Online Marketing & Digital Marketing

10 things we learned from online advertising

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By David Tomas, on 24 January 2018

Online advertisers are lifelong learners. We’re on a continuous learning curve and a constant cycle of testing, learning, and implementing. Adapting to change and extending our comfort zone is what ensures a competitive advantage in providing the best value for customers and the best user experiences.

At the current pace of change it’s easy to get caught in the blur. Consolidated learning happens when we take a step back, take on a fresh perspective, and reflect on our acquired experiences, assumptions, and knowledge. Here are our takeaways from our experiences in online advertising.

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Reflect: 10 learning points from online advertising

  • Agencies are still more alive than ever. The world of digital advertising today is characterized by its complexity. Rapid evolution of tools, formats and strategies require constant attention. Professional analysis and testing of new tools is important for knowledge acquisition and adaptation. Trying to do it all "in-house" is uneconomic and impractical. This emphasizes the importance of a data-driven, innovative, and reliable agency.
  • ... but the reign of the big agencies could be coming to an end. Large advertising firms are facing increasing difficulties. For example, WPP stock fell over 2017 and has had to adjust their predictions on several occasions. Consulting firms and small and agile agencies are greatly benefiting from this change.
  • The technology has much to say in ad management. Specifically, artificial intelligence is changing the way we understand online advertising. Sophisticated tools are improving to handle automatable and repetitive tasks (eg, analysing which versions of an advertisement is most profitable and distribute the budget accordingly) and marketers have more time and resources to devote to strategy and creativity.
  • Data scientists and programmers- professions that are booming in the world of advertising. As marketing automation becomes a reality, there’s a need for professionals to create the appropriate algorithms and correctly analyse the vast amount of data generated by consumer activity.
  • Monetizing content remains complicated. A large number of users employ ad blockers to get rid of intrusive ads, and response marketers should never force users to consume content they’re trying to reject. On the other hand, online media is in search of content monetization strategies. In this situation, native advertising remains a promising option, but we must always place emphasis on quality and value for the user.
  • The way to measure branding is changing. Branding remains as important as ever, but the good news is that we’ve got tools to know what’s up. Thanks to solutions like Google Attribution, it’s possible to see the impact of our actions along the funnel and calculate more effectively the ROI of branding campaigns.
  • Programmatic buying triumphs. Programmatic buying trend began small scale in online advertising. According to experts its reach has extended far beyond, as it’s likely that in the coming years algorithms will be applying programmatic buying in large traditional media such as television, radio and traditional advertising.
  • Google and Facebook dominate the market for online advertising. Although Amazon is a rising competitor, especially in regards to purchases online, the figures show that today Google and Facebook are the absolute kings of online advertising. Both offer very comprehensive advertising solutions: whatever marketing requirements your business has, they're likely to have something to offer.
  • The key to success is in data. In digital advertising today there are no secrets: there are no magic keywords or secret networks to discover. The tools to success are out there- transparent and visible. What’s missing is the execution. And for that, you need to process data, analysing them in a way to draw the best conclusions possible. The quality of data obtained directly influences the quality of decisions made.
  • Lists work. A recipe for success in content marketing is to make attractive and easy-read publications. That’s why lists just like this one continue to work.

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David Tomas