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Interview With a Vampire - Actually a Digital Marketer

Posted by Jeff Davis on Mon, Feb 09, 2015 @ 11:25 AM

Recently, I was asked to participate in an online interview conducted by Deepak Kanakaraju and published on  Here is part of that interview...  


Interview With Jeffrey Davis - Digital Marketing Specialist

Today we have an important guest in our blog! Jeffrey Davis has 25+ years of experience in marketing and more than 15+ years in the digital marketing space. He is the Digital Marketing Strategist for Thrive Internet Marketing. He is an expert in targeting consumers online using targeted display ads, video and mobile. Today we will ask him a few questions and learn from his extensive experience.

Traditional Marketing Vs. Digital Marketing. What are your first thoughts about this?

Digital Marketing is Traditional Marketing.  At least today it is.  25+ years ago I learned a basic tenet of marketing that has served me well ever since.  “The very best marketing comes from observing consumer behavior and inserting your message into their behavior.”  

Consider the following research from

The amount of time consumers spend daily engaged with digital media passed radio in 2009.  In 2013 it passed TV.  We (consumers) now spend more than five hours per day interacting with digital media.  From a consumer behavior perspective, digital became “traditional” or mainstream several years ago.

It is the marketers and advertisers that have lagged the marketplace.  Marketing is the art and science of targeting your message to the individuals who need or want your products and services.  Digital marketing offers a multitude of advantages over traditional media in targeting specific consumer segments.  But many advertisers are hesitant to engage in digital marketing - mostly because it is relatively new and they simply do not have experience in digital marketing, so they are reticent to recommend it to clients.  I am sure we went through a similar phase when TV came along and advertisers were afraid to reallocate money from radio.

I experienced a very similar struggle in the late 1990’s with Yellow Page advertising.  We conducted research that showed consumers simply were not using the Yellow Pages the same way as they did in the 1980’s.  But our clients (automotive franchisees) were terrified to pull money out of Yellow Page directories that had served them so well for so long.  For years, the Yellow Pages were the “go to” option for millions of consumers to find companies that offered the products and services they sought.

But consumer behavior changed.  Suddenly business owners discovered other mediums for sharing their message.  Direct mail went from non-existent to being a powerful way of targeting prospective consumers.  Unlike the Yellow Pages where you were forced to advertise to everyone in your city (perhaps hundreds of thousands of households), direct mail allowed you to target consumers by zip code.  If 90% of your business came from within a three mile radius of your shop, why waste your advertising dollars on the other side of town?

And then you had the ability to only mail to households within your three mile radius that owned an automobile.  Then households that owned an automobile that was at least three years old.  Ultimately, the franchisees understood that consumer’s behavior had indeed changed and we pulled millions of dollars out of the Yellow Pages and invested them into other advertising mediums - like direct mail.  But eventually direct mail’s effectiveness diminished when the consumer was receiving two pounds of direct mail and decided to simply throw it all in the trash.  

Successful advertising techniques are always in transition.  And once we find something that works, we are afraid to change it.  It is human nature.  

Just this week I was talking with a client about increasing his digital budget for an upcoming sales event.  His last bridal event was run in September and we targeted consumers on Facebook.  The results, based on driving traffic to his website, were terrific.  His target audience is brides.  One of the targeting options in Facebook is placing his ads in front of people that are engaged.  A great fit.

Now he has another show coming up and we recommended that he triple his investment in digital advertising.  His previous budget only allowed us to reach a small portion of the “brides” on Facebook.  But the ones we reached were on target for this event.  We did not ask him to triple the overall budget, only reallocate money from the radio and newspaper.

He chose to stay with the “traditional” advertising he had always used.  So I challenged him to call the radio group and ask them how many “engaged women” are  listening to their stations today.  And then ask the newspaper the same question.  I already know the answer - they don’t have a clue.  However, this is a great example of the power of digital marketing to target specific consumer groups.  Females.  Age 20-45.  Engaged.  Within a 50 mile radius of Toledo.

The second reason he stayed with the traditional media - “You wouldn’t believe the deal I got!  They really stepped up and gave me amazing rates.  I couldn’t afford to pass it up!”  More ads, cheaper ads, to the wrong audience is not a bargain.  

For the record, there are individuals matching the above targeting parameters that are listening to the radio and reading the newspaper.  You just can’t target those individuals as effectively as you can with digital.  

Topics: digital advertising, Facebook, digital marketing, Mobile Marketing


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