How Digital Display Can Become Your #1 Marketing Tactic

Today is the day digital display becomes the centerpiece for all your marketing efforts, including offline ventures like TV, radio and print buying.

Ask yourself a question: How much money do you spend on audience research to better understand who your audience is, whether it’s focus groups or in-market research? Now ask yourself: What if that money could be spent for real-time research while also reaching your target with actual messaging?  In other words, what if your budget could be allocated to media and research was a free byproduct?  It can be that way right now with any number of tools that are available to marketers though digital display.

In full disclosure, I work in data -- but that can’t hold me up from proclaiming what I knew for years as a media buyer.  Digital display, when done properly, is effectively a real-time research tool that enables brand marketers to gain actual information about their audience while testing messaging and either proving or disproving a hypothesis about audience  -- rather than allocating hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars to a low-return vehicle such as standard offline research tools.



Here’s how to do it. All marketers do an initial analysis of who their audience is; continue to do that.  Once you have an idea, or ideas, you establish test campaigns using display media with multiple audience-based buys and a control established as a baseline. Evaluate interaction and response rates for each of those tests, and implement a third-party audience verification or similar platform to provide you with more details about your audience than you might have originally hypothesized.

Once you have run that initial campaign, reintegrate your learning and run a secondary campaign based on a refined version of your target, plus any additional learning you gathered while in-market.  This should enable you to end up with a strong understanding of your core target audience based on real-time results from display. 

Once you have that information and can evaluate it against your original hypothesis, you should be in a position to put that customer profile into action.  If you want to make use of that information in digital, you need a cross-channel DMP to port the profile to your other execution layers. Use the information offline for your TV, print and radio buys to determine which media will represent the highest percentage of the audience you are looking to reach.  Eventually there’ll be a more direct opportunity to leverage those digital profiles in offline media, but right now the execution layer in offline is still a manual process – unlike digital, where the execution layer can indeed be automated.

Have you tried this method as of yet?  Has it worked?  Let us know on the Spin Board!





3 comments about "How Digital Display Can Become Your #1 Marketing Tactic".
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  1. John Baker from Mirum, January 23, 2013 at 10:22 a.m.

    We've done this using search but not as much in display. I think it is part because of process and part because of split media / creative budgets.

    Great approach though and it is another example of why media and creative need to work more closely together.

    One question: does banner blindness skew the results? In other words, will it always push us to big star bursts and "$1 million free!" creative?

  2. Mike Skladony from Semcasting, Inc., January 24, 2013 at 2:44 p.m.

    Very interesting. With Semcasting's IP Zone technology we literally can take the same audiences you are reaching in TV, Radio and Print...project them online at scale across any geography. Have a CRM file? We load it up, identify distinguishing characteristics about your audience, can serve them ads or find their look-a-likes in any geography. No more need to speak the "Digital language". Essentially direct mail a digital package to their modem instead of the browser.

  3. Bill Obermeier from TruEffect, January 24, 2013 at 3:07 p.m.

    Good approach, but you're missing an ingredient that makes this even more powerful. Simply use your existing customer relationship data in your own First-Party cookies. Because they aren't targeted for deletion like third-party cookies used in typical display advertising, you can deliver targeted ads web-wide for the life if your campaign that are relevant based on the customer's most recent interactions with you. You can know what sites are best suited to actual customers. You can accurately measure reach and frequency and sales and ROI. This is possible using the patented First-Party technology from TruEffect. And it takes your idea to the next level!

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