When digital marketing campaigns fail, typically there's something dirty going on. Marketers and business owners often miss the point of digital advertising. You need to think beyond the inventory being presented and focus on marketing needs and solutions that deliver on set expectations. So I have defined three of the most dirty words I hear used in digital advertising and ways to clean them up.
Dirty Word #1: Test
Test is a dirty word because a test rarely works so why would you offer it or want to waste valuable marketing dollars on it? Clean up this dirty word by asking more about what the expectation of the said "test," would be and build a solution based on the goals and needs. Depending on the digital products and services offered, the proposed solution will vary but it will no longer be a "test." It'll be a proposed solution to an identified need with a higher chance of success.
Dirty Word #2: Click-through
Click through is a dirty word because it's not a reliable form of measurement on its own but so many marketers base results solely on the click-through. Clean up this dirty word by focusing on the overall expectations of a campaign, such as an increase in site traffic during a particular timeframe, or increased sales of a specific product over a period of time. Based on those expectations, think about all of the contributions the solution may provide such as other forms of measurement; conversions that result, average cost of sale increases, qualified lead generation, lift in time spent online and more.
Dirty Word #3: Display
Display is a dirty word because the CPM's associated with the cost of display are plummeting yet it's often the majority of the inventory presented as part of a marketing solution online. Digital display has become a commodity. By definition, a commodity is a good or service whose wide availability typically leads to smaller profit margins. Clean up this dirty word by positioning the value of display in an overall, integrated campaign. Display has the power to drive the response path within an overall, integrated solution and inherently increases the overall value.
By scrubbing the dirt off of your digital sales and marketing efforts, you will help your products and services shine!
Editor's Note: This post was origianally published September 23, 2013 and has been updated.