A Marketer’s Dream, Part 1: Digital Advertising Is King

The world of marketing has spoken, and they’ve declared that digital advertising is the top dog now.

A study by BrandScience says that we’ll be spending more than $160 billion in the United States alone on digital marketing by 2020. This includes paid search, digital display, social media, online videos, email marketing and more. In fact, I’ve read other blogs that say by 2020 we could be topping $180 billion or more. That will be 51 percent of all estimated marketing dollars spent in the U.S.

That means the big-four-of-old — TV, Radio, Outdoor and Print — will be taking a backseat to that hilarious Facebook ad your colleague just Tweeted you, or the sponsored Instagram post you just Snap-chatted your bestie.

The giants of digital advertising in the industry are light-years ahead of the masses, but we can learn a lot from their research and experience. Their digital advertising budgets continue to blow up. Amazon spent $1.3 billion on digital advertising in the U.S. in 2015. And that pales in comparison to Proctor & Gamble’s $4.5 billion. For P&G, that amount made up 40 percent of their entire marketing budget.

I know you’re thinking that selling toothpaste and hair products is slightly different than an education — and you’re absolutely right. But what do some of their products and your institution have in common? Your audience. And they know where they are.

Location, Location, Location

Get your message to your target audience the first time, and cut out the waste. Digital advertising and marketing automation are cost-effective, track-able, credible tactics to achieve this goal. Hence the enormous amount of spends.

According to eMarketer, the average adult spends 47.1 percent of their 24-hour days online! That’s looking at their phone, emails, text, YouTube, etc. One study said that we pick up our phone on average (you’re not going to believe this) 1,500 times a day! Is that right? That can’t be right. But I guess when you consider every time you touch your phone — to look at a text, to check your email, to glance at social media, to check your calendar, to listen to a podcast, to actually use it as a phone — it might not be that far off!

Digital advertising brings your target audience BACK to where you want them to be — and in higher education, that’s your website. Marketing automation then doubles-down by delivering relevant content, all while gathering insane amounts of detailed, behavioral traffic data.

Long story short, we live in the digital world and marketers are using these tools to ensure the message they need to get to you — gets to you.

(Check back on Friday for Part 2 of this blog, which will look at how Digital Advertising and Marketing Automation are working together effectively for enrollment management.)

By Ellen Stubbs, Vice President of Marketing, Capture Higher Ed