When I got started in the digital business, I loved the medium because it enabled me to use all the digital design skill I had learnt, put them to good use and create an experience that is not possible in any other advertising medium. Though the medium is not as glamorous as the traditional medium, I can never see myself being involved in advertising that is not interactive and engaging.
Advertising that engages the consumer is the future. In fact the brands that are creating engaging ads get more bang for their buck. Why will this eclipse pure display advertising? Apart from it being more cost-effective in the long run, the prime reason for this change would be a chance to know your consumer better by having a conversation with him/her on a regular basis, and in turn bettering your brand through the feedback you receive. It really is a natural transition.
Allow me to explain...
You are about to launch a brand in the market. You invest a sizeable amount in traditional media (as you should) to get the maximum coverage but without any call to action. You are using the medium purely to make the maximum noise. Your campaign runs for about three months and you get enough coverage to last you for about six months and post that you run another campaign to revive the buzz, spending half the launch campaign amount. You have created enough of buzz to last about a year. But you still do not know anything about your customer.
You are about to launch a brand and you decide that you would like to invest a sizeable amount in traditional media to get the maximum coverage, but with a small difference. All the communication should have a call to action via the digital medium (Online/Mobile). You are now using the medium for maximum noise and adding a mix of digital to engage the consumer and know him better. Your campaign runs for about three months and you get enough coverage to last you another two months. Whilst the campaign is running, you are constantly engaging with your consumer with conversations and promotions. Chances are you would not need to run another campaign since you already have a captive audience and speak to them on a one-on-one basis.
It’s a no-brainer as to which scenario is the one to choose. Technology will make display advertising a lot more engaging and digital will be the centre of it all purely because its mining and interactive capabilities. The brands that recognise this change early will be the ones to benefit in the long run. A few brands have already started engaging their customers in their advertising albeit in an extremely passive manner. Just including your social media URL does not make your communication engaging enough. That is purely hygiene.
Active engagement not only advertises your brand but also creates a positive disposition to the brand. The engagement leads to people talking about the brand and eventually enabling it to generate some great PR stories - two by-products of the exercise that you receive which would be very difficult to get, free of cost of course.
A good example of an engaging display advertisement
So the next time you plan on spending money on pure display advertising try investing it in engagement. After all, what’s better than having a dialogue with your customer on a regular basis, having them endorse your brand to his/her peers and helps you better your brand!
Carlton D’Silva is the Creative Director at Hungama Digital Media and has spent over 15 years in the digital space. He takes insult when you call the digital medium new media…15 years should be old enough! Find him on twitter @TheWordOfGawd.