"The Definitive Guide to Digital Advertising" Will Help You in the Coming Year
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"The Definitive Guide to Digital Advertising" Will Help You in the Coming Year

The rise of digital marketing, necessitated by the need to reach consumers where they are – at home – demands a deeper, more comprehensive understanding by franchise consumer marketers than in pre-pandemic times. From technology to strategy, ad tech to changes in consumer behaviors, Marketo’s “The Definitive Guide to Digital Advertising” seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What is digital advertising?
  • How should you create your digital ad strategy?
  • Which different types of ads do you have at your disposal?
  • Which pricing structure can you expect?
  • How do you target your digital ads?
  • How do you design your digital ads?
  • Which types of ad technology are available?
  • How do you test and measure your ads?

Part 1: What is digital advertising and why is it important?

Two major trends have emerged out of the recent – and rapid – evolution of digital buyer behaviors across all channels: 1) buyers are more informed, and 2) consumers have higher expectations. These trends have reshaped how marketers need to interact with buyers through digital ads. This section also includes a background on how digital advertising has evolved to where it is today, how digital ads work, and more.

Part 2: Digital ad strategy

This section focuses on developing your advertising foundation to create a viable digital advertising strategy; developing your advertising goals (customer acquisition, customer nurturing, customer loyalty, and branding); audience development and buyer personas; where and when to reach your audiences; creating a digital advertising dream team; in-house vs. outsourcing; sourcing a good agency; budget strategy; and cross-channel marketing strategy, with several planning worksheets included.

Part 3: Digital ad types and ad design

This section focuses on the nuts-and-bolts of pay-per-click (PPC) search ads and display advertising. PPC content includes tips on writing ad copy, keywords (including negative keywords), CTA strategy, ad extensions, Google quality score, and PPC ads and marketing automation. On the display ad side, topics include best practices for static display ads (“the bread and butter of your display ad strategy”), video display ads, cinemagraphic display ads (a mix of static imagery and video), flash banner ads, pop-up ads, mobile ads, social advertising (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube), social advertising and marketing automation, and effective ad design.

Part 4: Digital ad landing pages

Landing pages for digital advertising, says the report, are a “critical part of conversation and optimization.” Topics and advice include the value of being campaign-specific; landing page design (err on the side of simplicity); navigation; copy/CTAs; and the importance of quick, scannable content by prospective customers.

Part 5: Ad targeting

The importance of ad targeting, says Marketo, is that it allows for a level of personalization and relevancy customers have come to expect. For marketers, it provides a way to segment audiences, test, and optimize for improved metrics. This section explores two ways to target: audience-oriented and content-oriented. Audience-oriented ad targeting includes demographic targeting, placement targeting, behavioral targeting, geographic and language targeting, lookalike targeting, retargeting, interest targeting, topic targeting, and keyword targeting. The discussion of content-oriented ad targeting includes contextual targeting and device targeting.

Part 6: Digital ad pricing

With ad funds shrunken at many brands as a result of reduced sales at their franchise locations, marketers are looking harder than ever at the cost and results of their ad spend. This section goes into the two primary ways digital ads are bought through bidding: manual and automatic. Performance advertising has four main pricing strategies: cost per click, cost per thousand, dynamic cost per thousand, cost per lead, and cost per acquisition.

Part 7: Digital ad technologies

So many choices, so little budget… This section on includes a look into the adtech landscape, discussing the main types of ad technologies (data management platforms, ad networks, supply-side platforms, and ad exchanges). 

Part 8: Ad testing and optimization

This section delves into the two most common types of tests for evaluating the efficacy of your digital advertising campaigns: A/B testing and multivariate testing. Topics include how long to run an A/B test, how to test your digital ads, and what to test in your digital ads (landing pages, PPC ads, display ads, and social ads).  

Part 9: Ad measurement

This section discusses two critical aspects of digital ad ROI: metrics and attribution. On the metrics side, the guide covers front-end metrics (impressions, reach, clicks, CTR, engagement rate, conversions, CPL, effective CPM); back-end metrics; ROI; return on ad spend; pipeline created with first-touch and multi-touch attribution; and customer lifetime value. On the attribution side, the guide discusses first-touch attribution, last-touch attribution, multi-touch attribution, time-decay attribution, last non-direct click attribution, and last AdWords click attribution.


“Digital advertising is much more than a customer acquisition channel. By using new ad technology, methods of racking, dynamic ad content, and innovative ways to target your audience, digital advertising has become a way to nurture your buyers before and after they become customers. By including digital advertising as a holistic part of your advertising strategy, you can create a cohesive experience for your marketing across platforms, channels, and devices.”

The full, 128-page report, “The Definitive Guide to Digital Advertising,” is available as a free download on Marketo’s website.

Published: December 9th, 2020

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