Are Companies Devaluing Marketing Efforts?

Companies would seem to be devaluing marketing efforts over the past few years, leaving marketing companies scrambling to figure out how to continue to capitalize on marketing dollars and build spend. We’ve taken a look at the industry from a marketing company perspective, and here are some thoughts of where the industry is, where it is heading, and how we will need to adapt as marketers to growing trends and expectations.


In 2007, digital marketing through mobile as spend came to fruition, creating a new vertical for ad spend and brand exposure. Competing with traditional marketing and ad spend such as television, radio, and print, digital marketing gave brands the opportunity to be in front of their audience on demand, rather than sporadically through commercials and reading. Devaluation of marketing space and ad presence presented itself shortly after digital marketing took a foothold, causing ripples in spends for brands globally. The next trend we are seeing is through mobile advertising gaining drastically, even over just the past few years.

As we can see in the graph, ad spends in both digital and mobile internet have grown over the past three years, capturing percentages of revenue spends from all other media sources. Mobile usage is gaining significant ground, year after year, along with technologies that enable users to “skip” ad presence.

The drastic change in ad spend is actually quite simple to explain, though publishing and ad companies don’t want to admit the shift, or realize the changes necessary to continue to service their clients properly. Very simply stated, “Buyers” are requiring quantification of their ad dollars, meaning they are requiring their spend to be measured for return on investment.

Recently, at <Code> Media, Gabe Leydon CEO Machine Zone explains the shift to buyer quantification in ad spend. Additionally, he explains a shift from buyers to an expectation of performance marketing, showing return on investment (ROI) for future ad spends.

Gabe dispels myths regarding how the ad industry is aiming to change programmatic buying, along with how the industry must change to place a true valuation of their ad views.

Devaluing Marketing Efforts Through Quantification

What all of this means, is that companies are requiring ad agencies and marketing companies to provide true metrics on their spend, while devaluing efforts to increase spend. The days of ad agencies and marketing companies pushing ad spends up for clients is dissipating quickly. Performance marketing is no longer a hope for companies, it is now a real expectation.

Performance marketing may be a new term for some, however it isn’t a new term at all. Rather, it is the single most avoided term in the marketing industry. Companies who have embraced performance marketing succeed and grow, where companies who are staying course with traditional marketing are becoming stagnant.

When we think of companies who use performance marketing successfully, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft should be at the absolute top of the list. Microsoft through Bing, and Facebook through measurable ad creations, along with Amazon being a true leader within the e-commerce world for quantifiable digital ad spend.


Performance marketing has already impacted marketing companies, and will continue to impact and change the face of digital marketing. This will happen through continued metrics and buyer expectations, placing a large responsibility on digital agencies to be more transparent in their practices towards their clients.

Additionally, marketing companies will be expected to create a total solution for buyers. The days of throwing money at Adwords campaigns without a true click direction have already passed. Marketing companies are “required” to provide not only detailed analytics for spend, but also a detailed click process for media consumers.

The meaning of a detailed marketing campaign has shifted from impressions and clicks, to a realization of how a consumer is engaged through the digital process, whether it is on a mobile device or desktop. An email campaign is gauged by click through and open rates, with an expectation of the buyer to provide a total engagement opportunity. An article must possess not only the necessary digital assets to provide opportunity for click through, but also provide a very concise path for engagement on ad channels to drive traffic to specific offerings for the brand. Retargeting must also be in place to provide the potential consumer additional opportunities to consider a brand’s offer.

With performance marketing, devaluing marketing efforts takes place. While this isn’t a true devaluation, performance marketing causes true accountability for all marketing spend, allowing companies a realization of their efforts. Marketing companies who embrace accountability will thrive, where many hold outs will either diminish or fail.


Kpahi is a digital marketing agency, located in Bloomington, MN, one block east of Mall of America. Specializing in a total marketing solution, Kpahi is a lead driven quantifier for small, medium, and large businesses both locally and nationally. Providing services for content creation & management, automation, ad spend, retargeting, web design, and creative, Kpahi strives to provide measurable results, which leads to successful client relationships.


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