In the best of all worlds, advertising is served up to us when we are most interested and apt to buy. If it is, we aren’t irritated by its presence but grateful for the opportunity to learn about or purchase a product that fills an immediate need. Unfortunately, this isn’t the way it always works. This blog takes a look at the different digital advertising opportunities brands have online and how it can affect a customer’s intent to purchase.
I’m leading with the type of online advertising that I personally find annoying. If a shopper looks at your product, the service provider will serve up ads to those people who have previously visited your site. Granted, you are serving up your ad to someone who has expressed an interest, but how interested are they and what part of the shopping process are they in at that moment? Research? Consideration? Purchase? It is difficult to know and seems like a shoot and spray method of advertising.
Everyone wants to be on the first page of Google but you need to pay for it and it can guarantee you are in front of some interested buyers. However, it requires time and dedication to your SEO. You can also do SEM by bidding on certain keywords. These types of campaigns can be expensive and aren’t right for all types of products. In theory, if your customer is looking for your product or product category it is great. You are advertising to customers when they are in the consideration mode and might be ready to purchase. SEO is a long term commitment and SEM can get expensive. Either way, it is a good way to find a customer when they are searching.
Retail Media Advertising
By definition, retail media advertising providers offer placement on or near the point of sale. In this particular case, I’m referring to advertising content that appears on an eCommerce site or on a website that offers a customer the ability to buy the product while they are in the consideration mode (i.e. coupon pages, product listing pages, product detail pages, brand advocate blogger, product review sites). Advertising content that can provide additional information about a product in the manufacturers voice, not the retailer’s voice, is the most authentic. I like to think of them as digital end caps. Even better, if the national ad campaign can be brought to the point of purchase, clicks become conversions. In this particular case, your customer is in a retail venue and looking at your product so they are willing to make a purchase.
The PPC ads are usually relegated to the gutters or the bottom of your mobile viewport. These can be placed near related content, but they need to fight for the customer’s attention because they are surrounded by other ads from competitors or unrelated product categories. These can be effective in building brand awareness but it is hard to predict where your customer is in the path to purchase. For example, bloggers sell advertising on their websites that are totally unrelated to what they focus on. Most people using the web to search for something usually ignore these ads.
Social Media Advertising
All of the social media outlets offer advertising opportunities that marketers can tailor to their budget. Lately, however, users are becoming weary of advertising found in their social media feeds. Even Facebook has vowed to make the medium more about connecting with each other and not advertising. If a person is on their preferred social media are they really there to shop? You may be able to increase your brand awareness, but it may not be in a good way.
So how do we answer the question: Can Digital Advertising Derail the Intent To Purchase?
Like all complicated advertising and marketing topics, the answer isn’t definitive. With all of the options and providers out there for advertising online, with finite budgets, each marketer needs to look at their product and determine the best integrated strategy. Here are a few questions to answer before developing your strategy and choosing your digital advertising options:
- Are you launching a new brand and need to build brand awareness?
- Do you know your audience and their shopping habits?
- Do you depend upon repeat purchases for your product or service?
- What social media outlets do your audience frequent?
- What are the most searched topics for your brand or category
- What devices are your customers using most to buy your product online?
- Is your digital advertising reaching customers throughout the buying process?