Advancements in technology over the last 10-15 years continue to impact media consumption and the fragmentation of media channels. For our team at A. Bright Idea, this means we need to consider more factors and more options when developing an advertising strategy.

Traditionally we would talk about certain verticals of advertising – TV, radio, print and outdoor. Now, we’re constantly looking vertically and horizontally, considering how traditional media continues to evolve and integrating in new, emerging media options based on how audiences are choosing to consume their content. In one way, fragmentation can seem overwhelming – so many things competing for the same attention – but this fragmentation also means more competitive pricing and opportunities for added value, which benefits businesses of all sizes.

Think about it – who wouldn’t want to pay a set amount for their advertising campaign with the near guarantee that the return will value well over 100% of that investment? AKA – free advertising!

The most important step to digital advertising is developing a strategic campaign plan. To start, you must identify four items prior to developing a campaign. Knowing the answers to the following questions always helps get campaigns off to a good start.

With those details covered, let’s move to the first step in any strategic planning process: RESEARCH.
The importance of research can’t be stressed enough. This includes analysis of an advertiser’s target audience, how the target audience interacts with digital media and what digital advertising options are most effective when reaching this audience. Our team also reviews media research and data before recommending a digital advertising plan.

When it comes to digital advertising, you need to know about the three main options as they all offer different capabilities and achieve specific outcomes.

Search campaigns involve placing ads on a search engine such as Google and targeting people actively searching for your products and services or similar keywords. Search is a strong lead generator and often the last touch point before an action is taken. By developing and implementing a list of keywords unique to your brand, we can reach users at the top of the page with engaging and relevant creative. Supporting search, we typically work with a trusted digital partner to develop keywords, manage bid prices, analyze and monitor competitor strategy and make ongoing optimizations to maximize budget and drive clicks throughout the campaign.

Programmatic Display
Programmatic display campaigns include banner ads on websites or within email newsletters. Not only can these ads be different sizes for desktop, mobile and tablet devices, but they can also take the shape of video, animation, interactive expandable units and dynamic creative.

Through advancements in targeting, we also have a lot more power to ensure ads reach your specific audience. We can focus on key audience characteristics or behaviors, and we can even target a person’s IP address. In addition, new technology allows us to use machine learning to identify best-performing creative and optimize toward those units to maximize results.

Depending on how long you run a programmatic display campaign, you want to ensure your creative remains fresh with a clear message that speaks directly to your target audience.

We find it best to reevaluate your creative after about two or three months to determine if a refresh is needed. We call this “creative fatigue.”

Paid Social
Paid social campaigns are exactly how they sound. Paying to run an ad campaign within social media channels. This could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat or TikTok. You don’t need to run a campaign on all platforms, though. It really comes down to who your target audience is and the end goal you hope to achieve.

So how do you know which strategy works best for which audience? It all goes back to the research and understanding your target demographic’s behavior patterns.

For a younger demographic (ages 18-24), you’ll want to specifically focus on developing short videos for Snapchat and/or TikTok that capture attention within six or 15 seconds.

For Millennials and older (ages 25-54), we recommend more programmatic display and search tactics. You also could see success with social campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.

If you’re not targeting a consumer, but focused more on a B2B model, LinkedIn is the place to be. As the most professional social network, you can target down to the job title, occupation or level of employment.

By now you may be wondering, what makes digital advertising so effective and how can you prove it’s successful?

To start, the top benefit of digital advertising is its trackability. Digital is the first medium that allows us to run a campaign and see results in real-time. Meaning, you can optimize on the go and make adjustments as needed based on the data. No other medium has that capability.

Digital also gives your target audience direct access to your brand for more information or interaction. Unlike a TV or radio spot, or even a billboard overlooking the highway, you don’t need to rely on your audience to take an extra step or action. With digital, they’re simply a click away from learning more about you.

When developing a campaign, we also set up key performance indicators, or KPIs, to determine how we will measure success. That easy trackability mentioned earlier really comes in handy here.

There are several different KPIs when it comes to digital advertising, all of which vary by tactic.

Impressions and reach evaluate who within our audience was exposed to the message; frequency then layers on to show how many times a user was exposed.

Clicks specifically measure a user going from an ad to the intended destination – clicking through to your website, clicking to make a call or even filling out a form directly within the platform.

Engagements measure a user’s interaction with an ad. Whether that interaction is through likes or comments on social media or going through the steps of an interactive component to completion.

Determining the best KPIs for your campaign all comes back to your end goal.

Brand Awareness = Impressions and Clicks

Lead Generation = Clicks and Engagements

When developing your KPIs, keep in mind how your digital advertising can integrate into the full PESO model. The PESO model is a strategy that combines paid, earned, shared and owned media to deliver integrated marketing programs, expand reach and establish brands as leaders within their industry.

Let’s say you want to run an awareness campaign. You develop a microsite for this campaign and drive traffic through a social media campaign, media pitches and digital advertising. All of these pieces work together towards one common goal but cover all the necessary bases in terms of where you can reach your target audience.

The one thing all KPIs have in common is the strong reliance on data to tell the story. Watching the trends in advertising throughout our 25 years in business, we’ve seen data continuing to drive these evolutions. We anticipate data will continue playing a major role in the way we push forward, especially as systems become smarter. As new platforms are introduced, we will see a lot more availability in terms of products and tactics to test. Some new platforms and the availability of data may even impact how we use other tactics from the PESO model.

Bookmark this blog to your browser as a quick reference when thinking about digital advertising. Interested in launching a campaign? Email me at to request a digital advertising consultation.

When you hear the word Amazon, you may think of the ecommerce platform. However, Amazon’s properties extend beyond online shopping. Amazon Prime 2019 Membership data shows 82 percent of U.S. households have a Prime membership1, totaling 105 million households.

While memberships continue to increase, so do the number of Amazon properties, giving advertisers multiple opportunities to reach Amazon customers. These include Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music, Fire TV and the voice assistant product, Alexa. Amazon’s growth fuels the development of powerful mediums that allow advertisers to follow consumers, understand their habits and in turn, provide them with relevant content and advertisements.

Amazon continues to invest in the digital advertising space, which is projected to grow by about 50 percent throughout 20202.  Amazon advertising opportunities include search, digital display, video and over-the-top television (OTT) tactics, which all utilize Amazon’s proprietary first-party data to accurately target key consumer groups. Below is a list of expanded advertising tactics currently offered through Amazon and how each benefits advertisers:

Benefit to Advertisers
Display Ads
Display advertising on Amazon websites, apps and devices, as well as sites not owned by Amazon.
Cost-effective display advertising across Amazon and non-Amazon sites.
Amazon DSP (demand-side-platform) Display Ads
Display advertising through Amazon DSP (demand-side-platform) to reach users via Amazon-owned inventory as well as sites not owned by Amazon. Includes custom segmentation and modeling with placement on websites, apps and devices.
Cost-effective display advertising tactic using Amazon’s first-party data to effectively reach target audiences.
Amazon Video Ads
15- or 30-second streaming over-the-top video ads served through Amazon demand-side-platform (DSP) across Prime Video, Fire TV and IMDb TV.
Engages users with video assets across a variety of platforms and devices.
Amazon DSP Video/Over-the-Top Television (OTT) Ads
15- or 30-second streaming over-the-top video ads served through Amazon demand-side-platform (DSP) across Prime Video, Fire TV and IMDb TV.
Engages users with video assets across streaming video platforms to reach non-traditional TV/video viewers.

As you consider tactics for your next campaign, evaluate all of the advertising options across the media landscape, including Amazon. However, while Amazon can provide your campaign with a variety of placements and depth, it should not stand alone. Every campaign should include more than one media tactic that can reach the target audience effectively, convey important messaging and essentially achieve the overall campaign goals.

Let us know how we can help integrate Amazon into your next media buy!

[1] Digital Commerce 360, 82% of US households have an Amazon Prime membership, July 2019, available at:

2 eMarketer, U.S. Digital Ad Spending Will Surpass Traditional in 2019, February 2019, available at:

Technology continues to play a large role in our lives, from serving as a resource for information to providing a quick and easy way to order groceries online.

To serve the increasing number of digital-savvy consumers in the current on-demand retail environment, companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon continue to develop technology to keep up with the wants and needs of the consumer, specifically through voice-assisted devices.

The origins of the voice assistant started with Apple when they introduced Siri on October 4, 2011. Several years later, Google unveiled Google Home, Microsoft rolled out Cortana and Amazon developed Alexa, flooding the market with new devices. By 2019, there were an estimated 3.25 billion voice assistants used across the world.1  The projected increase in digital voice assistants use is expected to increase from 2.5 billion in 2018 to over 88 billion by 2023.2

Advertisers can now reach the average consumer while they’re in-home or simply completing a voice search on their mobile devices. With expanding technology from top tech companies comes expanded opportunities for buyers to purchase goods or services and for advertisers to reach consumers through these devices.

A. Bright Idea recommends the following strategies for integrating voice assistants into your advertising strategies in 2020:

1. Follow the users

The top contenders, Amazon and Google reach most voice assistant users and capture the in-home audience.3 By purchasing advertising units through top companies as listed previously and various applications, such as Pandora, you are able to target specific consumers in real-time. Ads placed within relevant content resonates best with the target audience and ensures the call-to-action is heard.

2. Integrate into the overall plan

The voice assistant tactic should integrate seamlessly into the current audio or digital portion of the full advertising strategy. It is important from a creative standpoint to allow assets used to span across multiple tactics and mediums. Incorporating this tactic can also help reach a new audience not previously reached.

3. Tailor creative

A. Bright Idea recommends tailoring the creative not only to the audience but keeping the placement in mind as well. A. Bright Idea customized creative messaging for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day campaign using Pandora’s connected home placements. Using language specifically for the in-home listener, DEA’s messaging focused on taking an immediate action within the home to connect with audiences in the moment.

Moving forward and throughout 2020, advertisers can take full advantage of not only the voice assistants, but also other digital tech in development with top companies. The trend of voice assistants will increase while consumers will become less reliant on digital screens.2 While the ways to reach target audiences become more diverse, remember that the way advertisers utilize specific creative and placements help drive the success of the specific advertisement within the campaign.

Looking for more advertising expertise? Try this – Advertising in 2020 – The Digital Media Solution

1 Statista, Number of digital voice assistants in use worldwide from 2019 to 2023 (in billions)*, November 2019, available at:

2 Centro Institute, 20/20 on 2020 Trends and predictions for the future of marketing, September 2019

3, Google Home Added 600,000 More U.S. Users in 2018 Than Amazon Echo, But Amazon Echo Dot is Still the Most Owned Smart Speaker, March 2019, available at:

As advertisers look ahead to 2020, many feel they must choose between an advertising path focused on mass reach brand awareness or an alternative path to direct sales through targeted digital media advertising.

Many recognize the power of promoting a brand through a strategic mass media approach but cannot deny the benefits and return on investment offered by a targeted digital plan. 2019 marked the first time digital ad spending surpassed traditional media spending, signaling a shift in strategy, budget and execution by many U.S. brands. At A. Bright Idea, we believe a strategic digital media plan can increase brand awareness and drive leads, using a combination of cost-effective advertising tactics.

In the past decade, digital advertising capabilities improved significantly, giving advertisers the opportunity to target niche audiences, see results in real-time and make adjustments mid-campaign to impact sales and maximize budget. Audience targeting capabilities also improved with audience segmentation, enhanced geo-targeting and IP-targeting. The incorporation of first-party, third-party and CRM data gave digital advertising legitimacy in the lead generation space. This data-driven approach allowed advertisers to focus on an audience most likely to interact with their brand and used tangible data to reach the lower end of the purchasing funnel. And, best of all, digital advertising costs a fraction of many broad-reaching mass media buys.

In theory, converting to a pure digital advertising campaign checks all the boxes, but this approach has its drawbacks too. High frequency of exposure to the same audience can cause burn-out and potentially turn consumers away from a brand. Also, limiting reach to those already in the funnel ignores a potentially untapped audience of new customers. Once marketers churn through existing leads, they must find ways to feed the top of the funnel and ultimately cultivate new leads, which cannot be done at the micro-level.

Fortunately, companies do not have to stand on one side of the advertising fence or the other. With more options than ever before, the right formula often includes a combination of digital media that reaches the target audience at multiple points along the consumer journey. As we look to 2020 and consider all of the media options around us and those yet to come, A. Bright Idea considers the following to help build and ultimately execute an effective media campaign:

  • Know your target audience
  • Outline campaign goals and objectives
  • Pinpoint key timing and benchmarks
  • Determine what you want to learn from the campaign
  • Identify key metrics to measure campaign success

Learn more about how A. Bright Idea can build a media plan for you!

Marketers always look for new and exciting ways to reach their customers and grow their brand. In recent years, while digital advertising has seen steady growth, standing out from the din of every other advertisement out there can be a challenge.

For businesses looking to target audiences towards the bottom of the sales funnel, converting interests into sales, podcast advertising might be a worthwhile option as part of a strategic advertising effort. Podcasts target a niche, captive audience to which a brand can push its product or service directly into the ears of listeners interested in first, the podcast content, and second, products or services that meet a need and/or match the content of the show.

Any effective advertising campaign works through the sales funnel to figure out where customers are along their buying journey and how to get them to convert while spending as little as possible per conversion. TV, radio and digital ads all play important roles throughout the sales funnel from building awareness and interest to conversions. The old saying, never put all your eggs in one basket, holds true in advertising. Use podcasts in conjunction with other mediums to ensure your brand hits a wide range of people in the funnel.

As podcasts continue to grow as an important and worthwhile medium for marketers and brands, businesses must understand what makes a podcast advertisement unique. Once you’ve gained a better understanding of the medium, consider if your business and podcasts are right for each other.

Here’s what you need to know about podcasts before adding the tool to your advertising strategy.

  1. Trusted voice – If there’s one thing podcast listeners have in common, it’s their trust in the host. Podcast hosts fall into the influencer category. The audience views podcast hosts as experts and their shows are a manifestation of their interests and expertise. By creating engaging content audiences come back for repeatedly, they build an audience that genuinely trusts them. It’s that trust that plays well for advertisers. Most ads use live reads, delivered directly by the host at the beginning (pre-roll) or midway (mid-roll) through the show. Live reads, similar to radio, come across like a recommendation from a friend with an authentic feel. Considering your audience, find podcasts/hosts that pair well with your product or service. If their show, voice and audience all match your organization’s brand and target audience, you’ve found a good fit.
  2. The product/service – If you want to advertise on podcasts, you need a product with a broad user base. This is due to the fact that podcasts have a fairly wide range of demographics in their audience. Ads for essentials like underwear, razors, beds and other products are the norm on podcasts because just about everyone uses them. Pairing the right product with the right audience allows the brand to reach more potential customers. A podcast framed around exercise, with a core audience of health enthusiasts, is more likely to advertise jump ropes, foam rollers and Whey protein than it would a new brand of coffee or an online flower delivery service.
  3. A special offer – It’s true, sometimes you just can’t pass up a sale. Podcast ads not only win over audiences with trusted recommendations and useful products, but they almost always tack on a special offer code at checkout. Brands will offer podcast listeners an even deeper discount to further entice on-the-fence buyers.

Podcasts have risen in popularity over the past decade, gaining the attention of brands and marketers who happily fill the podcast niche with quality ads reaching dedicated audiences, something difficult to come by these days. Consider adding this strategy to your marketing toolbox when the brand, audience and budget match up with what podcasts have to offer.