the goals.
So for instance, some brokers have a bigger budget and are established in the market place, they do both brand and direct marketing and have a good mixture of media that focuses on generating awareness AND acquisition. So they might do Display, RTB, PPC, Email, SEO, Print, TV etc. Smaller brokers usually want to focus on what gets them short term, low cost and measurable results (just acquisition) so a lot of times they just do PPC, RTB and SEO without breaking the bank, but not focussing on longer term goals.
Identifying What Type Of Broker You Are
Deciding what type of broker you are in terms of channels is a good first step. They then have to decide on target audience; do we go after the seasoned FX trader? The novice ‘get rich quick’ trader? The ‘I have been in the markets for a long time but don’t trade FX yet’ trader? There are obviously more target audiences to be found but you get the idea. A broker going for the novice might focus on educational sites/keywords while those looking for people currently trading other asset classes might want to be on more general finance sites.
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Once that’s decided on, we go out and get proposals of media we found in our research and are familiar with through experience. We then look at the target audience and estimated return on investment for each placement, do some further rounds of negotiations and produce a full media plan with all media planned for the period. With that in hand, we do some last minute tweaks (for instance to fit within an overall budget) and work on all the paperwork and technical setup to get these placements live.
Potential Budget Allocation Pending Results
Once the media is live, we have to look at results in real-time to determine which are our winners, laggards and losers and adjust our campaign accordingly. If we notice one site is working well while another is not, we might want to re-allocate budget accordingly; similarly if one placement is doing better than another within one publication we will re-adjust. The process is very similar for PPC advertising. We typically also test different creative material such as banners, ad text and landing pages to increase performance.
Now, what those results we optimize on are depends very much on the specific broker; one might be able to look at revenue while the setup of another allows us to only look at leads, or clients generated. There are some brokers that only optimize on clicks, although we obviously strongly advise against that.
As a general word of advice, working with a good marketing agency, regardless of your budget, will generally help results. However, I am obviously somewhat biased.