Ten years ago, when digital advertising was in its infancy, large brands and national advertisers used Google AdWords and display ads to attract customers. These same advertisers are using hundreds of different ad channels to reach their audience today. While the digital ad industry has made huge strides in cross-channel activation and measurement (with technology improving at an exponential rate), few local advertisers have benefited from these advancements.
Historically, only large brands and advertisers had the resources and expertise to explore how emerging channels could drive performance for their campaigns. Smaller advertisers lacked the budget and technology to activate marketing campaigns across multiple channels and measure cross-channel impact in a meaningful way.
Cross-channel measurement remains elusive for many local advertisers because these services aren’t tailored to their needs. Local advertisers require a solution that is designed with their business in mind—one that is easily accessible, affordable, and provides them with actionable insights into their businesses.
Therein lies one of the biggest challenges facing small-to-mid-sized advertisers in today’s evolving ad ecosystem: finding a digital ad platform that works across multiple channels, providing real data on results while allowing them to track performance and measure ROI from all digital ads in one place.
This is why so many SMBs continue to rely on self-service ad platforms like Facebook and Google. For a number of years, these were the only tools that could show transparent results to advertisers at a scale and price point that made sense for their budgets. Now, with Facebook and Google tightening consumer privacy rules, the time has never been more appropriate for local advertisers to diversify their marketing mix.
Advertisers need a true omnichannel strategy now more than ever in order to drive awareness in the wake of industry-wide pandemic-related disruptions. Now more than ever, small brands and advertisers have an increasing need to reach customers through multiple channels at once: in-store and online, on desktop and mobile, through social media and search ads, etc.
Local-market advertising is a $130 billion industry. However, most local advertisers rarely spend across the full breadth of channels that could connect them to the right audiences. To leverage the full potential of their advertising efforts, marketers need the right technology and tools in their toolkit.
More accessible reporting is one solution. Most local advertisers aren't getting aggregate reporting across different channels at any level. Once advertisers can easily integrate CTV, DOOH, or other channels into their mix, they can see firsthand how these channels benefit brands of any size.
While technology has significantly improved digital performance, advancements in advertising have left local advertisers on the outside looking in because of the associated costs, in terms of both technology and human capital.
As digital media advances, we must find ways to broaden technology’s reach so that it benefits everyone. It’s important to look at how we can make cross-channel activation and transparent measurement work for smaller advertisers and ad agencies, so they can better achieve their business objectives and win over customers with personalization across all channels.
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