Why your online brand exposure is the most important thing right now

Ignore the concept of marketing ‘channels’ and the fallacies of last-click attribution. Find out why the most important thing RIGHT NOW is your brand’s online exposure.

Right now in England, there’s a sense of déjà vu with lockdown mark II starting this Thursday. And if you’re a brand wondering how to get heard and recognised in these unprecedented commercial times, this has possibly put the COVID cat among the pigeons… again.

With everything outside of the internet shut down for all bar essentials, it’s never been more important to get your digital advertising right to ensure your brand is front of mind. So where should you focus your efforts?

The money you’re spending on Facebook could be completely wasted

With competition fiercer than ever for online visibility and sales today, you need to make sure that every penny you spend on advertising is goes to the best possible place.

In 2019, paid social was the main source of Facebook’s $70-billion revenue, and it accounted for just over a fifth of estimated total digital ad spend. But if a significant share of your budget is headed to Facebook, are you sure that’s the wisest choice?

Because according to our data, it’s not. In fact, there is a significant risk that the money you’re spending on Facebook is completely wasted.

How do we know this? Because this summer we used the Facebook boycott to test the impact that Facebook ads were having on our clients’ sales. And the results were so shocking that we had to run the numbers several times.

We discovered that switching off Facebook ads made NO difference to their sales (you can download a copy of the whitepaper explaining the test and results here). Which means that the money they were spending on Facebook ads was, in effect, wasted.

Could the same be true of your Facebook ads budget? Could that money work much better for you elsewhere?

And the money you’re spending on Google PPC is misleading

It’s worth noting that Facebook isn’t the only popular digital marketing solution that isn’t all it’s believed to be.

Like Facebook ads, Google PPC also relies on last click attribution to measure results – an inherently flawed model (you can read more about why this is in our hybrid attribution white paper).

What’s so wrong with last click attribution? The holy grail in marketing is understanding the true value of marketing spend and the impact of allocating it to activity to generate a positive return on investment. For every business to survive they need to earn more than they spend.

Now consider the customer engagement lifecycle:

  • Brand introduction
  • Product or service introduction
  • Product or service consideration
  • Product or service investigation
  • Product or service decision
  • Product or service re-engagement and loyalty

Along this journey there are many marketing and brand touchpoints that are essential to reach the final purchase, and grow your brand awareness with your prospects and customers.

But last click attribution ignores all these essential touchpoints and attributes the entire value of a purchase to the single piece of advertising that generated the final click. This is a dangerous assumption at any time, but in the times we currently find ourselves in, this can be brand suicide.

Why? Because last click attribution (which Google PPC relies on) ignores the value of brand building, and misleads marketers as to where their marketing money is really best spent. And you risk, like Facebook ads, paying to reach an audience who would have bought from you anyway, in effect wasting your precious advertising spend.

Programmatic can increase your sales throughout your customer lifecycle

So the problem with Facebook ads and Google PPC is that they only count when you measure last click attribution, which is not an accurate or reliable measure of real results, or your brand, as both our whitepapers prove.

What’s the alternative?

Programmatic advertising works across your complete customer lifecycle – from prospecting new customers, converting to sales, and increasing the lifetime value of existing customers.

Programmatic is also far more transparent than Facebook ads, a closed book in attribution, which means that you can see exactly how your money is working. At Crimtan we also test the incremental ROI of all our ads, so we can see the difference they’re making versus running no ads at all.

So you’ll never be left wondering whether you could have made those sales without spending money on advertising.

What does this mean in numbers? We were able to deliver a 6:1 incremental ROI for Moss Bros, and a 47% new customer rate for Miss Selfridge. We also beat Shoaholics’ Black Friday target ROI by 55% last year.

How programmatic can increase your market share

The impact and value of programmatic goes far beyond immediate sales, too; it is proven to actually increase market share via an all-important halo effect.

To demonstrate how, here’s a quick summary of a five-week programmatic campaign we ran this summer for a property company.

We used Google statistics for the campaign. Here’s why:

  • 2 trillion searches are made on Google per day
  • 93% of web traffic comes through search
  • Google accounts for around 80% of searches
  • It’s the best digital indicator for brand trends online
  • You can index against the market

At the start of our five-week campaign, our client’s share of searches in its market was 10% (average weekly searches in 2020 for the market and their competition were 44,000, whereas average searches for our client’s name were 4,200).

During our campaign our client saw an average daily increase in searches of 10%. However, one big benefit of programmatic advertising is that its impact is visual or aural, not simply click based. So the value in the campaign is more than just clicks – it actually builds lasting brand awareness and market share.

Which is exactly what our client experienced.

After our five-week campaign ended, they continued to see an increase in searches. This meant that their market share increased by 2% directly as a result of our activity. This equates to a significant 20% increase in market share.

Online market share has never been so important

Right now, every tiny increase you make in your online market share is essential; if the market shrinks then you need to own more of it. And if the market is highly competitive – as the digital space is right now in lockdown – then you need an incredibly smart digital strategy.

One that doesn’t rely on the short sighted vanity metrics of last click attribution.

More customers than ever will be online right now. And as the statistics in this article show, it’s the companies who invest in brand growth and sales in the right places who will emerge as the winners – now and well into the future.

So where will you spend your digital advertising budget to grow your brand share? If you’d like to know how far it can go in programmatic, get in touch and we’d be delighted to help you.