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Online advertising: which channels work for what?

No sea­soned account man­ag­er or art direc­tor would dis­pute that dri­ving online adver­tis­ing sales for clients is a big pri­or­i­ty in Adland; but it’s not the only objec­tive to con­sid­er. A recent world­wide study by research com­pa­ny Econ­sul­tan­cy found that dif­fer­ent chan­nels are used by mar­keters for dif­fer­ent pur­pos­es – and account man­agers espe­cial­ly would be wise to gen up on the find­ings.

What can­ny account man­agers ought to know: what works best for what objec­tives?

As report­ed in eMar­keter, just under 40 per­cent of the client-side mar­keters polled used online dis­play, paid search and social ads for lead gen­er­a­tion, but it was the top pri­or­i­ty only for social ads and online dis­play. By far and away the most favoured chan­nel for gen­er­at­ing online adver­tis­ing sales was paid search, although just less than a fifth of mar­keters used all three for increas­ing traf­fic. And it’ll come as lit­tle sur­prise to the sea­soned account man­ag­er to find that social adver­tis­ing was used as the chan­nel of choice for brand­ing pur­pos­es.

It might be stat­ing the obvi­ous, but the fact remains that know­ing how the mix of objec­tives shifts from chan­nel to chan­nel, know­ing which chan­nel per­forms best for which pur­pos­es, allows mar­keters to extract max­i­mum val­ue out of each.

Beyond online sales

Over half the adver­tis­ing agen­cies polled (and almost half the client-side mar­keters) said that the land­ing page was crit­i­cal for opti­miza­tion, with man­ag­ing search engine opti­miza­tion, bid man­age­ment and paid search com­ing in as the next most cru­cial tac­tics for this pur­pose (client-side mar­keters favoured inte­gra­tion with SEO more strong­ly that their agency coun­ter­parts). Over a quar­ter of all respon­dents agreed that max­i­mum val­ue from paid search was best achieved through search retar­get­ing.

At the top of the pri­or­i­ty tree for opti­miza­tion in social adver­tis­ing (and by a wide mar­gin), agen­cies and brand mar­keters alike placed audi­ence retar­get­ing as their tac­tic of choice. Giv­en that social net­works host strong­ly engaged users who share their habits and inter­ests pro­lif­i­cal­ly, this makes a lot of sense: adver­tis­ers can read­i­ly iden­ti­fy their most poten­tial­ly impor­tant cus­tomers from this active user base.

Tar­get­ing ranked high­ly with online dis­play, too, although adver­tis­ers tend­ed to deliv­er ads based on their audi­ence seg­men­ta­tion.

It’s not rock­et sci­ence, but it’s good to know all the same.

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