Peer to peer: Research essential to digital marketing

How do I bring my advertising strategy into the digital age?

Kim Pickett - Principal and creative director, KIMBO Design

Since the digital advertising landscape is so fragmented compared with the traditional media environment, strategy has become increasingly important.

Coordinating your advertising efforts across a variety of channels is a powerful tool for your business, but without the proper guidance, you can blow your budget by throwing money around haphazardly, without understanding how your target audience behaves online.

There are several considerations that must be monitored in order to harness the power of digital marketing.

These days, media consumption habits vary more than ever before. While this means that target audiences are more specific and segmented, if you cannot accurately locate your desired segment, your advertising budget will be wasted on indifferent eyes. This is why researching your target audience is important.

Another more subtle consideration is whether your marketing works in its new online context. Online branding and design favours simple, sleek, uncluttered visuals, so when beginning a digital marketing campaign, it is important to conduct an internal brand audit, to see if your branding will work online.

Chris Severs - Partner, vice-president of strategy, NichePlus Digital, Inc.

If you take a rather small step back, advertising strategy really has not changed a great deal – the goal is still to find the right audiences at scale, and deliver on some measure of return on investment or return on advertising spending. What has – and is – changing are the methods by which we engage media. Phone books became Google, print newspapers became socially and contextually relevant digital content, billboards became mobile apps and TV and radio are quickly becoming streamed services – all allowing the consumer the power of deciding when and how they wish to engage media.

Therefore, understanding the larger picture of how these new technologies and capabilities fit into a consumer’s media journey is paramount to success. Starting with the essentials of sound strategic planning, however, is key. For example, with consumers cutting or shaving their cable TV cords between 20-25% across Canada, traditional TV budgets should shift accordingly to more audience-focused strategies such as video targeting or connected-TV streaming.

Companies can benefit by  blending advanced means of message delivery with data intelligence and a little old-fashioned marketing sensibility to bring advertising strategy into the digital age.

Ilya Goldman - President, Internet Exposure

The everlasting debate of traditional versus electronic marketing and advertising continues. Should organizations go totally digital? Is there a still a place for print and broadcast media or is it excessively outdated? Let’s explore.

Utilizing online networking and promotions, a company can interface more easily with its customers and build deeper relationships by identifying and responding to inquiries in real time.

Using online advertising to reach a target audience delivers value that can be measured in numbers as opposed to traditional ad buys that are nearly impossible to track.

Being able to focus your promotional budget on the exact people you want seeing your advertisement, while also having the ability to measure the results, provides better control of ad spending and a higher return on investment.

If a more mature demographic is your target market, it is best to concentrate the majority of your budget on traditional media. But don’t ignore digital entirely as that will cost you in the long run.

For the most part, online marketing is the winner in this digital age. It is the route forward and displays a fantastic rate of return and the possibility to foster long-lasting relationships with an audience