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Online Advertising: What’s the point?

“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising”

by David Hewitt in Advertising

Advertising

But just what is ‘the right kind of advertising’? The medium can of course vary from press to TV, outdoor to online but the principles remain the same; the goal of an effective advertising strategy is to reach the right audience, in the right place, at the right time.

In this regard, online advertising offers an incredibly powerful platform for brands to maximise their advertising spend. Digital advertising allows you the opportunity to target campaigns in such fine detail, that there is little or no wasted inventory. So as a digital marketer, the prospect of brands reallocating their entire marketing budget into online advertising should feel like winning the lottery.

But this isn’t the case.

Strategy

The word ‘advertising’ is often followed by the word ‘strategy’. And for good reason. By pumping your entire advertising budget into a single medium, you are essentially placing all your eggs in one basket.

My approach as a digital marketer is not to pillage my clients’ entire advertising budget but rather to champion the benefits of online advertising as part of an overall brand marketing strategy. The aim is to offer a targeted holistic approach across press & digital to maximise reach & awareness.

Make your budget work

The opening quote references ‘many a small thing has been made large…’ If we look at this in the context of digital advertising we can draw comparison to online advertising budgets. Regardless of whether you are a household-name multinational or an up & coming SME, your online strategy should be focused to make every penny count; to make your budget work as effectively as possible.

Online targeting options allow brands to pinpoint the audience they want to attract. Granular targeting leads to high performance and can transform even the smallest of budgets into effective, successful campaigns.

A case in point

A recent campaign for Diamond Furniture demonstrates this approach. Armed with a modest budget we created a campaign that was designed to maximise the engagement using a highly targeted strategy. The goal was to drive traffic through to a revamped website & educate the audience on their latest offers.

The campaign results show that we increased traffic to DiamondFurniture.ie by 164% month on month with a 162% increase in new visitors. Page-views also rose by 31% in the same period.

But as we know, the proof of the pudding is always in the eating; so just how many online conversions were there?

The answer is zero! Probably not something to shout about.

However to reference William Diamond himself, in his experience people are reluctant to purchase expensive furniture online. They need to touch and feel the product before parting with their hard-earned money.

Well, if that is the case then what was the point of directing such a high volume of traffic through to the website? What’s the point of online advertising?

The simple answer is to drive awareness & educate the target audience. The task of any effective advertising campaign is to reach the right audience, in the right place, at the right time. The Diamond Furniture campaign clearly succeeded in this regard.

With 162% new visitors to the website, Diamondfurniture.ie was exposed to a new audience, who could browse and learn about the product online before going in-store.

Therefore, the metrics that really demonstrate the effectiveness of this campaign are the in-store results.

Year-on-year, in-store footfall increased by 20% with a conversion rate of 65%. This means that for every 10 people that visited Diamond Furniture, 6.5 people made a purchase. This is an incredibly healthy return. But the most important result of all is sales, and Diamond Furniture saw a revenue increase of 32% year-on-year.

Job done?

So, did we play a vital role in helping our client achieve such excellent results?

Of course we did.

By the way, the opening quote wasn’t written by an innovative advertising pioneer or a media industry stalwart. They are the words of Mark Twain from ‘A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court’. Did he buy his furniture in Diamond Living? I can categorically confirm that he did not but if he were alive today & on Independent.ie, perhaps he would be tempted.

David Hewitt

David Hewitt

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