You’re Buying Digital Ads…But, You’re Doing It Wrong

Gary Arlen recently reported in his Multichannel News blog that nearly three quarters of the IAB NewFronts buy-side attendees expect TV dollars to shift to digital and two thirds expect “TV, plus digital video” to increase in the next year.

The same report quotes Randall Rothenberg, IAB’s president and CEO, as claiming “a pivotal turning point in the minds of many media buyers, who now grasp digital video’s power and reach.”

The point has been missed. Digital—especially mobile digital—isn’t about reach.

Just because I understand a fighter jet is powerful doesn’t mean I know how to fly it. The next revelation in digital marketing isn’t going to be about power or reach. Those aspects are well understood. The next revelation will be about leveraging the technology at our disposal and harnessing its power to the finest point to reach each consumer with a message that is relevant and timely.

This isn’t to say that the advertisers are off the mark in their budget allocations—they’re not. But they’re likely not realizing how effective those additional digital dollars could be.

Digital is not best used as another television ad on your computer screen, and it’s certainly not best used as a billboard on your mobile phone. It is best used when it brings relevancy to your brand advertising.

Brand advertising can now extend to actionable shopper marketing by providing a digital network between a commercial or billboard and the in-store marketing. It’s a link that lays out a relevant path to purchase right where the consumer is, right when they’re ready.

The purpose-built shopping network provides:

  • Content: Content is simply more details about the product or service, bundled or accessorized with other products, reviewed and commented upon.
  • Location: The brand’s store, retail partners and a web site. It doesn’t mean moving the consumer to point A again—we’re not starting a search over, not going to a home page to check out other products, and not going to a generic community about brand—we’re moving them to a place that is relevant to the consumer in that moment where they can physically act upon the ad
  • Engagement: A real-time call to action—download, upload, shop, join, attend, tell a friend.
  • Accessibility: Wherever they shop, whenever they buy on whatever device they choose to use, with whatever credentials they remember to sign in with, the network needs to be there all along the path to purchase.

You know… advertising that actually emulates how people buy our products, not merely an extension of existing brand advertising. That’s how you do it right.

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