Digital Advertising: The Modern Mad Men of Marketing

Date: Wednesday, September 07, 2016

When starting down the path of agency life, I secretly held on to the notion that I’d be able to example the
life of an “Ad Man” like you’d see on the show Mad Men. I’d have every intent of modernizing the self-conspired image, of course, and I’d naturally enhance the Don Draper lifestyle to the West Coast – since I’ve never really been a fan of
New York. I’d be able to transform my background as a Data Scientist from geek-freak to data-chic with a toss of the flask.

What. A. Sham. What I wouldn’t give to see AMC script a series with Don Draper as a modern-day digital advertiser; creating Facebook and Twitter ad cards by the dozens, analyzing reach data, garnering impressions based on multi-variant
images and determining if the language sentiment is well received to the isolated demographic targets based on the visibility times recommended.

“No, Mr. Draper, Peggy isn’t here to remove the text on your image due to a rejection for 20% coverage violation – it’ll be just you, your mouse clicks and your rye bourbon, for now.”

What digital and social advertising lacks in panache and styled suits, it easily makes up for in complexity and an
unexpected capability to view the world and its inhabitants.

The question we’re most frequently asked is this: Isn’t social advertising the same as Google or SEO? The answer is: Absolutely not. In fact, it’s so different, that if a client’s budget forces them to only choose between search engine advertising/placement and social media ads, 10 times out of 10 we will recommend social media advertising.

Why? Through social media, the level of access that an advertiser has to demographics and targeting capabilities are beyond what they have ever been in the world of marketing. Our initial proclamations in the 90’s, and at the start of the new millennium,
dubbing the 2000’s the ‘information age’ were vastly understated. Today, continued, rapid adoption of smart mobile devices is only further amplified by the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and a continued shift in behavior by individuals willing to incorporate their entire lives into a social media channel.

In 2016, Instagram (a Facebook-owned company) sees 500 million active users per month. Facebook themselves? Over 1.5 billion active users per month. Per. Month. Snapchat and Twitter trail
far behind with just over 300 million active users per month.

If you aren’t enacting a social media content and advertising strategy for your business, you are willfully ignoring money on the table. However, all of those users, all of that data, and all of these platforms bring with them a certain degree of complexity. When we’ve seen individuals attempting to take on social media advertising themselves, they frequently meet with frustration and a sense of failure around executing a successful campaign.

It’s no surprise, either. Consider that Facebook alone allows for over 102 collected data points to be chosen for your campaign’s targeting parameters. These are just a few of them:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Location/Geography
  • Language(s)
  • Type of education (academic major or field/industry)
  • Education achieved (HS, Undergrad, etc.)
  • Household income or individual income or individual net
  • School(s): High school, vocational schools, and College(s) attended
  • Home ownership status
  • Year property was built/developed
  • Type of home or living situation (own, rent, roommate, etc.)
  • Property value (if home owner)
  • Estimated size of dwelling or property where the user resides
  • Employer (and your title)
  • Industry you work in
  • Personal interests
  • Do you donate to charities? How often, types, etc.
  • Preferred computer you use (including OS and browser type)
  • Preferred mobile device usage (including type, OS, and frequent locations of use)
  • Your personal email provider
  • Types of credit cards you use and your credit score information
The data that is looked at or available is in aggregate – luckily there is no capability to dive deep and look at the related information down to one user. Additionally, the information is sourced in many ways. For example, from the JavaScript site trackers, from the native applications, friends that share information, and official data sources such as Experian and Acxiom.

While the idea is that all this information is being tracked and collected, the response from Facebook and the related players makes sense: Users do not like seeing irrelevant ads; so the information allows them to ensure that the ads you see are relevant, timely, and a value ad. This argument, however, still hasn't allayed
the fears of users and privacy advocates given the social media giant's reported
brush with ethics, for example. As much as we love to attack Facebook, however, it exposes an element that too few web and tech firms fully acknowledge: the access to user's behavior-based data is uncanny, and their
power to wield and influence actions and activity based off this data is almost Orwellian. Which is a good thing for businesses, if they know how to take advantage.

To that extent, developing a campaign and ad strategy requires much more than the straightforward knowledge of your business’ products or services. Rather, you need to anticipate a highly nuanced and overlapping array of your target audience’s needs, desires, and willingness to be exposed to the products and/or services that you hope to offer them. Advertising through social media isn’t so much about placing your brand in front of the right person as it is about placing your brand in front of the right person, at the right time, with the right contextual knowledge and data about that person backing up your advertising and marketing efforts.

In other words, you need to act as an interpreter of social media before you can begin to take marketing action on social media. Social marketing is truly a marriage of data-oriented marketing strategies and intuitively humane social interaction. First, you need to be able to analyze and comprehend a complex array of metric information reporting on your target audience, then apply that data with marketing strategies that take into account the human desires, needs, and opportunities available to the individuals that make up your target audience.

You might be surprised at the level of subtlety that can turn a good ad into a bad one. Independently-created advertisements on social platforms often fall victim to this subtlety. Imagine spending money on a Facebook ad campaign, only to have its reach limited by something as simple as an image in the wrong location, or text displayed 10 percent larger than it should have been? Running a business at peak performance means not making these kinds of avoidable mistakes, but not making them means having a pre-existing knowledge of the science behind advertising and social marketing.

Sound like a lot? Well the truth is, it is. That’s why Flowerpot Media exists, to take the burden right off of your shoulders. We're doing away with the assumptive, ego-oriented advertising strategies featured in Mr. Draper's line of work.
Making assumptions about your audience on social media means losing money.

So contact us today to learn how we can make your social marketing work for you, not the other way around.


About Abigail Diskin, Content Manager

With a B.A. in Journalism and a strong background in both communications and creative writing, Abby is the lead writer at Flowerpot. Her passion for words comes through wholeheartedly, as she researches and crafts high-quality content for client websites, blogs, and email campaigns across a variety of industries. In her spare time, you can find her getting her hiking boots muddy in the Columbia River Gorge, blues dancing at the Bossanova Ballroom, or taming imaginary dragons with her niece and nephew.

About Arthur Lapies, Co-Founder

With over 15 years of experience in behavioral science and consumer marketing, Arthur has applied his education and skills to technology, sales operations and project management teams in multiple Fortune 100 organizations. His ability to tap into the consumer mindset and translate behavior into meaningful marketing actions for business owners makes him a key asset to Flowerpot clients. As Flowerpot’s Data Scientist, Arthur leads all aspects of technology, development and analytics. A Pacific Northwest native, Arthur now enjoys the company of the Bay Area’s Karl the Fog and arduous SF city hill climbs with his Great Dane.

About Laura Bakken, CEO & Co-Founder

With over 20 years of enterprise-level leadership in the high-tech industry, Laura’s knowledge of business optimization, sales excellence, change management and marketing savvy greatly benefits small and mid-size business owners navigating their path to success. As Flowerpot’s Chief Marketing Strategist, Laura leads all aspects of client consulting, content strategy and business development. Outside of the office, Laura enjoys gardening with her husband and their chocolate lab, menu hopping through Portland’s foodie scene, and traveling to sunny locales with friends to get a break from the rainy days of the Pacific Northwest.

Tags: Marketing / Business / Engagement / Entrepreneur / Advertising

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