Digital media is growing at a breakneck pace with online ad spend increasing by 32.4% globally in Q1-3 2013 compared to the same period in 2012 (Quarterly Global AdView Pulse Report: Nielsen Q3 2013).
What’s Driving this Growth?
Without a doubt transparency in reporting the commercial impact of advertising campaigns has been a key factor.
We’re all familiar with the famed John Wanamaker Quote “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” The difference between what we know now versus what we knew then is transparency. We now know which half is wasted.
Optimising Digital Media Spend
Waste is a harsh word for any digital marketer, PPC or SEO manager. Spend should only be considered wasted if it didn’t provide any value. It’s key to note here that value isn’t always sales.
Data is valuable. By following best practice in PPC, SEO or Display (including social media display) digital marketers and strategists can unearth opportunities and truths about a campaign which can then fuel optimal use of spend to deliver commercial returns. This is especially evident in the case of search marketing (PPC & SEO). In many instances, search channels can act as the primary sales arms of a company as they provide a direct conduit to consumer purchase intent.
However, not all search activity delivers on that all important commercial metric, ie. Return on Advertsing Spend (ROAS). Managing non-converting ad spend is central to account or campaign optimisation. This can be summarised as follows:
- Build the campaign to meet the brief and follow best practice.
- Track and act to see what’s working and what’s not.
- Push harder to scale what works; pull back on what’s less effective.
- Analyse areas that don’t deliver a direct commercial return.
- Use this data to re-shape the campaign or wider business strategy to drive sales in the areas where scale and profitability can be achieved
Digital marketing is in hyper-growth as truth and direct commercial returns trump the costly and airy-fairy measured world of traditional media.
By adding transparency to the world of advertising in the online space, marketers can account for the revenue or commercial impact of their promotional activity across many channels.
Optimised ad spend means there is an additional level of direct commerciality within the mix of media choices; with many digital channels acting as the primary sales arms of those companies.
If managed to strict KPIs and to the latest best practice, digital advertising can deliver a profitable ROAS and provide the scale in revenue returns that is simply not achievable for the same profit levels through traditional media; we couldn’t measure it anyway. This is why we are seeing a mass-shift to digital ad spend globally.