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Are You Spending Your Digital Advertising Dollars Wisely?

May 17, 2016 | By Jonathan Tam

  • Here are some tips for marketers to ensure they’re spending digital advertising dollars wisely
  • Understand where your buyer is and identify their most common watering holes
  • Make sure you’re not overexposed to your buyer from created different caps across computer, tablet and phone placements

Waitress, the Musical debuted back on March 25 on Broadway in NYC, and my fiancé couldn’t wait to see it (to be fair, it was the Broadway preview at that time). Being the early adopter that I am, I visited the show’s Web site and bought tickets to the show for opening night. The show came and went (I highly recommend it, by the way), and the memory will forever be in our minds. But our memories aren’t the only reason that Waitress continues to be top of mind for us. The other reason is that I see ads to “buy tickets for Waitress” following me all over the internet!

I’ve seen ads on ESPN.com (Web, mobile and in-app) on CNN.com and even in my Yahoo! fantasy baseball app. As the digital marketer that I am, I realize they’re clearly retargeting me because I’ve visited the site at some point. Being a huge proponent of digital advertising, I commend them for the use of retargeting to make sure they’re focusing on converting low-hanging fruit in the form of previous site visitors, and kudos to them for hitting my top watering holes on a daily basis. HOWEVER, I’ve already seen the show! And I saw it within the last two months, so there’s little chance I’m heading back for a second show anytime soon (especially when I’m trying to save up to see Hamilton). 

So, that led me to come up with five tips for marketers to ensure you’re spending your digital advertising dollars wisely:

  • Know your audience. Understand where your buyer is and identify their most common watering holes. Then figure out how you can get your ad (retargeting or otherwise) there. 
  • Consider the ENTIRE buyer’s journey. Ensure you’re not wasting money by serving acquisition ads to previous buyers! My example above is clearly b-to-c, but this goes for b-to-b as well. Not only will you be wasting advertising dollars, but you’ll be giving off an “I don’t know my own customers” vibe, which is a huge turnoff to your customers. 
  • Test different kinds of creative and messaging. Mix it up! Constantly repeating the same message and creative is unlikely to work long-term. Understand the number of impressions available and likely to be served, then develop an appropriate number of ad units for your audience. 
  • Watch your frequency cap. Serving ads is great, but serving ads non-stop is flat-out annoying. With the amount of real estate available today, it’s easy to be everywhere for everyone. But overexposure wears out your audience instead of increasing conversion.
  • Monitor buyer exposure across platforms/devices/networks. Today’s buyers are more connected than ever. Similar to establishing frequency caps, make sure you’re not overexposed to your buyer because you’ve created different caps across computer, tablet and phone placements (i.e., one buyer, multiple devices).

I’m sure Waitress, the Musical is also targeting based on other demographic, geographic and behavioral attributes (or they should be). I just hope they’re spending their money more wisely in their other advertising. Consider that my tip for Waitress.

I’ll be presenting on Digital Advertising and B-to-B Demand Creation in May at Summit 2016 in Nashville. Register today!

Jonathan Tam

Jonathan is an accomplished marketing executive working in SiriusDecisions’ Demand Creation Strategies service. He has deep experience implementing and optimizing marketing automation platforms, marketing process improvements, demand creation strategy and execution, inbound marketing, search engine marketing and telemarketing.

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