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Don’t ‘Write the Book’ on Digital Advertising

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It’s no secret the advertising landscape has seen some drastic changes of late. Digital is here and it’s here to stay. The digital advertising medium is being incorporated more strategically within traditional media plans, and advertisers are beginning to see that it plays well with others. What’s not so apparent to advertisers is the return on their investment in the digital space.

You can read countless articles from self-proclaimed experts on how to buy your digital ads. They’ll tell you what platform is best, what bidding strategy to use and what’s worked best for them. While you can take bits of genius from many of them, most of the so-called experts’ articles are already outdated.

Working in digital marketing, I’ve come to equate the digital climate with the shared opinion of the actual Kentucky climate—if you don’t like the weather now, just wait 15 minutes. It’s true. Many people who work in digital media will talk about the industry right now and refer to it as, “The Wild, Wild, West.” A lot of rules are being made up as we go. The Feds are doing their best to keep up, but you really have to hold digital vendors and publishers accountable.

Good advertising agencies are doing their homework when shopping the digital space. But as an advertiser, you have to ask publishers questions like the following:

So what if you can give me a million impressions?

What sites are they on?

Are they on areas of the page people even look?

How many impressions are unique?

How many of my clicks came from people like my kid who just mashes everything on the screen of my smartphone?

Good digital vendors and publishers will have answers to these questions and numbers to back them up. But you have to ask. It’s easy to get caught up in clicks, impressions, click-through rates, conversions, costs-per-click, etc. While rules and regulations are still evolving, so is the interpretation of performance metrics (you DO get performance metrics, right?).

Buying digital media is just part of my daily job, the largest part of my day is spent analyzing a seemingly endless combination of numbers for dozens of clients across all types of industries. I then use that data to build reports and make informed decisions on future media buys.

While I believe I’m very good at what I do, it’s not because I’ve found a formula that works every time. With the climate changing every 15 minutes, you literally can’t write the book on digital. The best strategy is to have an evolving strategy. Do some research and ask questions. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s okay, because at Current360, “We do that.”

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