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Are Advertisers Looking in the Wrong Direction for Customers?
Are Advertisers Looking in the Wrong Direction for Customers?

Are Advertisers Looking in the Wrong Direction for Customers?

Cleveland, Ohio
June 23, 2017 07:31am | Updated: December 23, 2017 07:35am
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he massive increase in digital marketing news coverage in the mainstream media indicates digital marketing continues to painfully mature. The Wall Street Journal dedicated an entire section in their print edition this week titled “The Web’s Perilous Paths For Brands”.

Suzanne Vranica’s headline in this Special Report section of the Journal was especially poignant. “Advertisers are increasingly wary of objectionable content and fraudulent traffic, as they seek their goal: the attention of audiences who will buy their products”

Everyone knows their Next New Customer is spending more and more time online so digital advertising continues to explode lead by programmatic ad buying. The digital duopoly of Facebook and Google collect an incredible amount of metadata including browsing preferences, shopping habits and demographics that they let advertisers use to “target” their Next New Customer on their far-flung ad networks. Programmatic ad buying is promoted to be more cost effective than purchasing individual ads on well-know sites.

Digital Advertising Metrics are Improving but . . .
Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends reported just last month that advertisers say they like the improvements in measuring digital ad results, unfortunately “they don’t always like the data collected”. Ad fraud, click bots and malvertising ("malicious advertising") can all greatly diminish the results of digital advertising.

Fraudulent Ad Traffic is Just the Beginning
Ad fraud can take many forms. One example is stacking 40 ads on top of each other so the visitor only sees the top ad. But when they click the ad 40 clicks are reported when only one ad click was made. Click bots travel the web virtually unmolested costing advertisers millions. 

Your Ads on Undesirable Sites Can Actually Damage Your Brand
Even worse if your ad is displayed on an undesirable site, think pornographic, fake news or sites supporting terrorism. Suzanne includes several high-profile examples of digital ad fails in her article. She also points out many companies using programmatic ad buying have pulled their advertising or are taking other approaches. Some are paying third-party ad verification companies some are finding other methods as described below.

Advertisers Trying Hard to Attract Attention Can Cross the Line and Damage Their Brand
Businesses and advertisers are trying so hard to attract the attention of their audience in the rapidly increasing noise of the digital age we live in can sometimes cross the line. Immediate social media backlash from ads designed to attract attention have forced brands like Pepsi, Budweiser and Audi AG in recent months to pull digital content off the web.

Build Channels You Own and Control
One solution is to grow your own audience on channels you own and control. It is not as hard or as expensive as it sounds. The internet is a vast collection of many different type sites and experiences – both audio, visual images as well as the printed word.  It offers immense opportunities to reach stratospheric audience counts.  But it also comes with risks from sites containing undesirable content and from ads shown and clicked on by bots instead of your customer.  Your advertising dollars can be better invested on your own site(s) building a following with your own audience (customers). 

When you have a site you own, you control the content – and the content can be delivered directly to those who opt in. Additionally, a site refreshed routinely with good content can be found for those searching for the product, service, or solutions you offer.  This alternative, called content marketing, can not only grow but also help protect your brand. Isn’t your brand worth protecting?

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Your next new customer has changed the way they buy . . . Have you changed the way you sell?