How Digital Marketing is Changing Paid Media

  • Categories:

    Paid Media

  • Date:

    May 24, 2017

How Digital Marketing is Changing Paid Media

Paid Media

This year, USA Today reported that consumers spent 900 billion hours using apps in 2016. And recently, we published a digital perspective of apps’ effect on the marketing landscape. But how are apps and digital marketing changing paid media? Here are five things to consider.

1.    The mobile user experience is more crucial than ever.

Today, people go online via a mobile phone more often than a desktop or laptop computer. In fact, the average American uses a smartphone for more than eight hours a day. Collectively, we’re spending more time using technology than sleeping. And as the mobile world commands more of consumers’ attention, it also commands more of marketers’ attention.

As technology has improved, humans’ need for instant gratification has grown. We can browse catalogs, purchase products and post reviews, all in seconds and all from the palm of our hand. Technology has spoiled us such that now, if marketers provide a user experience that’s anything less than seamless and quick, they run the risk of losing a customer. 

Facebook Canvas is one example of a new experience that has tons of potential for marketers and is only available on mobile devices. Positioned as an immersive mobile experience, Canvas helps companies tell stories and showcase products in a beautiful way, all within Facebook.

But apps have always served as a launch pad for mobile user experiences. For example, when users click through to articles from within the Facebook app, they’re still consuming that content within the app, whether the click drives them to the original source of the content or another website.

Done well, mobile marketing can be less disruptive than other media. For example, native advertising targets people who are already in a reading mindset with content that will likely interest them. Targeting capabilities are making it easier to get the right content in front of the right people, at the right time.

2.    Programmatic media offers real-time market research and optimization.  

Programmatic is automated buying of media through software that taps into a broad range of targeting campaign parameters, from location and interests to device. It’s a quantitative, qualitative form of paid media designed to serve relevant ads to the right person, at the right time. It’s designed to offer one-to-one marketing at its most effective and efficient. Programmatic allows marketers to buy media in a nimble way, guided by intelligent data.

No longer limited to remnant inventory, programmatic includes display and video but also social, radio, television and other media. And when brands buy programmatic today, they have access to inventory above the scroll as well as high-impact ad inventory that includes dynamic and interactive units. Furthermore, marketers can programmatically purchase roadblocks and other premium inventory such as site skins and overlays through premium ad exchanges.

Programmatic strengthens targeting, provides valuable data and paints a more complete picture. Because it monitors results so closely, programmatic can also help make creative more responsive and relevant to each consumer. For example, algorithms can determine that a particular user is interested in outdoor products by the type of content they consume – and serve up relevant messaging. Furthermore, programmatic media allows brands to deliver that messaging when their prospects are thinking about it. Contextual targeting serves the brand and the consumer by identifying communication that’s more likely to get the consumer to act.

Programmatic is a natural way to optimize all other media. The immediate insights it provides regarding audience interests help set the stage and give us insight into how we can tweak the creative across an entire campaign.

At the end of the day, programmatic can be a great way to gather insights, build awareness and drive action. But like anything else, programmatic is better as one piece of a balanced media mix.

3.    Publisher direct buys help build brands.

Publisher direct buys represent the high-impact component of any digital media mix. The best performing programs typically require a brand to establish a sponsorship or partnership with a publisher. Digital components can be great extensions of a print or broadcast campaign, particularly for consumer publications like Real Simple and Southern Living and networks like HGTV. These digital ads create a second touch point that makes it easy for the user to click through to more relevant brand content.

Our team is incorporating more mobile components in publisher direct buys for our clients in the home and building sectors. Designers create mobile-friendly artwork, and marketers integrate components specific to digital. One example is mobile interstitial ads, full-screen ads that cover the host app in a seamless, natural way.

Most of our clients in the home category want to build their brand. Publisher direct marketing helps brands make a big splash and latch onto other brands their audience already trusts. Incorporating a digital component can also support the overall media buy; if you’re already buying print, adding a second layer can lower your ad rates across the board.

 4.    Digital media delivers measurable results.

Digital media gives marketers one thing they crave: immediate, measurable feedback. In a world where resources are limited and marketers have to answer tough questions about marketing strategies, digital media is a surefire way to build a knowledge base about the kinds of creative and messaging that move your prospects to action, e.g., reading an article, signing up for an e-blast or purchasing a product. Traditional media, while crucial, can take longer to produce measurable results. 

If you can diversify the budget for your media buy, digital media can be a great way to develop insights about your audience, even if you believe traditional media is already working for your brand. But digital is also a great way to get into the fold; the price of entry is relatively low, and measurable results can help justify additional marketing dollars. 

 5.    We still need bricks and mortar.

If the internet were going to drive physical stores to extinction, it would have already succeeded. Even the most popular apps aren’t exactly taking the world by storm. Digital marketing is held back by its own limitations; no matter how many bells and whistles brands incorporate into the online user experience, customers ultimately have to touch and feel some products before they will purchase them. Most shoppers want to sit on the sofa or lie on the bed or hold the power tool in their hands.

But an interior designer still wants to curate ideas while walking through a customer’s home. A construction manager still wants to access technical information from the field. And no matter how different the world looks 50 years from now, the marketer’s role will still be to connect audiences with stories and experiences and serve up the right content, in the right place, at the right time, to the right people when they’re thinking about that topic. The brands that succeed will be those that let their audience and its needs guide them, rather than any single communication trend. 

You might also be interested in: 

Are Apps the New Main Course?

Is Digital Advertising the New 800-Pound Gorilla?

How to Write Effective Paid Search Ads

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