Posted on January 21, 2015

Digital advertising is the most over-scrutinized advertising medium of all. That’s fair enough, we have no complaints: you can’t expect to be the disrupter of the old order without attracting a lot of attention! It is precisely because it is so measurable that allows it to be so heavily scrutinized. And because it is still advertising, therefore dependant on consumer behaviour, it doesn’t have all the answers.

A typical digital ad campaign is still just one element of a multi-media communications plan that may include TV, Radio, Press or Outdoor; and may itself include High Impact Formats, Display, Social Media, Email, Video on Demand and Search. Each has some influence on the behaviour of a single consumer. It is the attribution of that influence that remains a subject of some disagreement. Google might say that Search is everything, RTE might say that TV drives Search, and so on. The reality is that all campaigns are different and brands must develop their own models of behaviour and how they can influence their customers.

Programmatic, which is essentially an automation of the trading process between advertisers and publishers, within pre-agreed  parametres, is finally making an impact on the media market in Ireland. Putting power into the hands of advertisers and at the same time allowing publishers to ensure they are getting a true value for their audiences is to be welcomed. It brings order to an area which had developed very quickly and sometimes without agreed standards. The use of analytics and Real Time Bidding (RTB) tools brings intelligence to the automation. The advertisers algorithms decide the value of an ad impression based on the user’s previous online behaviour, the publisher gets awarded for the relative value of its users, and by extension the high value of its content (in theory at least).

Programmatic has its downsides too. Creativity and standout is made more difficult; often integration in a multi-media campaign can be trickier; integrating different data sets remains a problem. It’s a case of horses for courses really. Agencies and their clients are getting better at making those decisions, and while programmatic buying is growing at a fast pace the need for direct engagement remains, and will do so.

Data privacy remains an issue online and wherever consumers have a digital footprint. It would be naïve to think otherwise. The EDAA (European Interactive Digital Advertising Association) has worked hard to reassure consumers that only non-personally identifiable data is collected by advertisers and that all users are offered the option to opt-out of cookie based advertising. Digitize New Media has worked very closely with the EIDAA and the Internet Advertising Bureau on this issue and is one of the first companies here to comply with the EU Cookie Directive.

With 85% of adults in Ireland now accessing the web via a mobile device (IAB Ireland), the urgency in developing a common solution to allow for intelligent advertising on mobile is growing. Currently, the myriad of different mobile browsers and native environments (Apps to you and I) works against this, but with new solutions emerging such as Device Identifiers, Statistical ID’s, HTML5 cookies and Universal Logins, there are now ways and means of managing mobile advertising campaigns effectively and the day of real Omni-channel Ad campaigns moves even closer, where advertisers can manage their Advertising messages across multiple platforms ensuring more efficient use of their Ad budgets and a better overall experience for their customers.

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