Digital dangers, targeting and bothism

Digital has democratized advertising, allowing more brands to find and reach their audiences online. 

It’s also led some marketers to believe you can target your way to growth. 

But that strategy has limited potential. 


Digital dangers, targeting and bothism       

Each week, we break down another marketing concept so you can skip the hype and get directly to what works. 

Some marketers believe broad reach channels are dated. They instead prioritize digital’s narrow targeting capabilities. 

But over-reliance on digital can be dangerous. DTC companies demonstrated this last year— collectively losing billions in market cap. Plus, Facebook ad prices have tripled in the past two years. IOs 14 privacy changes have made attribution more difficult. And we’re all at the whim of Google algorithm changes.  

On the other hand, some marketers hold tightly to long-term brand building. They shun short-term, direct response efforts. 

The problem? This approach is impossible for most companies. Not everyone can afford to wait months or years to see marketing results. 

But it doesn’t have to be just one way or the other. 

Mark Ritson coined the term ‘bothism’ to describe embracing both top-of-funnel and bottom-of-funnel marketing. 

Because for most marketers, digital advertising is a crucial part of the marketing mix. That’s not going to change anytime soon, despite growing challenges. But broad reach channels are also important for lasting growth. 

Airbnb recently reported excellent financial performance despite economic headwinds. How did they do it? For years, the company had invested heavily in search advertising. But they began to see a decline in return. So they made a change, cutting search spend and investing in brand-building efforts like PR and TV advertising.  

They found balance. 

Key Takeaway: Brand and performance marketing should serve as complementary pieces of your marketing strategy. As should traditional and digital marketing channels. 


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