Does Digital Still Matter?

When, in the last few years of advertising, traditional methods have been turned on their heads, then turned back again, it begs the question…

Say “AdWords” to pretty much anyone, and you’re bound to get a response

Just like Internships, it seems that everyone has an opinion on digital advertising.

  • You can do it yourself!
  • You can’t do it, hire us.
  • Why are you even trying, when you could be doing ____

Advertising in general is complex, but I think the biggest difference between digital and traditional media can be summed up in one word:

Oh, Data.  Data is beautiful.  Data will tell you everything you need to know about anything, ever.  If you have Data, you have the world (just ask Mark Zuckerberg)

So, why do we shy away from data?

Data is like that friend you have, who knows you better than anyone else.  You earnestly seek their advice because you know you will get an honest response from them.

But sometimes, you find yourself seeking the advice of a more “complacent” friend.  Maybe it’s because their words sound sweeter, or maybe it’s because they allow you to continue on doing what you’ve always done.

Whether you go to your sugar-coated alliance or rough-as-nails comrade, it’s important to remember that the facts do not change.  The difference is how you are going to change.

Data will give it to you straight.
And, just like your friends…

It is the relationship behind the numbers that holds the key to all of your pressing questions.

With digital advertising, there are no estimates that may make you feel left in the dark.

There is no “estimated reach” or “household demographics.”  You can forget about “circulation” numbers and calculating attention span rates of people watching TV commercials.

With digital advertising, you have it all right there.

Exactly how many people interacted with your ad, exactly how many did not.

Exactly how many people watched your ad, and exactly how many couldn’t wait to skip over it and get on their way.

You will know exactly which ads people prefer, and which ones they won’t touch with a 10-foot pole.

And, do you know what you can do with all of that wonderful “exactness?”

Find out what people like about you, find out what you need to change.

Find out what you’re doing well, and find out how you can become even better.

After all, what good are we if we do not strive to better ourselves?

While it’s true that digital data can be misconstrued and misrepresented, is that really anything new in the world of advertising?  “Those guys” will always be around.  The ones who sit behind closed doors and hope that you don’t come knocking.

What is new is the tangibility of data.
You can see it. Right now. Your real performance. In all its glory.

So, the next time you find yourself (or anyone else) tip-toeing around Brutal Bettie in favor of Suck-up Simon, just remember that when it comes to the performance of your advertising campaigns,

That raw, steadfast, unwavering honesty is why digital advertising matters.