His insights about the state of online advertising were inspiring, yet at the end I found myself frustrated. It’s exciting to see that the online advertising marketplace has grown tremendously and that there remains much more room for innovation; yet I am frustrated by the fact that in the online world we are own worst enemy. We have gotten so good at using terms like “clicks” and “impressions” that we have found a way to alienate those that are looking for marketing efforts that are not direct response driven.
Song shared the sobering facts that currently online marketing has a 30% share of a $68 Billion market for direct response, and only a 5% share of the $118 Billion Brand advertising spend.
To quote Song, “It’s not so good.” I agree – 5% of a $118 Billion Dollar budget? That is ‘not so good’ – especially when the online marketplace does have solutions that do drive brand awareness and PR. We just haven’t been very good at utilizing them.
First step I suggest to get us moving in the right direction is to recognize some of the existing tools that already exist and can be used for brand advertising.
For example, retargeting is one of the most valuable marketing tools for the Direct Marketer, but did you know that it can also serve as a tool for the company looking to build it’s brand and market awareness? Here are some examples we’ve seen some companies employ that are looking to build their brand in either a B2B or B2C capacity through retargeting:
– Site extension: When you really think about what retargeting is and how it works, it can be viewed as an extension of your website. The display ads you show via retargeting are like your site, but in miniature form. This allows you to keep in communication with individuals who have visited you in the past. What do you currently communicate via your site? How can retargeting enhance and strengthen this message? No better way to stay top of mind and create brand awareness.
– PR in a Banner: Who has visited your site in the past? It is more than just clients. It could be reporters, industry related companies, board members, and yes, even competitors. Use retargeted ads as a way to get your latest press release back in front of them.. If you have something you want to crow about, who better to do it to then all the people who have visited your site before? It doesn’t get more targeted than that. It’s an inexpensive and highly effective PR release vehicle.
– A recruiting tool: I’m always on the lookout for good talent for my company, and I’m sure your HR dept is too. Most likely you have a careers page or maybe a job board on your Web site. Use retargeting to show those who have visited career information on your site details about new job openings or the perks to working for you.
– Culture extension: An important part of your company is your culture, which is exhibited in your various communication tools. What better way to highlight a latest blog release? Blogs are an excellent way to allow people into your company and your culture. But if people aren’t aware of a new release (and they’re not regularly coming back to your site to check them out) you can use retargeting to get your culture out there.
– Give us a call: Using click to call tools in a display ad are an excellent way to create a conversation. Allow your clients to type their phone number into the ad and receive an inbound call or initiate a chat session when they click ‘submit’. Sometimes all it takes is a friendly reminder that you are still there and that you’re ready and willing to help them with anything they need.
– Giant Killer: You have a great product, a great site, and even a great staff – the only thing you have that isn’t ‘great’ is the size of your marketing budget. It doesn’t matter how big your company is. You can be a fortune 500 company and still have a budget that’s a fraction of your largest competitor. How can a company stay competitive, and stay within budget? Retargeting is one of the best ways to appear a big fish in an impossibly big pond. Retargeting is one of the cheapest ways to make your small budget seem huge – your ads will seem to everywhere that your customers go! Something your competitors may not be able to do.
Retargeting is just one example of how we can leverage existing technologies to increase our share in Brand Advertising spend. I’m sure there are others – what other suggestions do you have?