Four steps to starting successful online display ad campaigns

February 20, 2013 by Chris Beirne

The 2013 Digital Marketer Report is almost here. In anticipation of its release, here’s an excerpt from the online display advertising section:

Here’s what marketers and advertisers need in order to lay the groundwork for success in their online advertising campaigns:

  1. Solid audience-based data is the foundation for display advertising success. Start with your CRM file and work with the right partners who can best leverage it and enhance your audience definition with robust data assets to create a highly targeted display audience.
  2. Actionable, value-based segmentation is a key campaign driver. Value-based segmentation assigns predicted economic values to customer or prospect audience targets – based upon the campaign objective – for the more cost-efficient real time display ad buying. Applying value-based segmentation to an audience according to sound consumer insights and analytics allows for more dynamic and cost-effective display media bidding.
  3. Scalability to drive campaign efficiency. You’ve defined your target audience with value-based segments. Now you need to reach that specific audience at scale to maximize campaign efficiency and get the most from your media budget.
  4. High-quality creative to drive engagement and conversion. Developing the right audience, targeting parameters and media strategy is only as good as the creative message displayed so the importance of highly relevant, targeted creative cannot be underestimated. Work with a partner who understands your target audience and campaign objectives to develop and deliver the most compelling message.

Approaching your online display campaign set up this way will ensure it is built on a solid foundation, greatly increasing the likelihood of your program’s success.

Keep in mind that data-driven, audience-based campaigns typically take a little more ramp-up time than more traditional advertising. Sometimes, if companies don’t see results right away, they might change or abandon their strategy too quickly. This new, digital path truly requires a shift in advertiser behavior and thinking. All is not lost if you don’t see results right out of the gate. The systems need time to use the data to target the best audience, hone in on the right media for that audience and bid on it accurately. All of these steps take time but are needed to drive performance.

Marketers in the trenches may get comfortable as they start to see results, but they sometimes struggle with getting their senior leadership to accept the longer time frame and keep spending on display programs. Brand advertisers tend to buy into display better than performance-based advertisers because they are used to the time required to create repeated exposure that builds awareness, consideration, favorability and intent. The key takeaway is that you need to go into these campaigns feeling comfortable about the longer timeline required to allow traction and drive the results you seek.

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