There’s no doubt about it – companies are throwing away tons of cash due to failed digital advertising campaigns.

Research shows that 98% of paid ads are a colossal waste of money. On top of that, waste in digital ad spending has grown to a whopping 60% across the globe.

So, how can you be sure your ads will get noticed by your target customers?

And what steps can you take to cut down on the risks associated with digital advertising?

Let’s talk about two major risks you take when you invest in digital advertising. And then, we’ll discuss how you can avoid those risks and feel confident knowing your ads will delight your customers and give you a positive return on your investment.

Risk #1: Failing to cut through the clutter


Did you know that the average consumer is exposed to over 1,500 advertising messages every day?

With that in mind, it’s easy to understand how your ad could get lost in the mix. Even if you think it’s going to stand out, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to see a positive return.

And make no mistake – simply being different from your competitors isn’t enough in today’s noisy online space. With 70% of people saying they’re either blocking ads or interested in blocking ads, it’s critical for you to pinpoint content that will resonate with your audience in a way that makes them want to buy.

Otherwise, your ads will become just another failed attempt to capture the customer’s attention.

Risk #2: Damaging your brand’s reputation


We’ve already talked about how brands often fail to cut through the clutter. But what happens when your brand cuts through the clutter in a negative way by accidentally creating an ad that’s offensive or annoying?

Well, one thing’s for sure:

Your potential customers aren’t going to like it.

And you’re not going to like it either. Not only will you fail to see a positive return on your advertising investment – you’ll actually see a negative return in the form of long-term damage to your brand’s reputation.

Unfortunately, the risks of creating an ad that damages your brand’s reputation are pretty high. Research from Kantar Millward Brown shows that 1 in 4 digital ads has the potential to negatively impact the brand.


Source: Kantar Millward Brown global Brand Lift Insights Marketnorms database (12,822 campaigns), April 2016

A better way to approach digital advertising

Maybe you’ve already thought about the risks mentioned here, and you’re considering solutions like better tracking, better targeting, and more consistency.

But the thing is, none of those solutions address the underlying problem:

The actual content in the ad.

As Atin Kulkarni, Senior Director, Portfolio Analytics, of Frito-Lay North America explains:

Creative development is an important focus for us to maximize the effectiveness of our marketing efforts and drive sales. Digital creative pre-testing provides us with a new way to think about evaluating creative before we go to market.

Why is it that many businesses are taking this step for their TV advertising efforts, they’re failing to take it for their digital advertising efforts?

The real barrier to adoption of a pre-testing mindset when it comes to digital advertising seems to be the lack of a solution tailored to digital as a specific channel and matching the cost base and timelines of digital content generation.

Technology is catching up and is pairing up with market research providers to deliver solutions.

LinkNow for Digital by Kantar Millward Brown is specifically designed for testing digital advertising effectiveness and in-market success by combining in-context behavioral metrics with the validated Link survey methodology and benchmarks.


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More dollar spend going into the digital space cannot lead to adding to the noise or relying solely on gut decisions. Digital advertising is and should able to walk away from risk to insight-driven and customer-centric creative development.

In the end, this benefits the consumer and the brands when they find each other in meaningful, impactful digital touchpoints.

Daniel Evans

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Daniel Evans

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