It’s no secret that year over year, media budgets are being shifted online.  A recent study predicted that online ad spend in the GCC is expected to grow by 20% in 2017 which is largely due to the ever-increasing internet penetration in the region.  With the masses online and planning and tracking technology available, it won’t be long until online advertising surpasses traditional media, like TV and magazines, in the near future.
Unfortunately, “going digital” is easier said than done.  Throughout my career, I’ve come across several strategic and tactical mistakes that could potentially cost brands millions; in this article I will cover 4 of them:

  1. Not setting clear objectives
    I can’t emphasize this point enough; knowing and understanding your campaign’s goals is crucial for success; vague goals will result in mismanaged budgets and potentially overspending making it nearly impossible to get a ROI.Objective setting is the foundation of a successful campaign. Once the objectives are clear, it will help you segment your target audience, decide which advertising platforms or websites to use, how to allocate the budget, and metrics to measure success.  For instance, if your objective is to increase mobile application downloads, then CPI (Cost per Installation) should be the metric used to defining success, but clicks, CPM, and CTR should also be taken into consideration in order to better understand the ad funnel.If you’re looking to build brand awareness, then you need to measure the success by traffic to your website, search volume, social engagement, earned reach etc.
  2. Advertising on the wrong platform/website.

    When reading my favorite sports news websites, I’m quite saddened to see ads for products like baby shampoo.  Not leveraging or understanding a website’s core audience will almost always result in weak ad performance.Using the wrong websites and platforms is a bigger issue than one would imagine.Not only does it mean the digital marketer doesn’t understand the online ecosystem, it means they do not understand their target audience and ideal consumers’ behavior.Channel selection and prioritization starts with analyzing and segmenting the target audience. From there their behavior is analyzed; this can include which types of websites they frequent, the social media platforms they are active on, and even which devices they prefer to use.Once this is understood then an optimized media plan can be pieced together.  Advertising on the correct platforms and websites is the perfect start to a successful campaign.
  3. A/B Testing is your best friend
    Not testing digital ads is one of the biggest rookie mistakes digital marketers make.  Not testing is the equivalent of playing a game of roulette; by going “all in” on one ad instead of testing a few different ad options which would have a higher probability of “winning”.A/B testing is the act of experimenting and running multiple variations of an ad.  Variations can include running different images, different text, different CTA’s, different languages, etc. ; so in theory one can make a dozen different ads out of a single ad.  Once you run the ads, you check to see which combination has the highest conversion and this will give you an indication of your optimal ad.A/B testing will not only yield better results, it will save you money.  A/B testing works best with campaign that have significant budgets and have a long duration; this allows you to kick off with a test campaign as well as to constantly test along the way.
  4. Missing Call To Action
    “Dubai Car Rental?”
    “كمبيوت – وكلاء لينوفو في الأردن‎”These are some real ad titles that I’ve come across recently; the major issue with them is they do not ask people to perform any action. Adding a CTA like “Subscribe Now” not only yield results, it instructs the consumer on the next stages of the purchasing process.  Creating captions is an art form (just ask any copywriter) but can be straight forward.  Keeping your calls to action clear and concise are necessary because consumers tend to prefer straightforward ads.

Stay tuned to part deux of my blog and I’d love to hear your success stories or even failures you’ve come across.  Please be kind and share and don’t forget to leave me a comment in the comment section below!


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