Category Archives: Digital

Transparency in Digital Advertising – Where Art Thou?

In the last week or so, there were two news items that caught my eye, both related to digital advertising.

1. Facebook overestimated video metrics for two years, report says

Big ad buyers and marketers are upset with Facebook Inc. after learning the tech giant vastly overestimated average viewing time for video ads on its platform for two years, according to people familiar with the situation.

If you had allocated media spends to video ads on Facebook, chances are that you overestimated the impact those ads had and may have even put in more money on that basis.

2. Dentsu Apologizes After Overcharging Companies for Internet Ads

Advertising giant Dentsu Inc. on Friday said it overcharged at least 111 companies for internet ads. The company said it was still investigating the scale of the improper billing but has so far uncovered 633 cases of potential overcharging valued at a total of ¥230 million ($2.3 million). In some cases, promised ads never appeared online, it said.

One of the benefits of digital advertising is the ability to accurately track your return on investment (ROI) compared to offline channels which may not be that accurate. However, the optimisation process can be quite frustrating when the metrics you are looking at are inaccurate to start with.  Transparency in media spends is essential to understand what is working and what’s not and will allow advertisers to evaluate their campaigns better.

The recent cases may not be a bolt from the blue for the industry experts but hopefully, this will stir the transparency debate in a meaningful way and lead to more accountability.

This article also appeared here

8 Tips for Success in Online Marketing

I recently had the pleasure of presenting to a bunch of enthusiastic students of Internet marketing. I reflected on my experience and came up with 8 tips for success in online marketing

1. Know what you want to achieve

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.  Unless you know what you want to achieve, you will not know how to achieve it.  Set your goals for internet marketing.

2. Understand your customers

This is true for internet marketing as much as it is true for traditional marketing.  You must understand who your customers are, what they need, how they behave and where do they spend their time online (and offline).  Once you understand your customers and their behaviour, you can devise a plan to target them more effectively.

3. Select appropriate media mix.

It is important to use the right combination of online and offline media to reach your target audience.  An integrated marketing campaign is far more effective than a campaign which relies on one medium only. If you are a small business, you may not have the luxury of spending on offline media like Television but it is still worthwhile to consider all online options you have.

4. Optimize the conversion funnel

The conversion funnel starts from the time a visitor sees your banner till the time they perform a desired action on your site for example, a registration or a payment (although some marketers star the process from a visit).  For the same marketing spend, if you can optimize and improve your conversion by 10%, you have 10% more registrations or orders without having to pay 10% more.  Optimize your creatives, optimize the home page / landing pages, revisit the registration pages, look at your visitor behaviour using an analytics software like Google Analytics.  Keep testing (do A/B or multivariate testing) and keep improving.  This is a continuous process but one which is sure to get you results

5. Unpaid Traffic is always good

Any traffic that you don’t have to pay for is always good. Invest time and effort in keyword research, optimizing your site and developing effective inbound links.  Look at what your competitors are doing and do it better than them.

6.  Monitor and Analyze data

Look at your key metrics on a regular basis to see if you are on track with your goals.  Analyse trends and improve continuously.  Take corrective action as necessary.

7. Experiment

Do not be afraid to experiment.  Keep trying new things.  If you fail, learn from them and move on.  If you are successful, incorporate the learnings

8. Adapt

Things change everyday in the online world.  Understand how the online space is changing and adapt quickly.