Top 10 Considerations When Buying Digital Media

Did you know that Super Bowl LI featured upwards of 50 branded TV commercials during the 4.5 hour broadcast? Even with the Patriot’s overtime comeback, this year’s Super Bowl remained true to its reputation as one of the most overcrowded advertising events of the year.

While we understand why brands like to capitalize on the excitement of the game--and its 100 million viewers--it’s also a reminder that making an impression with traditional media is difficult. Not only must brands compete for share of voice against the action of the game and a bowl of guacamole, but participation alone requires a hefty investment ($166,666 per second) without much promise of a payoff. Super Bowl ads are great for generating buzz and getting people talking, but they rarely translate to tangible return-on-investment.

That’s why, as marketers, we sometimes need to ground ourselves. Instead of getting carried away by the hype of Super Bowl advertising, let’s refocus our attention on the tremendous power digital media has to capture attention and achieve brand goals. While there’s lots of considerations that go into placing a digital display, video or audio buy--there are at least 10 that should always be taken into account before launching a new campaign on the web. We’ve compiled them here to serve as a reminder that “good” advertising comes in many forms and, more importantly, is achievable by brands of all sizes!

#1. What Is Your Primary Campaign Goal?

This is the single-most important question to answer before starting a campaign or placing a media buy.

#2. Know Your Audience & Follow Their Habits

It’s every marketer’s duty to understand their target audience--who they are, what they do and how they consume media. Consumer trends and habits give us the clues.

#3. Think Mobile-First

...Speaking of consumer habits, we should assume that every human being born in the last 75+ years is on mobile. It’s time to put it first.

#4. Make Decisions Based on “Addressable” Audience

A common advertiser pitfall is evaluating platforms based on total audience, rather than what is actually “addressable” by advertising.

#5. Seek Out Data-Fueled Insights

Data and insights are an advertiser’s most powerful weapon in the battle over attention.

#6. Storytelling Matters More in a Connected World

Don’t abandon the lessons you learned around the campfire about storytelling. They are especially relevant today.

#7. Embrace the “Theater of the Mind"

What happens when you hear crashing waves? Do you picture a beach? “Theater of the Mind” is about enabling your audience to participate in your story.

#8. Align With Shared Passion Points

Music is one example of a passion that’s shared across people--it’s a cultural connector and an effective advertising tool for making an impression.

#9. Include a Clear Call-to-Action

Tell your audience what comes next. Don’t know what that is? Revisit #1.

#10. Never Compromise on Quality

Your brand is precious and so are your marketing dollars. Make them count by prioritizing a high-quality advertising environment.


Give Your Brand at Least One Stretch Goal: Stretch goals are important. Make 2017 the year to try out programmatic, secure a new data partner or develop a sonic identity.

This year’s Super Bowl gave us many memorable moments. We loved seeing brands and agencies push the limit with “live” commercials, and our jaws dropped too at Lady Gaga’s impeccable halftime performance (btw, our data successfully predicted her set list). But our faith in the power of digital media has also never been stronger. Let this list of the top digital media considerations ground you in the fact that any brand, at any time, can make an impression.

Interested in more advertising tips? Download a copy of our free guide on achieving resonance with your audience. This guide takes the concept of “contextual advertising” one step further by discussing how to align a brand message with core user intent. It’s the ticket for creating long-lasting, deep relationships with your customers.