64. Lewis Chalas on Digital Advertising, The Consumer Journey and The Power of ‘Click Here!’

Digital Coordinator for Group M and Co-founder of Razzia.co, Lewis Chalas has +6 years experience working with brands to most effectively reach consumers through digital media.

How does your job fit into the advertising process?  The commercial team creates the creative brief with the client and then hands it off to me. My job is to study the clients business and their consumers to discover the best way to reach their consumers. Typical digital solutions that digital agencies offer are:

  • Display ads – banner display ads.
  • Search Engine Advertising (SEA)
  • Tracking and analytics.
  • Mobile advertising campaigns.
  • Cross device campaigns – ads that cross from computer to tablets and mobile.

Digital coordinators manage all these different digital campaign options to deliver to the client the final product.

What are some clients you have worked for? Netflix, Les Furêts, BGL, Colgate, Fiat

What are some campaigns you have worked on?

Is there a digital screen size (desk top, mobile, tablet…) that you have found to be more profitable than others? This really depends on your objectives.

In terms of sales, consumers may feel more comfortable entering their credit card details into their desktop and laptop, however this is changing and I don’t believe that there is a battle between desktop and mobile. Honestly the size of the screen (laptop, desktop, tablet, mobile)  isn’t really the issue anymore. The more important question to ask is ‘Which screen(s) do your consumers interact with the most, and why.’ In short, ‘What is your target consumer’s journey?’

Tell me about the consumer journey. Two questions you need to answer for this:

  • 1. What do I want to say?
  • 2. When would my consumer be most receptive to my message?

Consumers may use their phone more in the morning before work to browse the news and quickly check their email, and then after work during the transit home. During the day they will work on their laptops and desktops. In the evenings after 6:00PM and on the weekend consumers may use their tablet to relax, read and browse their favorite sites, and thus may be more open to your message, likely to share your articles and making a purchase. Knowing this about your target consumers, you’re better able to focus your digital advertising when they will be most receptive to it.

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Learn more on this chart on Campaign Live and Mec Global.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: In our interview, Ivan Pejcic, strategic planner for Ogilvy goes into detail about how to incorporate the consumer journey into a creative brief.]

What is the difference between a sales ad and a branding ad in terms of look and feel? For branding objectives you want to go big to be sure the consumer cannot miss you – Half Page 300×600 ads or full-page ads that appear before the person can visit the website, and are thus more expensive because they’re pay per impression (PPI) and take up so much space. For branding ads you need something that stops and teases the user such as a video or image(s) as well as a call to action such as ‘Click here.’

The smaller ad formats don’t make for good branding campaigns. The smaller sized ad formats are generally used for sales because they provide more qualitative traffic – the consumer intentionally chose to click on those ads.

With sales-based advertising you should be engaging. For example it should say ‘Click here to get 10% off’ or another attractive offer to peak the consumer’s curiosity. Never underestimate the power of the words ‘Click here.’

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If PPC gives you free advertising until somebody clicks on it, what is the benefit of PPI? PPI is more for volume objective such as placement – when you want to saturate a particular website or advertising network of websites during a short time – to be the ONLY advertisement people see. PPI isn’t the best way to drive sales; but it is the best way to get your brand in front of a lot of people very quickly.

What are some misconceptions clients commonly have about advertising? The separation of television and online; nowadays we can actually synchronize television commercials with digital ads.

Focus on one objective per campaign. Don’t try to mix a branding campaign and a sales campaign because the approaches are different. Often brands try to do everything with one campaign. If you have the budget then you can run a branding campaign and a sales campaign simultaneously, but don’t try to create one ad that does both. 

I have a small advertising budget, any advice? In no particular order:

1. Invest in a fully-responsive website that is both desktop and mobile friendly.

2. Have a landing page for your advertising campaigns to link to, but more importantly organize your website so that every page is designed to convert –so that on every page and blog post consumers are encouraged to purchase or sign up. Don’t clutter your website with so many extraneous share buttons, widgets, ‘related posts’ and text that people overlook the most important thing you want them to see – the purchase button.

3. From point A to point B, you lose traffic with every click the consumer has to make. So when running a sales campaign, don’t link your ad to your homepage, instead link directly to the specific page where the person can buy the product or service you are advertising in your ad. The fewer clicks possible the better.

4. If you’re selling several items, don’t advertise ‘check out our store’ and then direct the consumer to your store page. Instead, focus your advertisement on one item specifically, and then direct the consumer to that precise product’s purchase page.

Consider running a dynamic campaign where you split-test your different products to see which products sell the most and help you better segment your market.

5. Once your website is ready, just go live and carefully monitor your analytics to see how your visitors behave.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information on how to run an analytics campaign, refer to my interview with Thomas Palugan, Data Consultant]

6. Get as much free advertising and buzz as you can through your friends and social network. Guest post on other blogs for exposure and reputation-building. Post informed comments on other people’s blogs and community forums.

7. Online – focus on SEA – search engine advertising to catch business and new consumers. Plus since you only play per click, you’re maximizing your exposure and impressions can act as branding.  This gives you a much broader reach.

8. Take advantage of Facebook’s very targeted advertising opportunities. For example you can launch a  pay per click (PPC) campaign that targets only members of your target demographic that have already made online purchases.

9. Offline expenses such as business cards and flyers can be more difficult to monitor because the price of one business card is roughly the same as the cost of a person clicking on your online advertising, but you can’t analyze the exposure of your business card. Consider that as you plan your campaigns.

10. Host an event around your brand. To do this you need money and/or friends network to help you diffuse it.

11. Consider raising money by bringing in investors to launch larger campaigns.

12. Force people to notice you. Blow up enormous balloons with your logo on them and place them in the streets. These balloons will attract photos which will (hopefully) be spread onto social media platforms.

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