By Andrew Dabbs, Digital Media Strategist at The MediaShop
A trap that many digital departments tend to fall into is to buy the cheapest online inventory, regardless of whether they are sites that you or your clients would usually steer far clear of.
Justifying cheap inventory for the sake of ‘audiences’ will only hurt the brand, and your reputation in the long run - so buy right the first time. The better the campaign’s content and quality of the online platforms the brand is being advertised on, the more likely the brand will enjoy an excellent audience.
With the digital media industry and everyone playing in the same sandpit of budget, we often get told that we can do the same as someone else at a lower price. But I believe that we need a standard of what is being brought to the table, we need to have publishers and inventory vetted so that agencies can work with accredited partners. Don’t we do this with OOH sites that need to have council approval? So why should digital be any different?
When it comes to buying cheap inventory, you’ll never see a TV planner choosing odd spots and time slots so that we can “save” budget. No, the planner works to the agreed upon AR’s and buys the right spots at the right price to ensure that the client’s ads are being seen by, most importantly, the right audience. So why when it comes to digital do agencies insist on buying at the cheapest cost?
Overall, the digital world is still a mystery for many, exacerbated by the fear of fraud, cyber-attacks, social backlash and concerns of where content is placed. But it’s not all bad out there folks, there are many good people, multiple good publishers, good tech, good agencies and really great clients. We just need to find the balance between quality and quantity. We need to invest in the right people to get the right results and most of all, we need to all upskill ourselves to know more.
It is possible to stop the devaluation of digital as a collective and no longer stand for substandard products or dream ideas of first world tech that just don’t exist. We don’t stand for substandard delivery on other media platforms, so digital should not be any different.