In the old Madison Avenue days, when advertising campaigns were launched, it was fairly easy to monitor them. Open up the New York Times every Sunday and see your ads there, turn on the radio at the pre-determined time and hear your spot, go to the address of your outdoor advertising and see your models in life size on billboards. Finding mistakes at this stage made them near-impossible to fix. Discovering competitors’ advertising moves at this stage made them near-impossible to emulate or counter-attack.
In today’s digital times, digital media monitoring is a bit harder to come by, but far more important. Campaigns are served through a deployment chain which may include many networks along the way and culminate on endless publishing sites which have no direct relationship to the advertiser. Different ads are displayed to users based on their location, age, or gender. Competitors launch campaigns in an instant which, if you don’t know where to look, are impossible to find.
The speed and versatility of digital media make it absolutely critical to monitor your own campaigns and your competitors’.
Monitoring your own campaigns will enable you to:
- Find costly mistakes in a timely manner.
- Uncover the deployment chain to explore all of the networks and mediators involved (and profiting from) your campaigns.
- Discover which publishers give your campaigns a high share of voice of the advertising on their sites . . . and which do not give you the attention they promise.
- Keep your agency honest about what they are doing for you.
- Find new business opportunities.
Monitoring your competitors’ campaigns will enable you to:
- Act quickly in response to competitor’s advertising strategies.
- Unveil the mediators and publishers that perform well for competitors to adopt them as your own.
- Explore the geographies and profiles that competitors are targeting to test them for your offering.
- See the creatives that are effective for competitors – banner sizes and colors, marketing messages, landing pages, offerings – discover how you can outshine them.
This kind of monitoring is possible in our new digital world. It is not time-consuming and not cost-restrictive as there are business intelligence solutions that virtually do all the work for you. And the benefits far outweigh the costs. But it goes a step further than the benefits available to you. Just think that if all of this information is out there and available to you about your campaigns and those of your competitors . . . the information is also available to those competitors about their campaigns and yours.
Jonathan P. is a freelance writer, specializing in most of the online marketing aspects. For more info on digital media monitoring, check out www.geosurf.com