To thrive in today’s marketplace, businesses must carefully choose where to spend advertising dollars.

Historically, businesses have contracted with a national or regional advertising agency, which creates targeted ad campaigns for the big five: print, broadcast, direct mail, outdoor and telephone.

Despite the enormous leaps in advertising technology, many business owners still default to that traditional approach because they aren’t as comfortable or familiar with the ins and outs of digital advertising. It’s not surprising; These channels have existed for decades, while digital advertising is an upstart by comparison.

Advertising in a Digital World

The world has gone digital. More than 80 percent of consumers seek out information about a company online before making an online or offline purchase. The world’s buyers are online. 1.8 billion people make online purchases in a given year.

Business owners know they need an online presence. A full 90 percent of B2C businesses report social media as the most effective content marketing channel.

Despite a keen awareness of the importance of digital advertising, many business owners have yet to take the leap. Some are unsure about how to set and spend their digital advertising budget. Others are intimidated by the jargon or technology.

Digital Advertising Is Different

Then there are the business owners who have devoted resources to a traditional ad agency for digital advertising but are disappointed by a lackluster investment return. The likely issue is simple: digital advertising is different.

Savvy businesses partner with specialty digital advertisers who can deliver on the promise of higher returns. Digital reigns supreme for several key reasons:

  • Lower barrier to entry; lower spending risk
  • Significant increase in customer engagement
  • Ability to target specific demographics

Digital Advertising Delivers Big Results

Given the stats around digital advertising outcomes versus traditional advertising approaches, it’s little surprise that forward-looking companies are taking a digital-first approach. It’s a smart move—when it comes to return on investment, digital advertising shines:

  • The average ROI from email marketing is 122 percent
  • Companies generate around $2 in for every $1 they spend on Google Ads
  • For each dollar spent on email marketing, businesses see an ROI of around $40
  • The media ROI on conversion rate optimization (CRO) is 223 percent

Digital or Traditional Ad Agency?

Once you have decided to move forward with a digital-first focus, it’s time to partner with the right company.

While a traditional advertising agency can undoubtedly put together a well-formed campaign that includes digital advertising elements, a national, regional, or remote ad agency may not be the best place to focus on a digital-first approach. Digital advertising shares some essential elements with traditional ads, but in many ways, it is in a world of its own.

It’s not enough to create an attention-grabbing digital advertisement if it doesn’t reach the target or do much to enhance the brand. Advertising pros often lack the experience and technical know-how to effectively steer a digital campaign.

That’s where a digital advertising agency comes in. These firms focus exclusively on the online space, steering brand messaging directly to target consumers.

The Traditional Ad Agency Approach to Digital Advertising

At a traditional advertising agency, digital advertising sometimes seems like an afterthought or a box to check off. A common mindset is that digital advertising is like the frosting on a cake built on a foundation of traditional advertising.

It’s nice to have in your back pocket, the theory goes, but a digital ad presence is hardly the most critical element of an advertising campaign. For many businesses, the opposite is true. Digital advertising is vital to success.

For many years, companies followed a safe and steady approach that leveraged the “four P’s” of advertising: product, price, promotion and place. Each focus leads prospects to the central goal of making a sale. In the digital era, this familiar approach has been turned on its head.

The Digital Advertising Agency Approach

Digital advertising specialists understand the radical differences between traditional advertising and effective digital ad campaigns. These professionals are steeped in the language of the digital landscape.

While traditional advertising focuses on getting the message out to as many people as possible in the hopes of reaching intended targets, digital advertising is immersive and highly targeted. Digital advertisers have the know-how to develop a brand presence across social networks, including small, hyperlocal online communities.

They understand how to convert brand awareness into the kind of customer loyalty and engagement that can change the entire trajectory of a small business. Effective digital advertising creates a fertile environment for organic growth.

Consumers today enjoy interacting with their favorite brands and respond with their wallets. Digital ad agencies get it. Chances are, the average traditional advertising account manager covers so much ground that they can’t devote the time to develop a working understanding around digital advertising.

Five Questions to Ask Your Digital Advertising Partner

Traditional ad agencies have expanded into the digital advertising space, but business owners would be wise to examine their expertise in this sector. Typical ad agencies can likely handle digital content for you, but you may find that your digital advertising goals are better handled by specialists.

To manage effective digital ad campaigns, a digital advertiser must have a solid foundation in several key elements. If your digital advertising partner can’t answer “yes” to all five of these questions, they are unlikely to deliver an impactful digital advertising solution:

  • Does the agency have extensive experience using digital tools like Google Analytics?
  • Is the agency well-versed in the concept of marketing automation?
  • Can the agency offer expertise in programmatic media advertising?
  • Does the agency offer detailed ROI monitoring?
  • Does the agency promote an environment responsive to the ever-evolving digital landscape?

Invest Locally; Think Globally

The solution to your digital advertising dilemma may be closer than you realize. When you partner with Speedsquare, you’ll benefit from the insights of local digital advertising pros who understand where you’re coming from and where you want to go.

Reach out today to set up a consultation.