9. Digital Media
There is lots of research about the share of consumer time taken up by digital channels today, but it’s safe to say it’s over half and growing. For years digital has been seeping into every nook and cranny of our lives and with it digital advertising, but the shift of advertising money has been lagging behind the growth in digital usage. In a few years, however, most of the pundits project that digital ad spend will catch up and it will finish gobbling up most other media.
There are lots of kinds of digital ads, from banner ads and pop-up ads to video ads and native ads, which are ads masquerading as content. Every website or social network that runs ads is part of a network or sells direct. Some mobile apps also take advertising within their applications, as do games. Mobile is gathering steam as we all spend more time on our smart phones and tablets, and dollars start to flow in that direction. At the same time location specific advertising using a variety of technologies like Beacons, which transmit small amounts of data via Bluetooth up to 50 meters, will increasingly connect with people at retail. Other digital advertising techniques you may be familiar with, like Re-targeting, which serves ads to people who have already visited your website for example, come later in the journey and are part of the cultivation process. Geo-targeting, Contextual and Behavioral ads, however, are relevant at this point because all three are valuable ways to expose your brand in the early stages.
People don’t want advertising that interrupts what they are doing, they want brands that help them do it better. That’s where geo-targeting and mobile can become so effective. Geo-targeting is where you can identify the user’s city, zip code, time zone and more, using the IP address of their web connection and in turn deliver smarter ads. Combined with mobile they can potentially deliver value when people want it most. It’s still early, but brands like Quiznos are already using it for things like coupons. Local search already allows you to advertise to just the zip codes around your stores, mobile will be able soon to deliver ads as you’re driving by.
The idea is that if an ad is related to the context the viewer finds themselves in, it will be more relevant and thus compelling. Contextual targeting can work for branding and direct response campaigns by ensuring personal relevance. This only works, however, if the ad itself fits the context. That puts pressure of the brand to have more creative variations, but this is the general trend across channels. Native ads are advertising styled as editorial. While it creates potential credibility problems for the integrity of the publisher, consumers don’t seem to care too much. Digital ad networks also have the ability to automatically present ads to viewers, which match the content preferences they have revealed with their previous choices. So if I’m on Yahoo and look at content about smart phones, I then get ads related to smart phones. Although most contextual advertising in digital channels is automated, it can also be the result of smart human intervention, as with the brilliant Twitter ad that Oreo ran in the Super Bowl when the lights went out: “You can still dunk in the dark.”
In B2B broadcast is not efficient and print has been superseded by social media.
For most brands especially in B2B, digital channels have become central to their efforts and advertising on digital channels is probably taking the majority of their media dollars. This makes sense with B2B where broadcast is not efficient and print has been superseded by digital trade press and social media. In B2C, while traditional media still can play an important role, budget pressures often push brands to a predominantly digital media strategy. As digital videos have become more popular for presenting brand stories, rivaling TV spots, this shift has continued.