“Display media is not performing. Let’s reallocate to paid search.” Sound familiar?
In recent years, display media has been taking the back seat, not just to paid search but to other emerging platforms. While display continues to have the largest share, it is evident that it is losing its luster: By 2016, eMarketer predicts its share of the digital mix to be down by 15 percent.
Identifying the proper display media mix can be challenging, especially given the growing number of targeting options. But applying the correct display media tactics, paired with the right attribution model, will drive both brand awareness and conversion.
Not every tactic works for all campaigns. It helps to understand the key targeting tactics:
Demo targeting/Geotargeting The oldest form of targeting, it allows marketers to reach users based on demographic and/or geographic data, such as gender, age or zip code. If you’re a brand looking for people 65-plus in 30 states, this is for you.
Contextual/Category targeting This puts your ad near users based on their interests, alongside relevant content. Providing relevant messages to consumers improves engagement and increases response. All products/services can take advantage of category targeting: The objective is to find the relevant environment and offer a compelling reason for the consumer to interact with your message.
Retargeting (or remarketing) This aims an ad at users who previously have shown interest in marketers’ products/services, and because of its proven ability to boost roi, is perhaps the most talked-about. To meet the rising demand, more dedicated retargeting publishers are debuting all the time, including companies such as Fetchback and Criteo. It’s powerful: Imagine a consumer on a marketer’s site, checking out a red dress. She doesn’t buy it, but as she surfs, banners ads featuring the same dress follow her.
Search retargeting works much the same way, recruiting new customers based on the searches they’ve done on search engines. Companies such as Magnetic specialize in search retargeting and deliver display banners based on relevant keywords.
The beauty of digital media, I’ve learned, is that marketers can combine sight, sound and motion with interactivity. Custom video banners allow marketers to develop content where consumers can engage with the marketer’s messaging. I see more and more auto, consumer electronics and entertainment brands turning to custom video units, where they can tell stories, educate and entertain.
The rapidly increasing penetration of mobile is giving marketers even more opportunities to stand out with display. (Not surprisingly, eMarketer estimates mobile display ad spending is expected to grow by 85 percent this year.) Currently, response rates on mobile display banners are higher, as the environment is clean in comparison to Web sites. Fast-food brands, for example, are partnering with mobile ad networks to run display ads within location apps with discount coupons.
But effective display spending isn’t all about targeting; choosing the best attribution model is also crucial to finding the right balance. The last click conversion, or llc, can’t be the main contributor, but too often it becomes the default metric. The consumer journey to conversion is complex; consumers go through multiple touch points before buying. For example, if they are considering a new digital camera they search, compare and read reviews often extensively prior to purchase. They’re exposed to marketers’ advertising before making their decision. Without leveraging the proper attribution, marketers risk under-valuing various display media tactics that are in fact delivering positive roi. It is important to measure how these multiple touch points factor in to the ultimate conversion. It’s critical, we’ve found, to partner with either an internal analytics team or work with companies like Adometry or Visualiq, in order to provide really effective budget distribution.
Display media is here to stay, and marketers need to be smarter about how they allocate their digital media investment. Consumers no longer take a linear path to purchase, and it’s time to stop pretending they do. Smart targeting and the correct attribution model are critical.
As a digital media director, Chung oversees G2’s digital media operation and provides strategic guidance for all digital media initiatives, including display, video, search, mobile, social and emerging media.