About this time next year, digital ad spend will overtake television ad spend. Digital agencies will be high-fiving in the hallways. They will be doing happy dances in elevators. They will be getting Don Draper haircuts.

eMarketer.com confirmed it. They don’t often get these types of things wrong. I hope this is one of their rare wrong predictions.

Advertisers should be scared spitless. And, yes, that “p” can be replaced with another letter, if you prefer.

You may ask why a guy who has absolutely nothing to do with television advertising should be so put off by this forecast.

MobileXco runs mobile micro-moment customer experience programs. That falls squarely in the digital space. Shouldn’t I be joining in the elevator happy dances?

No, I shouldn’t. If you’re an advertiser, you shouldn’t either.

If you’re a digital agency, dance away.

According to Google, 56% of digital ads aren’t even seen. That’s a scary thought. You pay for a million impressions but people only see 440 thousand. Do the math. Whatever you think an impression costs you it actually costs you 2.27 times more.

That’s pretty scary, but not terrifying. It gets worse.

The Wall Street Journal estimates that 36% of web traffic is pure fiction. They say that botnets generate that traffic.

Google didn’t mention bots at all. That leads me to believe they are two different issues.

So, let’s just say that for each million impressions you order, real humans are actually only seeing 300 thousand. Whatever you think your impression costs, it really costs 3.33 times that.

Retale says that 60% of mobile ad clicks are accidental. (tweet)

You only get 300 thousand impressions seen by humans per million and 60% of click-throughs are accidents.

Clicks are usually only about one-tenth of a percent. That’s 0.10 divided by 100. That’s one itsy-bitsy number. It’s too many zeroes on the wrong side of the decimal point. And, we’re being generous here. Hubspot says it’s actually closer to 0.06%.

Take off accidental clicks and you get 0.04%

That’s not very many legitimate clicks. Let’s apply a margin for error due to overlapping data. That means the reality is somewhere between 400 legitimate clicks and only 120 legitimate clicks.

Either way, it’s no cause for elevator happy-dances. (tweet)

According to MediaPost, you may be paying as much as $8 for a click. Seriously, $8 for a freaking click?! I can see $8 for a customer. I can argue $8 for a prospect. But, $8 for a click that may be accidental, or bot-generated is nuts. (tweet)

With all of this being said, one has to wonder why 62% of digital ad spending is going towards CPM-based display advertising this year?

That’s definitely no reason to happy dance. As if that wasn’t enough to get terrified, it gets worse.

MediaPost goes on to say that of those people who clicked accidentally, 68% got annoyed, 45% got frustrated, and 22% got angry.

Nice. “Let’s annoy 68% of people,” is not usually up there when listing campaign goals.

Yet, digital ad spend will outstrip television in 2017.

Let’s put that in perspective. eMarketer says that digital ads will cost $77,370,000,000! Everything except $31,000,000 does nothing. How does that make sense?

So what’s a Marketer to do?

You need your own data. You need your own distribution. You need it now.

It’s comforting to think we can rent someone else’s list, or distribute our message on rented land. It’s easier. Or is it?

With your own list, you know that most, if not all, are real people. (tweet)

With your own loyalty list, you know they will see your message, and see it fast.

That doesn’t mean you should bombard them. A future post will discuss a prudent, ethical approach to continuing contact.

With ethical use, your own list will dramatically decrease accidental clicks. It’s impossible to eliminate them completely given little keyboards and big fingers. But, it will be manageable.

Best of all, you only build it once. You only pay for it once. After a certain point, it starts growing on auto-pilot.

The best time to start was last year. The second-best time is right now.

What will your owned loyalty list look like next year?  (tweet)

We can help build strong, active SMS and email lists. We do the heavy lifting for you. We even worry about the CASL for you.

There’s no muss, no fuss with Tether™. It just works.  Ask me how, or, better yet, try it yourself. Text JOIN to 80808. Boom, it’s done!

Go ahead, give it a try.

About the Author

Peter Pinfold

Peter Pinfold is a co-founder of MobileXCo, a mobile technology and solution provider.

MobileXCo simplifies the world of mobile marketing.  Do you want to connect, identify, and build 1:1 relationships with your customers? Ask me about the Tether™ Experience Management Platform!


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