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Why Diversifying Digital Spend is Essential for Surviving Today’s Dynamic Ad Environment

There’s certainly no shortage of platform options in the digital ad space, and it seems as each new one emerges, brands immediately flock, hoping to find new audiences. But while chasing channels might generate an initial uptick, once the newness wears off, you’re back to square one, trying to once again figure out how and where to reach core audiences.

Putting all your eggs in one basket can be a risky play in advertising, and it’s been especially risky with digital spend over the last two years.

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Consider this: had you invested a sizeable amount of digital out-of-home (DOOH) spend during the spring, banking on workplaces to open, you’d be in big trouble now—as the COVID-19 Delta variant had other plans, delaying office re-openings and extending w*************. Similarly, the Great Facebook Outage of 2021 sent companies who rely on the social giant to drive business into a panicked frenzy earlier this month. Performance marketers who spend the majority of their budgets in the duopoly are constantly being thrown for loops with privacy updates around devices and cookies, and, at any given moment, are being forced to find new mediums that deliver similar results as the landscape evolves.

Because of this volatility, diversifying your digital ad strategy across display, video, mobile, DOOH, OTT, and CTV is critical to surviving the ebbs and flows of today’s ever-changing trends. But most brand marketers are ill-equipped to manage an effective diversified strategy on their own, simply because they lack the broad resources, experience, and sophisticated tools. Instead, working with a partner that specializes in diversified digital ad strategies can be a lifesaver in today’s dynamic environment. Here’s why:

Accurate measurement with direct attribution.

For over a decade, attribution had been click- and cookie-based. Then, as the mobile space evolved, mobile measurement providers started to leverage device ID data to connect app-based events to impressions, wherever they took place.

That same technological evolution is happening in new emerging media types, including out of home, streaming audio, and connected TV. What were once considered branding impressions can now become tangible and measurable KPIs like site visits, downloads, and sales. We can see that the individual who walked by our billboard with a mobile phone in their pocket later ordered our product from that same device once they got home. We can track a purchase from someone exposed to an ad on Hulu. With this direct attribution capability, we can make smarter decisions about which platform is actually moving the right needles.

PREDICTIONS-SERIES-2022More granular insights.

Having this level of direct attribution allows digital experts to see not only which platforms are working, but also which creative, publisher, or what time of day is driving results. The old way of digital media was to assume and test. Now, we can test without assumptions using real-time A/B/C/D testing. And, by working with a partner with diverse digital experience, you can glean even more insights. Based on experience, they know which publishers on each platform perform best, what length of ad spot, and the best times of the day based on actual audience behavior, rather than what brand marketers assume about their audiences. Not only can we look across platforms, but we can look within them as well. Having a partner with the ability to analyze across and within allows for brands and advertisers to maximize their ad spend for the highest return on investment.

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For example, our recent back-to-school marketing trends report revealed that 60% of back-to-school shopping experiences began and ended on separate channels. We could see where they began and where they ended to fine-tune the spend distribution across channels as we became more informed of the consumer journey. Moving money within a media type is one thing. It’s easy to see that one creative performs better when everything else is held static.

But the larger process involves real-time optimization in a more dynamic environment: out of walled garden and into CTV, or out of audio and into high-impact display, all based on performance across channels while everything within a channel remains fluid as well.

Bulk buying across more platforms for digital spend.

In-house brand marketers also sometimes struggle with budgeting for a diversified ad spend, and of course, the bulk deals are only available for bulk buys.

But with the need to diversify, it’s risky to go all-in on a bulk-buy from one platform. What if audience trends change and you need to adjust?

It’s too late; you’re spending money on ineffective ads.

But working with a digital ad partner enables much greater flexibility and the advantage of lower pricing through their bulk buying deals.

Brands can make changes on the fly across platforms and publishers to gain the diversity in digital spend that today’s dynamic market demands without the risk or the high cost.

COVID-related stay-at-home orders and the shift to w************* have completely changed the way audiences consume media, and there’s no doubt things will continue to evolve as new variants, hotspots, and policies change. For brand marketers, having the ability to diversify ad spending and adapt as things change is essential for both ad efficacy and cost savings.

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