If he were alive today, department store magnate John Wanamaker, who famously wondered which half of the money he spent on advertising was wasted, would be doubly frustrated. The odds are that he’d still be misspending—even though the tools and techniques that can finally solve his conundrum would lie within his reach.
Digital’s potential—the delivery of relevant advertisements to interested users at opportune times—has enticed marketers since the earliest days of the World Wide Web. More recently, programmatic buying of display advertising has promised to extend the benefits of digital advertising by using instantaneous data in a real-time environment to reach individuals with relevant messages.
In practice, however, a variety of factors undercut digital advertising’s capabilities. Tests conducted by The Boston Consulting Group show that although current techniques are often effective, companies have an opportunity to achieve significantly better engagement and performance by adopting the latest data-driven approaches—in ways that enhance both relevance and the consumer experience. (See “About This Report.”) Advertisers and agencies are leaving money on the table because of inexperience with these new capabilities, inconsistent campaign execution, and a fragmented approach to campaign development and delivery.