What Is Digital Advertising?

Before the rise of (broadband) Internet, when people were being asked about “What is advertising?” most people would think of how traditional media work such as—print ads, commercials, or billboards, in which for decades, it’d used to be just another name for marketing.

❝ In the Mad Men era, we added marketing last. Marketing and advertising were the same thing, and the job was to promote what was made.
— Seth Godin (2012)

In retrospect, advertising still has the same purpose—to make our clients famous by all means creative as respectfully as using a necessary evil, i.e., the power of money, as needed to leverage anything that helps to get the job done—to exceed beyond the perceived value of people’s imagination.

However, the old culture of Mad Men era is inevitably adapting to the new culture of #AllThingsDigital—“the connection era” (Godin, 2012), in which marketing is now the first thing we do, not the last. In other words, there is a difference between marketing and advertising.

Yet, many people don’t know jack about advertising—or, the difference between paid media and earned media. Advertising is essentially about creating awareness, whereas marketing such as SEO is about building credibility (PR)—“the art of stotrytelling that resonates with your audience and then spreads (Godin)”—as to, for example, improving quality score can lower the costs of advertising when running PPC ad campaign.

Nowadays, data-driven approach in online marketing enables us to focus on “knowing” (pulling) users’ AIDAS in a S.M.A.R.T manner, whereas digital advertising enables us to narrowly focus on “doing” (pushing) things (brand message) based on those reasonings analyzed by marketing, which is an intricate part of today’s advertising.

For example, the ad placement can be now dynamically changed in real-time based on geo-demographics data or browsing history for the current users on the web, e.g., re-marketing.

Interestingly enough, the future of advertising looks very promising in a new way. For example, there is a new mobile app called, GetLocket, that just released its beta version for Android-based smartphone. This app basically allows its users to earn money or monetary value of kinds such as special coupons or gift cards for seeing ads whenever they can simply swipe to unlock the lock-screen of their smartphone.

❝ Rather than make you pay to get rid of ads, it make it so (relevant) brands pay you to display their ads.❞ — GetLocket

As there are millions of online channels and mobile app to choose from, such a new way of earning viewersattention by foraying into uncharted territory of mobile screen seems to hint at a notion about how the data revolution keeps challenging advertising agencies to leverage data to inform creative and strategic solutions for their clients who also care about ROI—as in Return on Influence—because unlike Don Draper day of advertising, digital analytics of marketing should be placed at the forefront as equally as they should value the importance of creativity to drive the continued success of today’s advertising industry.

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