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5 New Year’s Resolutions For Display Advertising In 2015
Trying to figure out what your New Year's resolutions should be for this year? If you're in display advertising, columnist Susan Esparza has some suggestions for you!
2015 is racing toward us all, and it’s worth taking a few minutes to think about how you’re going to improve your display efforts when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
Inspired by common personal resolutions, here are five ways to make 2015 your best year ever.
Get In Shape
Is your display advertising slacking and weak? Do you want to make your campaigns lean, mean and green(back)-friendly?
Then it’s time to get an ad server, friends. Ad servers manage inventory, target demographics and provide reports on how well your campaigns are performing.
All ad servers are not created equal and finding the right one means being honest about what your display efforts require. Some people need Curves, some need Cross-fit. It’s up to you to determine which is right.
2015 will be the year of audience data (i.e., demographic and behavioral data based upon your browsing activities) reigning supreme and no one will give you that information the way an ad server can. To quote Tim Mayer: “Audience data is generated when an ad server delivers ads to users.”
Getting your hands on that data is invaluable. Having exclusive control of that data with a first party ad server is even better.
If you already have an ad server, are you using it or just paying for it? This is like having a gym membership without ever going to the gym. You’ll never see results unless you dig in and learn to use the equipment.
In either case, the fact is that 2015 is an excellent time to start whipping your display efforts into shape. Like with any exercise program, the most important part is getting started. Momentum will help carry you through.
Once you have an ad server, it’s time to tackle those areas that are slacking in your budget. It happens to us all. As we develop campaigns, as new technologies are introduced, as there is likely still room for improvement, we do just enough to get by and move on.
With all the new information coming at you all the time, it can be hard to keep up and as time goes on and campaigns age, and just like extra weight, things can sneak up on you. This is where filling the funnel smartly (and not falling into the retargeting trap) comes into play.
Maximize the efficiency of your budgets using segmentation to precisely target exactly the right ad to the perfect audience. Mine into that great first party data and turn it into actionable insights.
Understanding your audience data will help to refine your campaigns in a different light than the traditional way of evaluating publisher by publisher. The insights you find in the top down view may surprise you.
Quit Your Bad Habit
What’s your worst display habit? Do you set it and forget it? Are you guilty of letting your campaigns hit creative burnout? Do you take a one-size-fits-all approach to your ads?
At the office, we have a goal to never miss an opportunity to impress. This philosophy leads to what some may call an obsessive level of monitoring the campaigns we’re running. Daily, even hourly, the team checks on a campaign to see how it’s running.
The net-net, it’s important to stay on top of your campaigns. Develop a schedule for your reviews, whether that’s day by day (“Mondays, I check on campaign performance. Tuesdays, I make adjustments.”) or time based (“After 7 days, I will check campaign performance.”) Commit to at least three time periods and put reminders in your calendar:
- Check in the first 24 hours in case something was set up wrong.
- Check weekly for performance issues and chances for improvement.
- Check monthly to see when the performance begins to flag.
Travel To New Places
Travel is a common resolution because it’s about stretching your horizons and discovering new things. Turning it around to display, this means getting out of your comfort zone: looking into new demographics, find new outlets, consider new angles. Taking risks that may or may not pay off.
“But wait!” you say. You know who your customers are. You know what they want. You’ve got that down to a science!
Great! Now what about the people that you don’t know are potential customers. What about the things that they want that you aren’t serving them?
Since you’ve lost that extra weight, you should have room in your budget to take a crazy chance. Take a trip to a new place—new audiences, new networks, new creative that push your brand farther. You don’t have to live there but just taking the trip will teach you knew things about your company. Even if that lesson is just “there’s no place like home.”
Spend More Time With Family
How many departments and teams at your organization are in charge of advertising? Is there a search team, a display team, a social media team? Do they ever speak to the web team, the PR team, the email team? Would they recognize the offline media team if they met them on the street?
Your marketing teams are your family. It’s time to host a reunion and commit to checking in. Integrate your marketing efforts holistically across all your digital and offline channels. Far from competing with each other, each media outlet can be used to support the rest but only if you communicate and coordinate.
2015 can be your best year yet if you commit to it. If these five are too much to take it on at once, stretch them out. January is for hitting the ad server gym. February is about shedding the weight. March tackles your bad habits. April expands your horizons and May brings everything you’ve learned together to share with the rest of your marketing efforts.
Happy New Year.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.