Without a doubt, the emergence of the Internet has had tremendous impact on the way we live, the way we work and virtually every aspect of our lives. As mobile phones become more ubiquitous and the price of access to the internet continues to fall, more and more brands and small businesses are leveraging on the opportunities presented by Digital to reach their customers and potential customers.
While many brands have come to embrace digital advertising as the future of marketing and advertising, there are still a number of common misconceptions that surround the subject of digital and online advertising; this post aims to address some of them.
Digital Marketing is cheap, hence I can apportion any budget
Seeing as the decision to go digital or not ultimately comes down to cost for most businesses, we would start with addressing misconceptions around the cost of digital marketing.
It is true that the unit cost of digital marketing is cheaper, compared to offline advertising – TV, Radio Billboards – and this is the reason many businesses give for treating digital media as an afterthought while still dedicating the chunk of marketing budgets to offline channels.
To come up with an effective budget for digital marketing, it’s important to focus on the strategic objectives for going digital; the strategic objectives coupled with an understanding of the advantages of digital advertising over offline advertising would aid the decision to come up with an effective budget.
I can’t see my Ads, what is the proof that it is running?
This is probably the most common misconception that people have about digital marketing. Many people think of digital marketing the same way offline billboards are viewed, you want to go to certain websites and view your own banners to be sure that your ads are running.
It is important to clarify that digital marketing is based on an auction system which means that at every point in time there are many advertisers competing for the same available ad spaces.
On many channels, the number of available ad spaces and users run into millions hence, it is very possible to run a very successful campaign without coming across the ad yourself especially if you do not fall within the target audience.
I already have Facebook & Twitter Accounts So…
While social media channels are a big part of digital media advertising, it is much bigger than just having profile pages on these social media pages. As a business, there’s a need to have an overall digital media strategy guiding the activities that would take place on not just social media but other online channels that can be used to reach your customers.
Apart from having a digital marketing strategy, you also need to have an analytics strategy in order to be able to identify what is working and what is not. Without an analytics strategy- what to measure and how to measure – any digital marketing activities carried out is doomed for failure. This brings me to my final point;
If people are not buying immediately, then it’s not working…
In coming up with an analytics strategy it’s important to identify and separate your major goals and minor goals (technically called Micro & Macro- Conversions). While a user may not necessarily purchase the first time they visit your website, users dropping their email address or spending a certain amount of time should count as small wins that can provide insights into how the campaigns and conversion funnels can be optimized.
Finally, without a doubt, digital advertising holds immense potential for businesses who are willing to get on the digital train and invest time and resources in crafting SMART digital media strategy. With digital advertising, this popular quote by John Wanamaker, one of the fathers of modern advertising – “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” – no longer holds true. Now you can know what half isn’t working and you can optimise accordingly.
Bode Olatoye is a Managing Partner, Business Development at WebCoupers, a Lagos-based digital marketing agency.
Photo Credit: Andrey Popov | Dreamstime.com