by Elena Dvoirin, Sr. Client Services Manager  |  Digital advertising thoughts from the minds at MediaNet

Whether you’re a fortune 500 company or a niche single-employee business, there is an exciting opportunity in this growing age of digital advertising to improve your operations. Now, that’s a pretty bold statement to make, so let me take a moment and examine where it’s coming from. Sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy some food for thought.

In a general sense, traditional marketing tactics were often very much one-sided, with the brand speaking at consumers without much of a feedback loop. A retailer may deploy a general branding/awareness campaign, with magazine ads over an extended period of time, along with more immediate tactics such as advertising in local papers and TV spots to drive attention to store-wide sales.  For example, a sporting goods provider may advertise during sports broadcasts or on billboards around major sporting arenas.  These traditional tactics rely on brand messaging to do the heavy-lifting.

Over time, as marketing evolved and brands realized the benefits of communicating with their client, the use of interactive marketing grew in popularity, to include activations such as sponsored events where brand ambassadors could interact with consumers and collect data to bring back. And so the conversation between the brand and consumer started.

Now in the age of digital advertising, those conversations can happen on a broader scale, with higher efficiency, allowing brands to remain competitive in a fast-paced consumer culture.  Brands of all shapes and sizes are able to tailor their messages and offerings via a highly-interactive medium, and employ diverse layers of data to customize targeting tactics to reach their intended audience.  In fact, one of the strongest advantages of digital marketing comes in the form of data.  So, how can brands use data to stay relevant?

Like any good student will tell you – do your research!  Given the amount of time consumers spend interacting with screens ― and creating data, brands can benefit from listening to their audience, and take that data to make it into something meaningful.  Over 150 million people complete online research on their mobile devices prior to purchasing a product and/or service, including 79% smartphone and 86% tablet users¹, we can all agree that the popularity of smartphones and daily internet usage is growing fast.  Given this reality, digital media provides a huge value opportunity for big and small brands by revealing [anonymous] information collected about general shopping habits, such as what users look for, and look at – from most popular search terms/topics, to path to purchase trends, down to affiliate interests based on age, gender, location, nationality, etc.

An effectively executed online campaign combines with strong strategic paths and seasoned know-how in translating data into tangible information, provides brands with a medium to reach individual consumers on a per impression basis.  The ability to find and engage the right audience, drive site traffic, analyze online activities, and ultimately make data-driven decisions for the direction of your brand is the very real and highly underutilized aspect of online advertising. The right digital plan allows brands to align themselves more effectively with their consumers, bringing both an increase in customer satisfaction and a better bottom line.  With an effective and well-rounded data-analysis strategy, brands can tailor their offerings, content, and marketing efforts to best adjust to consumer needs and wants – that is the power of the right kind of online advertising.

The use of different kinds of data in the digital sphere is only beginning to scratch the surface and there are many more exciting advancements coming down the pipe. Understanding the rich amount of information available from online advertising and translating it into a meaningful and accurate story gives the consumer a real voice and it’s now, more than ever before, in the grasp of any and all brands to listen; so let’s get analytical!