Digital advertising, simply put, is advertising on the Internet. It can be found anywhere you access the web; the majority of this form of advertising is now found on mobile. Also known as online advertising, this is an integrated approach to advertising, focusing on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. This includes display adverts found on websites, adverts on search engine results pages (covered in the chapter on Search advertising), adverts placed in emails and on social networks, video and content advertising, and other ways in which advertisers use the Internet.
Read more about this in the Search advertising chapter.
The terms ’digital advertising’ and ‘online advertising’ will be used interchangeably in this chapter.
The main objectives of online advertising are to increase sales, improve brand awareness, engage customers, and raise share of voice in the marketplace. It is based on the simple economics of demand and supply. Advertisers aim to stimulate a consumer need (demand) and then satisfy that need (supply).
Online advertising follows web user behaviour. Advertisers want to place their adverts where potential customers will see them. Digital advertising is not limited to one specific medium or location; it can be placed almost anywhere on the web and can consist of images, text, videos, interactive elements, and even games.
Although the Internet provides new scope for creative approaches to advertising, we see its true advantages when we realise how trackable, and therefore measurable, Internet advertising is. It is possible to track all interactions with the advert itself: the number of impressions served, how many clicks it received, post-click AdView data, and how many unique users were reached. This leads to valuable data that can be used to make sensible, effective business decisions.