13 Jul Taking Digital Advertising To The Next Level

LONDON - JULY 10:  In this photo illustration a lap top is logged onto the social networking site Facebook on July 10, 2007 in London, England. Facebook has been rapidly catching up on MySpace as the premier social networking website and as of July 2007 was the secondmost visited such site on the World Wide Web. Started by 22 year old Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg, the website is responsible for 1% of all internet traffic and is the sixth most visited site in the USA.  (Photo Illustration by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Nielsen data collected over the last year suggests that large companies have cut their budgets for print advertising and have slowly increased their budgets for digital. While most of us already know and understand this, there is still a lot to talk about in regards to why and how. Was it because the recession forced companies to pinch pennies or was it because companies were starting to understand the effectiveness of digital marketing? The answer is actually a combination of the two.

I will forever believe that the digital and social media marketing wave hit sooner because of the recession. Unlike most, I don’t think it was a direct result of the recession. To me, the emergence of digital marketing has been on our horizon for a long time. I am not claiming to be the first one to spot it but in hindsight I can see why the recession sparked it.

On a surface level, digital advertising and marketing is cheaper than traditional print. Unfortunately, most companies made the move to digital for this reason alone and didn’t really understand what it was going to take to make these strategies work. Digital advertising and marketing is a powerful means to reach consumers. I don’t think anyone is arguing that. The problem is that most companies still haven’t taken their digital strategies to the next level. They understand that it’s cheaper so they like it. One of the big advantages of digital are the targeting and tracking capabilities it presents. To me, this is absolutely crucial in developing a digital strategy that is based on any type of web traffic.

You would be surprised at how many companies are overlooking this. I am talking about going beyond analytic reports. How can you really tell if your digital efforts are working? If you don’t set goals and pick a means of measurement then how can you ever know if you are doing anything right?

We are at the point now where being on Twitter isn’t good enough and having a bunch of fans on Facebook doesn’t tell you anything. How are these applications generating leads, making sales, and building your brand? As digital advertising budgets continue to grow, we better start understanding how those growing budgets are getting results.

Sibet B Freides