With more people turning to online and digital sources for their entertainment and information, marketers will be investing more in the digital space on brand-building (as opposed to direct-response) advertising in the coming year.
In 2012, 60% of marketers’ digital advertising budgets will be devoted to online branding, according to a survey conducted by ad tech company Vizu. It found that 64% of markets will increase their online brand advertising budgets, with more than a fifth saying they planned to increase them by 20%. (Comparatively, only 56% of marketers said they planned to increase their online direct-response budgets.) Similarly, 60% said they were re-allocating dollars away from direct-response and into brand initiatives.
“Brand advertising is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the digital experience,” Jeff Smith, chief marketing officer at Vizu, tells Marketing Daily.
Smith gave three reasons for the increases. First, more consumers are migrating online. Whereas 10 years ago, digital initiatives were a key way to reach younger consumers, the medium is more widely used by many age demographics. “It’s no longer this selective channel to reach younger people,” he says. “It’s an imperative to reach the target audience in total.”
Second, many marketers are being asked about their “social media strategies,” which is based in digital marketing. “Social in itself is just another tactic, but it’s taken on a life of its own,” Smith says. “Whether or not they thought about social, their organization is asking them about social.”
Finally, Smith says, the space offers better measurement than many previous brand advertising channels. This third factor, however, also comes with a downside. According to the survey, a third of marketers felt they were “drowning in data” when it came to online advertising, leading to what the company called a “metrics morass.”
The solution, according to Smith, is to be clear about a campaign’s objectives and measurement before launch. “What too often happens is the brands don’t set that objective up front and they don’t define the metric that’s going to be measuring [the campaign],” he says. “[As a result], they get agencies reporting back any data they have.”
Marketers, Smith suggests, need to set their goals and define the information they want reported back to them, and then ensure that all of their agencies (creative, media, digital, database, etc.) are on the same page and speaking the same language at the outset. “It’s really important regardless of what aspect of the campaign it is -- to get everyone on the same page, looking at the same data and using the same language,” he says.