There are a lot of agencies and media companies that are selling digital marketing these days. That’s not a surprise; digital marketing is booming. This year, for the first time, it is predicted that the amount of money spent on digital advertising will surpass the total amount spent on traditional advertising in radio, television and newspapers.
While digital marketing increases, traditional advertising continues to decline. Companies and ad agencies that have historically made their money off traditional media recognize this and are jumping harder and more desperately into the digital marketing arena.
Unfortunately, these ad agencies and media companies operate digital marketing in very traditional ways – very often limiting the effectiveness of what can be game changing tools in the marketing world.
For years, the process of advertising (whether it be a print ad, billboard or a commercial) has followed the same agreed upon transaction – an ad is purchased by the client, produced by the media and then hopefully seen by the public. The effect of the transaction is subjective – it is left to the client to decide if the advertising he or she purchased was worth it or not.
Often the answer to the effectiveness question came down to whether or not the client had a good or bad month financially. In other words, it was often very difficult to determine if the marketing was successful.
Sadly, most ad agencies and media companies are still following this model. They don’t have to and they shouldn’t.
Digital marketing is still “traditional” in that a business buys space within a form of media to advertise its brand. It is revolutionary in that the effectiveness of the advertising is provable.
These days, nearly every potential customer who will purchase or work with a company first explores that company’s website. The website is almost always the first stop in a customer’s buying journey.
Because most sites have some way of recording who visits, it is easy to see if an advertising campaign increased traffic volume. In this alone, a marketer can determine if its advertising dollars are pushing the needle up.
But it doesn’t need to stop there. A proper analysis of a website’s analytics can reveal if interest in certain products is increasing. It can show if a campaign increased calls or transactions. It can reveal if certain cities are more or less interested in a product than in the previous period. It can tell if one digital campaign or another had more success increasing calls.
Make sure that your digital marketing provider is not just giving you reports that confirm they ran the display, Ad Word or Facebook campaign you ordered. Hold them accountable for the quality of traffic it brought to your website.