Tags: Digital Media

By: Ed Dunn

You think you can’t afford it.

There’s still a misconception that digital media campaigns are necessarily giant undertakings, requiring large media budgets and many hours of creative development. The reality is that lots of places can run campaigns with very low media budgets, and initial creative can be produced quickly and efficiently. This development in the industry allows small businesses, non profits, and community organizations to dip their toes in the digital media waters with limited test campaigns or special events pushes.


You think you can’t measure it.

“How do I know that my campaign is really bringing customers into my store?” This is a common question we hear when discussing digital media campaigns with clients who run a brick and mortar retail business, for example. The impression that our industry dumps ads onto the internet and hopes for real-world success is hard to shake. The reality is that with today’s technology we can track every action a person makes throughout the purchasing lifecycle. From first seeing/hearing an ad, to a subsequent visit to the website, to a final arrival in-store for a purchase, modern operations can view (and optimize) each interaction to prove that digital media campaigns are driving real-world success.

Bad media targeting.

Too many digital media campaigns waste impressions and dollars by just pumping out ads with little or no thought to how relevant the people receiving them are to the business. Showing ads to someone who’s not the target of your product or service is obviously never going to work, but what is often overlooked is the necessity of reaching a relevant person in the right moment. Knowing what your audience is thinking and what they need to hear at that moment to move them down the conversion path is just as important as knowing who they are. Without smart thinking about who you want to reach and when you want to reach them, digital media campaigns are doomed to fail.

Creative that isn’t relevant to the target audience.

Showing people ads that don’t relate to who they are or what they are feeling at that moment is a great way to have a campaign fail. You wouldn’t try to sell hiking boots at the beach, would you? The key is to bring in all the data available on audience demographics, life-stage, and mindset, to specifically tailor the creative you are showing someone to who they are and what they are thinking/feeling at that moment.

Showing people the same creative across all their devices.

Two problems here:

  1. If you are showing people the same ad on every device they are almost certainly getting burnt out and possibly developing a negative association with your brand.
  2. Showing the same ad across all of a person’s devices means that your strategy is not taking into account the moment someone is in when they are on a particular device.

Today’s technology is able to target people rather than just devices. An effective digital media strategy will target people with creative that conveys a specific message tailored to them at that particular moment.

Asking people to take the wrong action.

A common mistake made in digital media campaigns is asking people to take an action that they aren’t ready to take. When selling a life insurance policy it probably isn’t a good idea to ask every person to sign up right away. A more effective strategy would include segmenting the audiences into different groups and asking them to take different actions based on their current mindset. One group might need to be asked to read an article on the importance of life insurance for parents. Another group could be asked to schedule a phone call with an agent. By tailoring your ask to your target audience and their mindset, you set your campaigns up for success.

Non-converting landing page.

You can run the best ad creative to the most relevant people but if you send people to a dud of a landing page then your campaign is going to fail. Looking at your campaign’s analytics can tell you if the landing page is the problem. Diving deeper into the analytics can tell you if your message is not matching the user’s mindset, the call to action is off, you’re delivering a poor user experience, or any number of other problems. From there it’s just a matter of fixing the issue!

BONUS: Wrong expectations.

Any effective marketing campaign begins with the proper setting of goals and KPIs, digital media included. A mattress retailer promoting a holiday sale will have different goals than a community non-profit circulating a petition. When your right-set your expectations, you plan for success.