What Large Corporates Need to Realise About Display Advertising
There’s a huge issue in today’s marketing and business society, and the crazy part is that most brands and marketers who are putting their money where that issue is, doesn’t even realize that it is an issue.
I’m of course talking about the good old display ads.
I am shocked every time I see some new huge marketing campaign from a large brand, filling up every billboard they can find and TV airtime as well.
To many of you, it may sound just like a really smart marketing strategy, and maybe it is, but the statistics are giving us indications of something else.
In this article, we’ll discuss What Large Corporates Need to Realise About Display Advertising and why large brands need to stop putting their whole marketing budget there
What is the issue?
Okay, you might wonder,
Lately, there has been a lot of reports of small clothing brands that have, in just a few years, grown up to be million dollar businesses, and what is interesting is that most of them have never run a display ad, ever.
So, with the help of new marketing sources, small corporates seem to be expanding their business at a pace that they didn’t think was possible. However, this, of course, makes the big guys in the game nervous.
Ralph Lauren, for example, is a brand who are still depending a lot on display advertising, so it doesn’t exactly leave us questioning why Ralph Lauren’s revenue has declined quarter on quarter for seven straight quarters, and we expect further declines this year.
Back in the days, the fashion industry was only divided in a few large clothing corporates, but in the shift between 1990 and 2000, something the clothing industry had never seen before happened.
Small, independent fashion brands started to emerge. Of course, nobody thought these brands would have a chance to win the competition between the giants in the room, but oh so wrong they had.
Many of the small companies had something the large corporates didn’t have, which was, and still is a huge leverage over them. What the new clothing brands had was a new fresh angle on the fashion and marketing industry.
While large corporates like Ralph Lauren still spends a lot of their marketing budget on display ads, the small companies with success stories that has been built up in just a few years are all realizing and taking advantage of the huge potential of social media marketing, influencer marketing, Facebook ads (which all are underpriced exposure at the moment).
By using influencer marketing, for example, the up and coming brands get influencers who people look up to, to wear their clothes and thereby creating a demand for that product.
There are endless of examples of fashion brands that can confirm the story above, but one example is Black Milk clothing.
Started in 2009, the company began when they sold their first leggings for $10. Today Black Milk Clothing is a multi-million dollar company that’s grown to 150 people and distributes its products globally.
And what’s their story? Leveraging the power of social media. And this is what the CEO says about their marketing budget: “My marketing budget is zero dollars. I didn’t spend a cent on advertising, don’t do AdWords, don’t do campaigns, don’t spend any money at all.” Instead, the brand realized the power of social media and how they could get their customers to do their marketing for them.
Of course, the same story goes for most industries, but the fashion industry is one that has expanded and evolved a lot over the years.
And when you read these kinds of success stories, it gets you wondering why brands like Ralph Lauren are still pumping in millions of dollars into that kind of advertising, when they see living proof that other types of marketing work better. Just look at Ralph’s revenue history. It doesn’t seem like their marketing strategy works. And if you ask me, they’re basically burning a big part of their money up, because, with the type of ads they do, they are getting very low, or non-existing results on them.
Why are brand still using display ads?
The simple explanation to why brands are still using display ads when the statistics clearly states that there are other, more effective ways to spend their money and get a high ROI from them, is that it’s a culture.
Marketers who are working at places like RL are people who have been working there a long time, from RL’s peak days to today. Therefore, many of them still insist that display advertising is what works because it used to do just that back in the days. The issue is that when new people with fresh ideas come to the party, the culture between the already existing marketers is so blindly focused on display ads, and if you were to do something else, people would just look at you like you are stupid.
To summarize it shortly, many large corporates aren’t agile and doesn’t implement new marketing strategies into their strategy when they emerge. That is not to say that it doesn’t happen. Nike and Adidas are two great examples of brands who are quickly adapters and learners, who also have gotten great success from it over the last couple of years.
What does the statistics say?
Well, from a Ralph Lauren marketer point of view, it doesn’t look good.
Every statistic you look at makes you question how the large brands still haven’t realized that they are walking a path in the completely wrong direction. However, it also makes you understand that the rapid growth of small brands very clearly because these are the ones who have adapted, tweaked and optimized the marketing ways that the statistics speak for.
Compared to an average display ad, influencer marketing generates 11 times better result, after just 12 months. Wow!
When understanding the immense power of influencer marketing, it doesn’t exactly leave us questioning the following statistic which indicates that influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online customer acquisition method. It’s just a pity that large corporates are missing out on it.
The shocking part is that, when large corporates revenue seems to be declining, they’re, instead of evaluating their marketing sources and their ROI, putting more money into it, hoping to generate better results, instead of trying to find new more effective marketing sources.