There have been a lot of news stories recently about the role that data buying and selling played in the 2016 election. While we don’t want to get into the politics of the situation, one thing is abundantly true: Data is the new oil of the digital age.
As marketers, we want to know who, what, when, where, and why consumers do on as many platforms as possible (without violating any privacy laws), so that we can better target our media buys. The more data we can get our hands on, the more valuable that data becomes. Nowhere is this more obvious than when looking at rising CPM prices.
A recent study looked at programmatically purchased ads across approximately 24 platforms over the course of a year, finding that ad prices are rising across the largest categories: desktop, mobile, mobile app, and video. For publishers, rising prices leads to better revenues, as long as they can continue to deliver audiences in significant numbers. Conversely, this also means that it’s getting more expensive for marketers to reach audiences digitally.
The question this also begs is whether marketers will continue to plow money into digital at the same rate, rebalancing their media budgets accordingly. However, it’s important to note that if digital becomes more expensive, it will also possibly become less cost-effective if it costs more to achieve the same level of reach and targeting.
As we’ve counseled in the past, it’s more important than ever to have a well-balanced, multi-touch media buy. Different mediums serve different functions—branding, direct sales, audience engagement, etc. And while one medium or channel may excel at converting viewers into customers, it’s likely that no brand will be able to survive solely by only focusing on the channel that delivers the most buyers.
In other words, pitting one channel against each other is not necessarily a productive approach, even where conversion data is more and more available for previously difficult-to-measure channels. What’s more important is the process by which a viewer becomes a buyer, and to understand that, marketers need to look at the roles each channel plays in that lifecycle.
If you need help reaching your customers at each stage of the purchasing process, we can help. Contact us for an audit of your current media buy, as well as a plan that ensures your budget is beings spent in the most cost-effective channels.