3 tips to help avoid digital advertising failure

avoid digital advertising failure


Companies spend a lot of money each year on digital advertising to help generate sales or brand awareness. The IAB annual report for 2015 put the spending figure at $59.6 billion, a 20.4% increase over 2014. This amount will most certainly increase as cord-cutting increases and print readership continues to decrease. However, spending waste was also a serious problem in 2015.  Proxima found that approximately 60% of global digital advertising spending was wasted. With so much being devoted to the digital channel, it’s in the best interest of advertisers to ensure their money is well spent.   To help companies avoid wasting money specifically with digital ad networks, IQadnet has put together a list of tips to avoid digital advertising failure.

1) Ask about publisher minimum spend limits

Every company worries about their advertising ROI.  In some cases, jobs can depend on achieving an acceptable ROI. As a result, organizations are always looking to achieve the greatest reach at the lowest cost.  When using ad networks this is certainly important, but a fact that should always be considered when seeking the lowest cost is that not all impressions are created equal.

There is no shortage of competition in the ad network space.  In turn, advertisers have a lot of negotiating power when it comes to pricing, and they know this.  However, ad networks can only push prices down so far before they begin to hit a wall.  In some cases, these walls are minimum spend limits set by higher quality publishers.  These publishers will not allow campaigns on their site without receiving a minimum set amount.

As advertisers continue to request the same reach for lower prices, ad networks are left with one of two options. Ad networks can advise a client that they are not able to reach the audience they want at the stated budget. This may cause an advertiser to seek another network or pay the higher price.  The second option arises out of fear of losing a client. Ad networks may agree to deliver the requested reach, but deliver impressions that don’t produce the same results as the higher quality publishers.  Under this circumstance, advertisers will find that their ROI goes down. With many ad networks largely lacking transparency, asking the right questions can help avoid this issue.

Prior to committing to a network, inquire about which publishers your ads will be posted on.  Ask the networks if these sites have minimum spends, and if so how much.  In some cases, an advertiser may have to increase their advertising budget, but a campaign is more likely to achieve the desirable ROI if it is reaching the right audience.

2) Don’t repurpose old creative

Would you purchase a product from a brand because you saw a commercial that was simply a print ad posted on the television for 30 secs? Probably not. Yet when it comes to digital we see brands attempt to repurpose creative all the time. Creating ads is not cheap, but neither is purchasing advertising space on the web.  Reusing old creative may seem like a wise decision from a financial viewpoint, but many times it can lead to an underperforming campaign. This means all the money spent on securing the advertising space was wasted.

Advertisers should produce creative that takes advantage of the medium it’s being served on.  While this may increase the creative cost, it is far more likely to deliver results for a brand.  To gain further insight on this topic, refer to a recent article by Ad Age covering this topic.

3) Don’t neglect Frequency

Since the introduction of digital advertising, one of the greatest benefits advertisers have received is precision measurement. This could also be seen as one of digital advertising’s biggest flaws. While measurement allows advertisers to spend ad budgets more efficiently, it also introduces greater pressure to perform. Ad networks and buyers should operate with reasonable accountability, but when too much fear is introduced into the equation mistakes are made.

Ad frequency or the number of times an ad appears to a consumer is an important factor. With any ad campaign, there exists a threshold that must be crossed before a consumer takes notice or takes action. A 2010 Comscore study found this to be especially true with digital display ads.  As more impressions were served to individuals, the number of people that clicked on the ad or google search the product increased. Of course, there is a point of diminishing returns.  The best way to discover this point is to experiment with a single site.

Additionally, advertisers should think long term.  Frequency is critical, but other networks have found that viewing an ad too often in a short period of time can negatively impact a brand.  Ads should appear enough times for a consumer to take notice, but not so much that it overstays its welcome.  The best way to achieve the desired frequency without wearing out a campaign’s welcome is to spread impressions out over a longer period of time.  This allows a brand to stay top of mind while consumers slowly move further down the marketing funnel.



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