There seems to be an inverse relationship between technology and reach. As advances in technology become greater and greater, providing targeting beyond our wildest dreams, are we losing the ability to create significant brand equity?
The iterative nature of programmatic buying coupled with technology’s targeting capabilities has driven ROI to its ultimate destination. Great news! Or is it?
Think about it. This constant weekly evolution and refinement of ad schedules has effectively diminished what we used to call reach. Remember reach and effective reach? It allowed for brands to separate themselves from one another in an era when brands built “brand equity.”
In fact, you would be hard pressed to name a brand that was built on digital advertising alone. Yes, Google, Facebook, etc., thrived without traditional ad campaigns, but that’s because they achieved the type of success that landed them magazine covers.
Remember magazines? They built brand equity as well. The issue with programmatic ad buying as the silver bullet is when you drill down to targeting by individual, you are missing the awareness aspect that, say, a magazine ad afforded.
There needs to be both laser-precise targeting and awareness-building mediums working in tandem. Traditional and digital must exist in harmony in order to deliver effective branding messages. One cannot survive without the other.
Of course, there will be naysayers that claim you can build reach using digital ad buying alone. Perhaps, but it’s a fool’s errand. First off, there is a bottomless abyss of inventory. Second, it flies in the face of the ROI that is the very core of programmatic ad buying.
Traditional media like TV is still a powerful touchpoint for launching big brand campaigns and products. And besides, no one has thrown away their televisions yet, nor have newspapers disappeared completely. Not everyone owns a tablet or smartphone, either, for that matter.
A dramatic power shift is occurring in the world of media and marketing, yes. But traditional media is still a vital part of ensuring positive brand equity, no matter how much we may want traditional marketing to “die.”
We are living in a digital age. So, yes, there’s a fundamental change in the way companies should consider trying to sell and market their services. And, yes, there are problems facing traditional media: upheaval, readership and audience shrinkage, etc. But traditional media will still occupy an important space in the media landscape for many years to come.
Each touchpoint has its place within the marketing mix, and each one contributes in its own unique way to build what we are all looking to achieve: brand equity.
Richard Lefkowitz is the connections planning director at gyro.