Surprising Ways To Ruin Digital Advertising Strategy

This is not another advice column on how to better optimize keywords or A/B testing your ads for better results. Many businesses — perhaps new to digital media — are frequently surprised at the ancillary benefits and little known hazards of digital media and fail to incorporate them into their campaign, planning, budget and success metrics.

Many of these tactics go unrecognized and lead to under-performing campaigns or misunderstood results.

Understand that Your Digital Strategy Will Crossover to Other Media

Digital media has huge upside for your traditional media advertising channels. Many make the common mistake of seeing digital as a category of its own, and ROI is measured against its own historical benchmarks and goals.

Many may be surprised to know that digital results should not exist in a silo; rather they are distributed across your traditional media advertising results, as well. Have you ever seen a great TV commercial then searched online for the product to find a local store?



Digital elevates consumer’s response to your traditional media efforts by allowing this interactive connection, where consumers can find the brand online to learn more. According to a 2015 BrandScience and Microsoft study, a digital media campaign working in concert with traditional media campaigns provides the following lift in consumer response: TV (+70), Print (+16%), Outdoor (+51%), Radio (+4) and a whopping (+71%) for motion picture entertainment. 

Clearly define campaign goals and fund accordingly

The analytics available in digital media are way beyond anything else in advertising. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with metrics and obsess on data that doesn’t meet your expectations. This can be misleading and sink an otherwise strong campaign. Sit down with your agency and identify a few key goals and target metrics. Understand that your budget will back these goals and a good agency will pull the levers necessary to achieve them.

In a clearly articulated campaign, this is a beautiful thing. The optimization that will occur to meet your goals may cannibalize your unspoken expectations, leaving you secretly disappointed, despite hitting your key targets.


In some cases, this may cause a campaign to negatively fluctuate it’s strategy and attempt to be all things to all metrics – leaving your budget spread too thin to be effective.


Brand advocacy is the X factor

Many marketers make the mistake of launching a new product or brand utilizing search, not realizing that significant brand development must be done before consumers will know to search for your product on Google. This misconception can ruin a perfectly good (and expensive) pay-per-click campaign.


After all, they can’t search for something that they do not know exists. For this reason, advertisers should begin with appropriate brand building in mind, as consumers will respond better to brands they know and love. Use digital display advertising to build brand awareness in new markets and recognize that this seeding process will help consumers connect your brand with their own wants and needs.


Run ads above the fold

A 2014 Google report stated that as much as 56% of digital ads may not be viewable to consumers, meaning the ads often appear below-the-fold where consumers rarely scroll. This was a self-incriminating report, as Google is as much to blame as anyone. However, they are now promoting DoubleClick tools that detail the viewability of an ad and categorize the impression as viewed or not. A non-viewable ad is commonly paid for by advertisers; they typically load into the Web page and can be viewed, even if they are not.


If you’re using a trading desk for media buys, tools are available to force your ads to only appear above the fold where they are more likely to be seen by consumers. The ad space will be more expensive, but worth it.


Set video views to a minimum of 30 seconds

For video impressions, away from the standard CPM pricing model, which is typically associated with a large amount of waste, shift to a cost-per-action or cost-per-view pricing model. When advertisers use these strategies, they are only charged when a user watches at least 30 seconds of a video. Some video technology is now pausing the video when less than 50% of the player is in view, in cases where the user has scrolled away from the video to content above or below the player. This is an excellent safeguard against paying for low-quality views.


5 comments about "Surprising Ways To Ruin Digital Advertising Strategy".
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  1. James Smith from J. R. Smith Group, May 19, 2015 at 1:08 p.m.

    Lori, congrats, some good logic and practical info. Controlling waste and adding lift is critical. Jim

  2. David Adelman from OCD Media, May 20, 2015 at 10:29 a.m.

    Lori, great perspective. Thanks for writing this.

  3. Lori Goldberg from Silverlight Digital, May 20, 2015 at 12:44 p.m.

    Thanks James. Thanks David. Hopefully some good takaways for you both.

  4. Mike Lynn from SPM Marketing & Communications, May 26, 2015 at 12:39 p.m.

    Great article but perhaps you could have phrased one of your insights as a "vice versa" , ie,  consider that traditional media also elevates consumer response to your digital media efforts?

  5. Lori Goldberg from Silverlight Digital, May 27, 2015 at 11:45 a.m.

    Very true, Mike!

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