Digital advertising is not the magic bullet

By Niki Morock

As advertising professionals, it’s our job to help our clients reach new and existing customers, increase their name recognition, improve their reputation, and alert people to specials, sales, and new products. Print is still a fantastic vehicle for many of those clients, but we all know with each year the number of people using their phones and tablets to look up businesses, products, and services is growing substantially. Laptops and desktops are still important tools as well, but the next generation is approaching a strictly mobile lifestyle. So, of course, digital advertising is an important part of any media plan, and all digital tactics should be mobile-optimized.

That being said, clients need to understand that digital advertising is not a magic bullet. There is no single magic bullet.

Even the best designed and executed digital campaign will fall short of expectations if other parts of the marketing plan are subpar, or if each part is treated as separate entities. If the tone and voice of your print ads, website, social media pages, and digital creative don’t match, your business’s brand identity comes across as having split personalities. The whole package needs to be consistent and cohesive. To take it a step further, those people within the business who interact with customers should have the same tone in their interactions as well.

For example, if you own a toy store, the tone of the advertisements, website, and in-store interactions should be fun and playful. If just one of those pieces is overly-serious, you’re sending a mixed message to potential customers.

Another example is a furniture store that sells high-end furniture at competitive prices. If the focus is on the quality of the name brands sold, then that should be the focus of the employees, print ads, digital ads, and website. If the print creative is bright yellow and orange screaming “blow-out prices” while the other two show a luxurious bedroom set surrounded by understated text, then potential customers could be confused about whether they are seeing ads for the same place.

The whole package needs to be consistent in order to work well.

In addition, if you have a blog on your website, update it regularly. If you have pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, post to them regularly as well. Pages that are sitting idle do not help your business’s search engine optimization. Regular updates keep your page fresh in the eyes of the web crawlers that the search engines employ to find relevant search results for people who are using them to seek out information. If you don’t have time to update four social media pages, pick one or two to concentrate on and deactivate the rest.

If you have ever looked up a business only to find a Facebook page that hasn’t been updated in a year, you understand. A lack of recent posts makes it look like the business is either no longer open or is not doing well even if the opposite is true.

The bottom line is that consistency in look, feel, and messaging is key for a successful marketing campaign and for long-term brand identity. Digital advertising is an important part of a good campaign, but you really have to look at the whole package.