Digital Publishing Trends Multiplatform Publishing Strategy

Publishers Consider Brand Awareness of Digital Ads

Procter & Gamble Co. cuts digital ad spend; Customers reportedly more trusting of marketers than many imagine; Condé Nast uses neuroscience for better digital ads 

Publishers using digital ads have a lot to think about. Not only do they need to create ads that are effective and help to build positive brand awareness, they also have to figure out the best way to serve the ads and track their impact.

Today we look at news from publishers who have made changes to the way they handle their program for digital ads.


Our first story looks at Procter & Gamble and a major cut to its digital marketing program. WSJ reports, “Procter & Gamble said that its move to cut more than $100 million in digital marketing spend in the June quarter had little impact on its business, proving that those digital ads were largely ineffective.”

Almost all of the consumer product giant’s advertising cuts in the period came from digital, finance chief Jon Moeller said on its earnings call Thursday. The company targeted ads that could wind up on sites with fake traffic from software known as “bots,” or those with objectionable content.”

The article continues with a notion shared by many major digital magazine publishers. “The cuts echo marketing executives’ mounting concerns around the efficacy of digital advertising and the growing perception that they are wasting money on digital ads that never reach their intended audience.”

Next, we move to a story on the effectiveness of modern marketing techniques, according to a new study out of Northwestern University. NY Times reports, “The study, done by Mr. Grayson and Mathew Isaac, a professor at Seattle University, and published in April in the Journal of Consumer Research, surveyed 400 participants regarding 20 common tactics used in television and digital ads. Thirteen of the tactics elicited favorable responses, which surprised even marketers.”

Certain tactics, such as offering to match a competitor’s low prices, reporting a high rating on a site like Amazon or Yelp or mentioning a recent ranking by a third-party source like U.S. News & World Report, received the most positive reactions from participants. Others, like using paid actors instead of real people, or even hiring celebrity endorsers to express their affinity for a product, came off as “deceptive” or “manipulative,” according to those surveyed.”

Just as the world of digital ads constantly changes, so does consumer acceptance of certain marketing tactics. “An important point, Mr. Isaac said, is that consumer disbelief about certain tactics can also be fluid. Some approaches deemed disreputable a few years ago could become more widely accepted. Product placements and native advertising — packaged to look like journalism — are two examples.”

Our last story looks at Condé Nast’s latest attempt at determining effectiveness in its digital ads through neuroscience. Digiday reports, “In an attempt to demonstrate the efficacy of its branded videos on YouTube and Facebook, the media conglomerate teamed with market research firm Neuro-Insight to measure the impact of its posts on memory encoding and emotional intensity. Using a method called steady state topography that monitors brainwave activity, Condé Nast tracked how 200 consumers interacted with its sponsored fashion, finance, beauty and auto posts.”

The findings showed high levels of resonance for Condé Nast posts across both platforms — specifically, its videos were 60 percent more effective at memory encoding than traditional YouTube pre-roll advertising and 17 percent more engaging than general Facebook content, including user-generated posts from friends.”

Do you need help building digital ads, driving more website traffic, and ultimately growing your digital magazine business? Schedule a free introductory conversation with Don Nicholas, our Chairman & CEO, to discuss how we can help you grow your audience, revenue and profits.

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