Display advertising and offline advertising share many characteristics. Offline advertising lacks the ability to use individual-level behavior. Conversely display advertising uses this information to target consumers. Remarketing is a key method to create many more touchpoints with consumers to build familiarity with a firm’s products or services. In this case website visitors have raised their hand and said they are interested in the firm. Website visitation is the information about individual-level behavior to target consumers with display advertising known as retargeting. The display advertising structure will be the Omni-Channel PPC Funnel in this discussion. Practitioners have not only been divided about the usefulness of online advertising, the differential effects of display, paid search and offline advertising has remained in a myopic fog of mystery. I will use this differential to tap into traffic sources which have been previously considered inert in producing predictable consumer behavior and outcomes. Behaviors which are relevant to website visits and physical design center visitation and offline sales. The results are applicable to single firm marketing or co-op marketing among multiple firms.
Website & Design Center Visitation
Banners, plain text, media-rich content and, video ads define online display ads. Display advertisement is the meat behind retargeting efforts, however, has been a highly under privileged player in advertising portfolios. It’s actually an unseen opportunity cost that has been overlooked. Paid search appears both top and bottom of organic search results and offline advertising is traditional advertising with offline media. According to new research it can be shown that differentiating the characteristics of online display, paid search, and offline advertising the effects on firm performance can be examined (Bayer et al., 2020).
Sridhar, Germann, Kang, and Grewal (2016) call for further research of the differential effects of online advertising types. With their sample restricted to manufacturing firms, the research that ensued from the call included 1651 firms across 11 sectors over a period of 7 years enabling Bayer et al. (2020) to generalize their findings. Determining the differential characteristics of online advertising results in predictable outcomes of individual-level behavior to drive consumer action. That action is website and design centers visitations with predictable sales.
Differential Effects of Online Advertising
Offline advertising can better differentiate a brand from its competitors because of its placement opportunities. However, we cannot determine which consumers have received the advertisement and which sales are attributed to it.
Online advertising allows the firm to approach the consumers at the right stage of the purchase decision. This is accomplished through individual targeting. Omni-Channel PPC allows for the firm to use display advertising across the consumers entire search portfolio creating many more touchpoints over the life of the purchase decision staying top of mind.
It’s known that about 4% of the website visitors are ready to make a purchase at that moment, leaving the other 96% to return to the market to be exposed to competitor advertising. If a firm does not remarket effectively, they are giving their consumers to their competitor. The lack of touchpoints and visibility by lingering in the background of the market has its consequences.
Display advertising has a more positive effect on a firm’s performance over the long-term because of its targeting ability and its cross-channel effects, i.e. Omni-Channel in our case. Note that display advertising and paid search advertising are not interchangeable. The effects are heterogeneous across both online categories. Making there differentials unique in marketing strategy applications.
Display advertising shares some characteristics of traditional offline advertising. However, it’s differentiated by its ability to target consumers, i.e. via behavioral targeting. Therefore remarketing can be discussed without any word stretching or extrapolation. Omni-Channel PPC fits snugly within the context of Bayer et al. (2020) paper allowing the differentials of online advertising to be applied directly.
The behaviors we are looking for specifically that are influenced by display advertising are increased site visitation, brand search queries (Google My Business (GM), Reviews, etc.), and online and offline sales (Design Center Visitation). Display advertising also increase retention and repeat purchases.
This is ideal for marketing since display ads can become part of the consumer’s solution process delivering outcomes (Grillo & Hellman, 2018). Integrating into the consumer’s buyer journey is now accessible in a way that was not available to us before.
Omni-Channel PPC has been shown to increase sales by as much as 40% while reducing the cost per lead by as much as 89%. Website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are more likely to convert by 70%. Retargeting is one of the least expensive forms of paid advertising with one of the largest returns.
Savings can be realized by ad spend data on electronic dashboards that keep day to day totals. An audited savings methodology can be applied to the advertising portfolio at the end of a chosen reporting period which includes both online and offline advertising expenditures (Larimer, 2013).
Even though online advertising generates stronger shorter-term performance in sales and long-term firm value calculated by Tobin’s q than offline advertising, there is no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Sample firms that were studied already had a strong portfolio of offline advertising boosting the effects of display and paid search (Bayer et al., 2020).
Paid Search Advertising
Paid search advertising by definition is not cross-channel or Omni-Channel. It appears over and under organic listings and is well defined in its position. Paid search is closest to the actual purchase decision than offline sales or display advertising (Bayer et al., 2020).
Known for its ability to drive sales due to targeting and location in search results, firms are most attracted to this form of advertising resulting in little or no return on investment (ROI). It’s really a cold sale if a firm has no advertising portfolio and paid search is their sole venture into advertising. Consumers are going to have to trust that the company advertising in search is going to be able to fill their needs.
Paid search advertising is one of the more expensive venues in advertising. It’s a place where something happens above and below the organic search results known to be close to the purchase decision and search engines have no trouble charging for that premium. Display advertising and its venues are unseen resulting in opportunity costs being overlooked, much less the differential effects on of online advertising.
The crux of the problem paid advertising has as a sole venture is its weighted value among other competitors. A competitor with an advertising portfolio has many more touchpoints with the consumer giving them a higher conversion probability.
Paid advertising turns into a high-stakes conundrum where given the choice the firm may opt out of online advertising all together due to expense. The opportunity cost is insurmountable since the firm never took their marketing to the next level.
Opportunity Cost of Display Advertising
Paid search advertising is used by firms to initiate a sales response while display advertising is an exercise in brand building. This is the face value application of online ads. Understanding the differential effects of online advertising underpins the expenditures across display, paid search and offline advertising.
The differential effects have been pointed to over a number of years until 2010 when the concept was studied. Practitioners have failed to implement display advertising effectively and remarket in a useful manner, if it has been used at all due to its ipso facto belief of firm branding qualities and the glamor of paid search. Display ads are simply not understood by its differentials and dynamic characteristic interaction with the consumer solution process.
Qualified members of the Omni-Channel PPC team surveyed 28,000 businesses and found that almost no one is doing retargeting. 9% are doing Facebook Retargeting, 7% are doing Google and others, and only 1% of the businesses have tied enough channels together to be considered Omni-Channel PPC (O’Dell, 2019). This means that retargeting is essentially unseen leaving its subsets Omni-Channel and its differential effects are essentially invisible.
Rather it’s the unseen opportunity cost that is overlook that can be used to balance an advertising portfolio. Understanding the differential effects of display advertising allows it to be used as a means to drive traffic to a website and promote in-person exchanges at design centers.
Once the opportunity cost is realized and the differential effects understood, then outcomes can be accurately modeled by the marketing team. Moreover, by optimizing the firms advertising portfolio for consumer outcomes from display, paid search and offline advertising, consumer acquisition cost (CAC) dramatically decrease while increasing the lifetime value of the customer.
Done properly consumer website and design center visitations can be increased. The Omni-Channel approach is the marketing method that is preferred by consumers (Michaels, 2017). Unified shopping channels with an integrated shopping experience are what the consumer feels they need to accomplish their goals. Omni-Channel is now the standard. Online and design center accessibility are expected to be unified in a way that it produces a seamless experience.
Display ad retargeting is uniquely suited for increased site visitation and offline sales. Consumers enter the retargeting funnel by visiting the website. That is the behavior whether they were offline or online marketing targets. Within the funnel a marketing team can produce a series of outputs (e.g., via touchpoints) to produce consumer outcomes.
Rather than pitch products features, the ultimate outcome consumers are looking for is a long-term meaningful relationship based on business value (Grillo & Hellman, 2018). That fact points to high customer value over the time of the relationship for the firm. To initiate and build that relationship takes behavioral targeting of which the most fundamental is remarketing (Smith, 2021).
With the right messaging display ad retargeting drives traffic to websites and increases in-person exchange at design centers. To amplify that effect those firms in a position to co-op with other firms have the ability to amplify that traffic. Without getting into the math directly, if a firm has funneled 20,000 visitors a percentage of those will revisit the firm’s website and design centers.
Taking that concept to a co-op marketing program, 50 companies following 20,000 visitors in their remarketing funnel gives the co-op 1M consumers to serve display ads too. A co-op situation is different than that of a single firm. Now the individual retail centers along with their in house design centers in the co-op are being visited for in-person exchanges along with their websites.
Brand search queries create new visitations to firms mentioned on the display ads. A co-op sponsor can benefit directly from having a pool of 1M consumers being served display retargeting ads. It creates new brand search queries and website visitations trickling down from the co-op pool of firms giving the co-op sponsor another chance to help the consumer thru the buying journey.
Since Omni-Channel marketing includes in-person exchanges, it creates community among consumers (Nicasio, 2019). When on a road trip, it’s easy to pick out the Ford or Chevy dealers just as co-op firms would be picked out belonging to a community of firms that sell an established product exclusively. Stepping into any of those locations, consumers would have expectations of those design centers as a family of locations.
Brick & Mortar Marketing
Bricks and clicks marketing has always used billboard and print, i.e. traditional advertising. The perception in the brick and mortar market is that advanced targeting in the digital space can complement or replace offline advertising (Nicasio, 2019). Rather it’s a portfolio of online and offline advertising that optimizes overall firm marketing output to generate desired consumer outcomes.
Design centers nurture relationships and lead to brand advocacy over time. The value of brick and mortar marketing is its measure in consumer acquisition and retention. Its weighted value among other marketing methods is significant. The foot traffic that is generated by display ads creates community and differentiates a firms brand from competitors (Nicasio, 2019).
Marketing cooperatives advertising is commonly seen in franchise structured businesses. Among the marketing efforts of local and national advertising, co-ops focus on a region that pool their dollars to support advertising (“Understanding”, n.d.). Co-ops can be formed among other businesses that are exclusive to a firm’s product and have design centers or have design centers within their locations.
A remarketing funnel, i.e. Omni-Channel PPC is a win-win added to any advertising portfolio as it is one of the most inexpensive type of display advertising available and it drives foot traffic. Added to a portfolio, it can greatly reduce cost per lead and CAC across the entire portfolio average. Retargeting effects can be amplified across the co-op to produce the needed in-person interaction. If each location remarketed to 40,000 consumers who have already raised their hand as interested by visiting the website, a co-op 50 businesses could quickly be in front of 2M people monthly.
Moreover, firms that have avoided digital advertising can also join the co-op and benefit. The differential effects of online advertising allow remarketing to be added to virtually any advertising portfolio. Only consumers who have visited the firm’s website with an interest will be shown display ads at a cost which is attractive to marketers maintaining a balanced portfolio.
Differential effects of display, paid search, and offline advertising allow marketing teams to use the right type of advertising outputs to optimize consumer outcomes. Consumers are looking for firms to build long-term relationships with to help them along their buyer journey. They already know the firms products and services via their website information. Pitches on product features and benefits have been swept away by the digital space. It is much more important to know how to communicate with the consumer with display ad retargeting being one of the most effective creating multiple touchpoints. Paid search has a glamor role in online advertising as it’s closest to the purchase decisions with firms watching their competitors rake in the customers in awe.
We find that display ad remarketing is really an unseen opportunity cost much less understanding it’s differential effects and funnel effects such as Omni-Channel PPC. Paid search is a premium cost in a marketing portfolio which runs aground causing expenditure leaks. Display ads used correctly have strategic applications in marketing strategies and are very inexpensive to implement. Averaged over a portfolio, leads and CAC can be greatly reduced. Increased site visitation and offline sales (Design Center Visitation) are key heterogeneous effects which marketing can use to facilitate the consumer solution process. These strategies can be implemented for single firm or co-op advertising.