Digital media has taken advertising by storm. With built-in metrics, scalable cost structures and programmatic targeting that can locate left-handed, red-headed cat lovers in central Idaho, digital has a powerful appeal. Add in PPC campaigns that can attribute a conversion rate difference to how long the prospect spent on the bio of your CEO, paid social that only delivers ads to people who abandoned their cart on your website, and you have a powerful mix. We love digital. We’ve been advocating it since most publishers gave away banner ads on their website with a paid print campaign. But it’s not always all that and a bag of chips.
It’s a commonly held marketing truth that it takes 7-10 marketing touches to spark an action. Perhaps that’s changing with the digitalization of everything. But, even if it’s now five touches, you’ve still got to connect more than once.
Think about how you consume information. Is it all through Facebook? Geez, we hope not. The reality is that most folks spend time absorbing through multiple channels. Sometimes they’re actively seeking information (for example a Google search), and other times they’re passive (for example while traveling through airports). Sure, we absolutely want to catch them when they’re actively seeking solutions via PPC. But even better, how about reaching them when they’re passively absorbing information? Like the CEO waiting for a flight. We ran a campaign targeting the oil and gas industry for a technology company. The goal was to help C-level decision-makers realize that they could save money through digital design of major systems. Our campaign combined advertising in Houston’s airports with billboards on nearby freeways, digital banners on industry websites and paid search. The result? A threefold increase in leads to attend a free lunch and learn.
One combination we really like are billboards and paid search. When a billboard catches your eye, do you remember the URL? Nope. But I bet you Google search the topic or the company name. Perfect time to complement your billboard buy with PPC.
Get Them While Their Defenses Are Down
Ad avoidance is real. It probably all started with TiVo and skipping ads. Well, perhaps it goes back even further — heading to the kitchen to grab a snack during the commercials. But now we have ad-blocking software on the web, premium streaming audio channels without ads and even ad-free search engines like DuckDuckGo. There’s a simple truth: A lot of people will go a long way to avoid your ad.
Enter Out of Home (OOH) advertising. Whether it’s a billboard you drive by every day while taking your kids to school, a digital display at an airport waiting gate or — one of our personal favorites — the urinal ad, you CAN get past this filter. Catch people unaware and they will absorb your message. OOH is one of the few advertising modes unaffected by advances in technology.
We Know Where You Live
Do you know physically where your prospects will be? Maybe you’re running an account-based B2B marketing program targeting specific organizations? Or you have an offer that’s exclusively for a specific town. The reality is that if you know where people will be, you can reach them. Several years ago, we ran a highly successful campaign targeting a specific group of decision-makers at GM. We started with a few billboards around two key facilities. Then we purchased print and digital with a leading automotive vertical. All targeting perhaps a dozen people. But this limited number were critical to a multi-million-dollar purchase.
Perhaps you’ve got jobs to fill? Seems like a lot of folks have this challenge just lately. For one of our clients, we combined a programmatic digital display ad campaign with billboards on freeways and key surface streets within a 20-minute drive of the plant. The result? Applications are up significantly. Could digital alone have done that? Not likely.
Attribution Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be
Years back a client told us they were shifting “100% of their spend” to paid search. Because it was the only marketing that they had attribution numbers for. Digital brought us unprecedented performance metrics. We could literally measure dollars in to clicks out, and now even to pipeline contribution. But have you ever heard of the Last Click Phenomenon?
The Last Click Phenomenon is where a lead is attributed to the activity that generated it. This is a common occurrence with paid search. Let’s say the prospect saw your billboard twice and a display banner ad three times, and then clicked on a paid search result. Your PPC program gets the credit, but did it REALLY deliver the goods? Nope.
Cool Story, Bro
Next time you’re completely ready to go all-in on a digital-only strategy, ask yourself if you should be considering a traditional channel in the mix (and we are BIG believers in having a mix). With many advertisers leaving these traditional channels, there are more opportunities than there used to be. And, if you can’t figure out where a traditional channel hits the sweet spot, ask us. We can.
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