The 411 on Digital Display Advertising

Digital Display Advertising for Your Business

Search network advertising is something most of us can wrap our heads around – it’s what you do when you go to Google, Bing, or Yahoo and do a search for anything that comes to mind, like saying “electrician Portland” or “personal trainer near me.” Google AdWords dominates the world of online advertising, and many businesses stick with it to hopefully reach the most consumers and meet their business goals. But, over time, businesses may gradually include display advertising in their marketing strategy, often to create brand awareness and remarket to consumers they have interacted with in the past.

 

What is Display Advertising?

Display ads are integrated into the background of specific websites where they are visible to users while they play games, read the news, or shop their favorite brands. Have you ever noticed that the moment you think about making a purchase or doing an activity, you start seeing ads for it everywhere? Display ads can be rich media ads such as banner ads, video, and responsive ads. The targeting of display ads continues to improve to help businesses target their most ideal customer. It also gives many local businesses an opportunity to reach potential customers where television advertising may be outside of the current budget.

 

Is Digital Display Marketing for Me?

Display marketing allows you to build custom audiences by targeting users who have shown an interest in brands, websites, or services like yours. You can also target users based on their demographics or online patterns (like marketing to visitors who have already been to your website). Display marketing works to create brand awareness by simply being in the background on sites targeting relevant users.

Retargeting previous customers or shoppers who never completed an online purchase is something you can do with display advertising. Website visitors who are exposed to your ads through the display network tend to spend more time on your site and are more likely to return. Here are some statistics about the importance of retargeting consumers, specifically using display advertising:

  • 86% of shoppers engage in ROBO (Research Online, Buy Offline)
  • 72% of users online are likely to leave their shopping carts before checking out
  • Only 8% of those users will return to complete their purchase
  • With retargeting campaigns, 26% of users will return to complete their purchases (or take the next step in the sales cycle, such as calling a mainline to set up an appointment)

Each business and business type have different needs and marketing goals that must be considered when choosing an appropriate digital marketing strategy. How do you think digital advertising could help your business?

How Much Money Should I Spend on My Advertising?

Is There a Magic Formula?

We’ve now entered the world of Marketing Budgeting, 2.0 as so many things have changed in the past few years. The internet and social media have changed the landscaping of media, but the basics remain the same. Having a budget for your marketing makes sticking to the marketing plan a bit easier.

If you Google “How Much Money Do I Spend On My Advertising,” maybe this blog will come up number one, but there are many articles on this topic. This also depends on what type of business you have. The marketing of a restaurant is very different than the marketing of a manufacturing plant. If you have outside sales people responsible for generating sales, your marketing budget may be a little less. The goal of any marketing plan is to maintain and/or grow the business.

Ways a business grows –

  • New Customers
  • Existing customers spend more money on visit
  • Existing customers come in more often
  • Existing customers tell their friends who become customers (referral)
  • Add product or service line to help with all the above

Do a Google search for this topic and you will find businesses will budget between 3-10% of their sales on marketing. A pretty big variance. That’s the challenge – what is the right advertising budget for your business. We work with many local businesses and we look to gain agreement on what the marketing budget is to start out with. If your growth is more aggressive, it may be towards the higher end of the spectrum. If your growth is steady growth, we look for middle ground here, using 5-6% as our target budget in the planning process. Marketing is to help you grow your business so the investment into marketing is an important one. This is very different than the planning of your media buying or the evaluating of your media choices. If you feel the advertising is not working, then think about what needs to be changed up to make it work better. It wouldn’t make sense to stop advertising just because you haven’t found the “magic” formula…..yet.

As your company grows, your marketing budget dollars will grow, even though the marketing percentage will remain the same. The number may seem high, but so are your total sales. As one of our clients was looking hard at their P & L to see how they were doing, they asked everyone to really watch their numbers – except marketing – this went untouched – as they had learned the lessons of keeping consistent with the marketing budget means consistency with future sales and growth.

One last message here – if you are too busy and getting too many calls/customers where you can’t take on any business for the next month – shift the marketing dollars. Either change up your marketing mix to improve your brand or use the dollars later in the year. Marketing can be for many things, including customer appreciation activities and/or customer gifts or promotional items. Keep steady on the marketing budget, plan the work and work the plan, and you will start to feel better about the investment you are making for the long-term success of your company.

Who is Your Ideal Customer?

The Right Message to the Right Customer

“How Do I Focus on Getting The Best Customers?”

As a business owner, this thought has most likely crossed your mind a time or two, regardless of how well things are going. One of the quickest ways for a business to waste money is not identifying who their target customer is when planning a marketing strategy. It would be imprudent to market a child’s toy to college students, just as it would not make sense to advertise a new cologne during Saturday morning cartoon shows.

Message in a bottle on a beach against the setting sun
Getting the Right Message to the Right Customer

In order to have a successful marketing venture it is imperative to know who your target customers are. Some key principles to help in identifying your best marketing group are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Demographics/Ethnicity
  • Status, including educational status, financial status, and family status.

Now, some people will certainly fit into many different groups, and each of these groups will use media differently. This also means that their responses will be different to the various messages in the advertisement.

“But isn’t this discrimination?”

No, it’s not. Let me explain by using an example of the Tesla automobile. If you were marketing the Tesla today, who would your target audience be, and what could change that? The original Tesla was priced over $100,000, which left you with a limited target audience. It also had a strong appeal to the younger executives, as opposed to an older audience. Therefore, you would be wise to choose to target media that focuses on this demographic. That said, this is all about to change! Tesla is releasing the new Model 3 this year, and with it is a price tag of $35,000, which will massively widen its base of potential customers. The car will be much more affordable, opening it to more of the middle-income buyers. Add to that the appeal of an electric range of 225 miles, and you’ve got another target market in the environmentally conscientious.

Just a little bit of market research can take you a long way in making sure that you target the right audience, which is critical. Having a great advertising campaign going to the wrong audience is illogical, and wasteful of time and money. By learning who your target customer is, you’ll be able to use it to your advantage and work better with your creative team to come up with great campaigns. Creative campaigns with the right message for the right customer in the right media, creating a win-win in your marketing, and increasing your sales.

Social Media Is Your Business

Is Your Business “Socially” Acceptable?

Man working on notebook, with a fresh cup of coffee.

We hear much about Social Media these days, and for many business owners, social media means different things.  The term is used vaguely and can be used to described any website, or app (an application downloaded to a mobile device), where people can connect with other people, brands, or businesses.

If we break the term up, we would define “social” as an interaction between people, much like a conversation. “Media” would be defined as a source of communication, like TV, newspapers, or in today’s more thought of usage, the internet. Social Media is a way to have a conversation or an interaction with your business through the internet. Whether we personally like or dislike social media, how can your business benefit in using social media?

It is estimated the average person has five social media accounts and spends over an hour visiting these throughout the day – yes – every day. For teens, it is even higher! It has become a way to stay connected in real time with friends and family, as well as getting the daily news, including sports, weather, and general information – and connect with local businesses.

Can My Business Really Benefit From Social Media?

Business Team um Computer im BroEvery business type is different and whether your customers want to stay connected and hear more about your business probably depends on your business and what you have to say. Or are you wanting to stay better connected with your customers? As an example, Olive Garden has over six million fans and a post from this past week yielded over 12,000 likes and 784 shares (the average person on Facebook has 338 friends. With 784 shares, that may mean almost a quarter million people who may not be connected to (liked) the Olive Garden, such as this picture/post.

Developing a social media plan as a part of your marketing plan makes sense. These are already your customers, and they may want to hear from your business. Deciding which social media sites will work for your business may be the tricky part – as they all may not be right for your business. Social media takes time and the right strategy may pay off big time.

Today’s top social media sites include Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. As well as a couple others, which may not seem like social media websites, but they certainly can be, for example, YouTube and Reddit. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of all of these, as history tells us these will change over time. You might remember Myspace, Friendster, or Classmates? They may be around still, but they are nothing like how they used to be. It was only eight years ago Facebook became the Internet’s largest social network (overtaking Myspace in January 2009).

What social media will look like in another eight years is unknown, but based on history, it isn’t going anywhere soon. Having a social media plan for your business may help your company stay connected to its customers for a long, long, time. Social media may be thought of as free media, but it does take time to do it, and a plan to do it well.

Be the Ball (Setting Realistic Objectives)

Measuring Marketing

Sure, it’s a great idea. The artwork is great, the media chosen is perfect, the sales person who signed us up was a great person and said it worked for everyone else they work with. Sound familiar? And then you wonder after a few months if this was good money spent. This is not an uncommon thought, no matter the size of the business.

Where to start

Agreed, all those things are perfect BUT results need to be measured. Should we do more? Should we do less? Should we keep it the same? The starting line begins with defining the objective as clearly as possible. What do you expect to happen three months after the advertising begins? Are you looking for direct sales or improved brand awareness? Increased repeat business or increased spend?

Close up hourglass on wooden background,vintage color tone

Direct marketing is easy to measure, like a Google ad (PPC) or a phone book ad. Use a tracking phone line to help easily identify the results of these types of campaigns. When at all possible, use a tracking line where the calls are recorded and you own the phone number. If you stop a campaign you may still need access to that tracking number for a while afterwards. For example in a phone book which may be lying around potential customers homes for sometime.

Magazines are a bit tougher. Do you expect direct calls, a bit of branding or both? Direct Mail can be the same, people seeing your message over and over may remember you when it is time for your product or service and not reference the media they have seen you in.

Unless you are a multi-million dollar company with a huge marketing budget, you probably won’t be able to afford a marketing study to see your brand’s awareness in the marketplace. You might not even have enough marketing to improve brand awareness. So the question is “How do you measure?”

Answer sheet

We always look at where the media is being advertised, as well as a target testing area where results can be measured. If you use direct mail in a specific city or zip code and other marketing in that zip code, you can see the results from this area compared to other areas you service. If the targeted city has 10% of your customer base and it grows to 15% after your ad campaign you’ve succeeded, well maybe. There are other factors which can influence the results that may be determined before, or upon review of the campaign.

This sounds like it could be a bit complicated. However, if you start with clear objectives, have some measurements in place, and take time to review the results, possibly even half way in to the campaign, you will be ahead of the game. It may not always give you the answer you want but it will be better than nothing at all.

Last note, when a campaign doesn’t seem to be working it may not be the media. There are many factors to consider and you should not discount the media on its own accord. It could be the message or offer, the time of year, or some event which effected the results. If you ran a campaign and there was a road closing you didn’t know about, a national/world event which changed people’s buying habits, or possibly a competitor jumping in to the same media/campaign outspending you, then your results could be better or worse for it.

Marketing & Advertising

Is There a Difference?

The real answer is yes. There is a difference between marketing and advertising even though these two terms get intertwined in their use. For many, they are used interchangeably without any problem in context to the conversation.

Our tag line: “Better Marketing for Better Business” is a part of our mission statement, and then we further identify ourselves as an advertising agency. This is because we do both – marketing as well as advertising. On a high level, marketing is the overall process – the strategy for growth for the coming year(s), identifying the target customer, as well as market research. Advertising is about the campaigns and decisions about which media to purchase (media planning), as well as the purchasing of the media, and the creative, which includes the words and graphics to be used.

Below you will find a definition of both, if this interests you. Keep in mind, people may use these marketing and advertising synonymously.

Bright idea for business growth
Marketing & Advertising – What’s the Difference?

Marketing is……

Marketing is the big umbrella, which everything else falls under. It is the overall process and involves first identifying the objectives of the business, and then planning the strategy to meet those objectives. Marketing then will establish metrics, when possible, on how to measure the results to see if the actual plan is accomplishing what it is intended to do. Is it driving the desired/anticipated results? Specific functions in the marketing arena may include market research, content marketing (what is the message), and then working to purchase the media – which may be done in house or through an advertising agency.

Advertising is…..

To put it simply, advertising is to get the end user (consumers) to purchase the product or service. To get them to buy something, or buy something more often. It facilitates the brand awareness, and depending on the company, will either purchase the advertising within the company or utilize an advertising agency to make the purchases on their behalf. Media planning, media buying, and artwork creation may fall under the responsibilities, as well as finding ways to creatively get the message out to consumers. This could be television, radio, newspaper, or the internet.

Promotional Materials – How Can They Work for Your Business?

This piece of advertising is often overlooked by businesses today and the benefits are not thought of as much as in years past. It isn’t the effectiveness, as much as it may be just not budgeting for it or for promotional material being more of an afterthought.

Promotional Material is a great way for a business to promote itself for the following reasons:

  • A nice way to say thank you to an existing client
  • A great way to show appreciation to some of your better/best clients
  • Keeps your name in front of your existing clients after they purchased from you
  • Helps drive name/brand recognition
  • Sticks around for a long time

Today’s studies show businesses who use promotional material grow their business more than those who do not. This may be the chicken or the egg question, but certainly something to consider.

Promotional Materials have seen price decreases with the increase of a more global economy. There is fierce competition driving the prices of promotional items down, which has brought prices down for the local promotional companies, who are basically middlemen for these larger, sometimes international companies.

Corporate identity template set. Vector

Be Creative and Have Fun

Promotional Items can be effective with some of the basic things people think about when they think of promotional advertising. Things like pens, magnets, stickers and note-pads.

How about car air fresheners or chip clips, or toys with your brand on it? A little more creative possibly and less likely a chance of getting lost in the shuffle.

Find a way to make your give-away sticky. Make it something someone would use or have around for a while, keeping your name in front of them.

Who can’t afford to give a loyal customer something with your business name on it that costs less than a dollar? That dollar will, or should, give you a solid return on your investment and promote good will for your customers.