Advertising online has a number of objectives; let’s explore these.
Building brand awareness
Making users aware of a brand or product is an important long-term goal for any marketer. Once customers know about it, they are more likely to trust the brand.
The more frequently a brand message is seen, the higher the recall on the brand, advert or tag line. The better known a brand is, the more business it can do; brand awareness drives recall at the point of purchase or when considering a brand to use. Its ultimate goal is to sell more of the product or service.
Brand awareness is essential for launching a new brand or product or approaching a new audience.
It is worth noting that despite low clickthrough rates, online advertising does drive awareness because the ad is seen even if it isn’t clicked. This is highly relevant when using programmatic engines to drive affiliate-based marketing tactics. This moves away from the ‘old school’ CPM buy. Refer to the section on Advertising exchanges and programmatic buying for more context.
Digital advertising is largely visual, making it an ideal channel for promoting brand imagery and making users familiar with its colours, logo and overall feel.
Creating customer demand is a three-step process: inform, persuade and remind. Consumers can’t want what they don’t know about. Advertising needs to convince them that they want something and let them know why they should want it. Online advertising provides a great way to communicate the unique selling points (USPs) of a product, helping to stimulate demand and reminding consumers about the product and why they want it.
Once consumers want a product, they need to find out how to satisfy that desire. At this point it is important for the marketer to show the consumer how a particular brand or product will best meet that need. Search ads are usually most useful for this (see the Search advertising chapter for more information).
Read more about this in the Search advertising chapter
Driving direct response and sales
All forms of digital marketing need to drive traffic and sales in the long term.
However, the immediacy of online advertising also drives traffic and sales in the short and medium terms. Unlike traditional media advertising, online advertising can turn the potential customer into an actual customer right there and then. What’s more, it is possible to measure accurately how effective the online advertising campaign has been in this regard.