Did digital kill traditional media?
It’s a marketer’s dream. The creative goes live and is served to a qualified candidate, who we’ve identified through targeting. The candidate engages with the ad and clicks through to a job application on the company’s website. The application is completed and submitted to the applicant tracking system. Eventually, the candidate is hired, and we’ve tracked every step of the journey.
This isn’t the ‘post and pray’ marketing of the past. With traditional methods, such as print and radio, we can use inductive logic to determine where our audience might be, but we can’t prove that we’re only speaking to the highly relevant people that we’d most like to reach. Digital advertising allows us to target the right users, in the right place, at the right time, using data driven technology – and, most importantly, allows us to measure the impact of our campaign through detailed metrics.
But just how targeted can we get? Social media advertising allows us to speak to a specific age, gender and location. We can also reach people with specific interests or job titles. With programmatic advertising, we can do this and more – through prospecting and retargeting we can engage with users who have not yet visited a company’s website, or those who have visited a company’s website but haven’t taken a desired action. Based on real-time performance, we can easily reallocate and optimize the budget as needed. We can also target users based on their search habits through Google search and display advertising.
Digital advertising makes a strong case for a greater return on investment – upon the completion of a campaign, we have access to metrics indicating its performance. We can break down how many people saw the ad, who engaged with it and, in the most successful instances, follow it through to the point of hire. Then, based on the success of the initial campaign, we can utilize the data to build out additional campaigns and hire even more qualified candidates.
Technology has made this dream campaign possible, but simply choosing digital over traditional media won’t guarantee you success. Research, strategy and brand awareness all play a role in ensuring the effectiveness of a campaign. And, believe it or not, traditional media ties in to this, too.
Hitting the mark
When a client comes to us with a specific goal and budget, our first step is to determine how we can build a solution that is creative, biddable and trackable. With the client’s objectives in mind, we’ll review historical data collectively to determine the best possible investment based on what channels have performed the best and what format has performed the best.
We also need to be strategic in terms of how and when we serve content depending on the audience we most want to reach. For example, in the UK many teenagers have a pay-as-you-go phone plan. As a result, they don’t want to use up their data during the day and will wait until they can access WIFI at home prior to streaming videos. If we wanted to target teenagers, this would play into our channel strategy.
A holistic approach
There’s no doubt we’re living in a digital world, but traditional media still has its place. There are many platforms available and brands should strive for incremental reach. Think of the person texting on their phone, with a tablet in their lap and the TV on in the background. With so many different channels fighting for our attention, it’s imperative to always be present. So, we shouldn’t abandon traditional media, but we do need to consider how it fits into the digital space.
No matter how strong your creative is or how intriguing your copy may be, you’re not likely to find success if your brand evokes negative emotion among your audience, or, even worse, no emotion at all. This is where media comes into play. Here, we can tell the story of who you are and what makes you different and special. Think about it – you’d probably prefer to hold a conversation with a friend or acquaintance as opposed to a stranger. This same concept applies to brands.
Because traditional media does not allow us to specifically target users, we need to consider that we’ll be speaking to a broader audience. But this is a good thing, if you play your cards right. Now we’re reaching people who might not even know they wanted to work for your business until you suggested it. That’s why we recommend creative content that drives brand awareness to compliment a more specific digital message. For instance, if your business need is to increase home lending applications, you might run a brand awareness campaign for your bank to compliment the digital campaign, which targets people searching specifically for houses or home loans. This way, when your audience is served a digital ad they are already familiar with and connected to your business and, thus, more trusting and likely to click.
Digital advertising has allowed marketers to target audiences more effectively and with a greater return on investment. With digital, the creative can be highly personalized vs. the generic creative messages demanded by the limitations of traditional media. However, for strategic brands, the rise of digital has not killed traditional media – instead, it has caused us to shift our thinking to achieve a greater impact.