Finding Balance in Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a fast paced, ever changing industry focused on continual improvement and optimization. But as digital marketers sprint towards the finish line, the simple foundational elements of all types of marketing are sometimes forgotten. Has digital marketing become too robotic, too automated; too reliant on new technology? As much as digital changes, it still revolves around three core principles that must be considered in all digital marketing campaigns. The best digital campaigns are a delicate balance among efficiency, effectiveness, and the needs of the end consumer.
Rather than debate the best network, format, or creative approach, let the customer decide for you! Through robust tracking and timely analytics, incredible insight can be uncovered leading to real business results. The digital world is nimble, and therefore the strategic approach needs to follow suit. The strategic process must shift from long, in-depth planning cycles based on dated market research, to an iterative testing and optimization model, responding to real-time consumer behaviour. Are end customers more responsive to video or static placement? Are placements above the fold really driving a customer that converts, or are they simply enthralled by your content? Experiment with that call to action or headline! What is working? What isn’t? Let the performance and customer response be your deciding factor and you will win every time.
Be Efficient & Unafraid of New Tech
When it’s about getting to market quickly and as cost effectively as possible, do not forget about scalability. Look at who you want to reach, how much you have to spend, and how long you are going to be in market. With the industry moving towards more sophisticated technology like programmatic advertising and demand side platforms (DSPs), it’s easier than ever to scale spend to capture new opportunities. In fact, Magna Global, predicts programmatic will rise by 50% this year alone and is projecting an average annual growth rate of 27% over the next four years. This is huge!
Many feel premium inventory will never move over to these automated platforms; however, the market is already talking about the addition of rich, high impact ad formats like IAB “Rising Star” display and mobile units. Regardless of the varying opinions, the one constant is the ongoing desire for peak performance in the most efficient means possible. Work with your digital advertising partner to determine if these platforms make sense. They are not always the answer, but we’ve seen first-hand that when conditions are right, the results are incredible.
Some networks really need a personalized approach. Is it a social setting or an information source? Regardless of the landscape, be sure to have creative that aligns with that environment. Does the approach make sense for the channel? If a native approach is desirable, then ensure your digital advertising partner is in touch with that network/publisher. Study after study speaks to the balance of context and content—reaching the desired consumer in the right place, at the right time, with the right message. It isn’t about what’s trendy, it’s about giving the customer what they want. Will the user be satisfied or feel deceived? Regardless of the strategy, be sure to test and track continuously. This will confirm if the content and context feels authentic when it needs to be!
Ad placement and programmatic tools can help us be more efficient; however, we need to ensure we don’t lose the personal touch. Data will help us hear the customer, but with all the variables, tracking codes, and analysis we must be careful not to get lost in the minutia.
New technology helps us to be more effective, but we must be careful not become too dependent on it. Keep an eye on performance with regards to your goals and being on brand. Ensure the content provided is what the consumer is looking for and recognize programmatic’s role in helping the customer find you faster. Find balance.
When you land on a winning combination, scale up, and then launch the next test; there is always room for growth!
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