Excavations of ruins in Rome, Egypt, and Greece have yielded hand-painted messages that translate to notices for lost-and-found articles and during the Middle Ages in Europe, signs for services like cobblers and tailors were usually in the form of drawings since many people couldn’t read or write. These were some of the very earliest forms of written advertising.
Later, people clamored to get their hands on newspapers to see not only the news, but the latest items for sale by local merchants and the newest shows or movies. National magazines, radio, and television became popular channels because of the numbers of people advertisers could reach, and the creative flexibility to touch the emotional instincts that induce people to buy.
Digital advertising was at first a shotgun-style approach to advertising, in that the ads and messages were blasted out across the internet and an advertiser just hoped the right person would see the message and hopefully “click” it to learn more. The return on investment for the early forms of digital marketing was good, but not spectacular.
The Growth of Smart Data
When some very smart people in the digital marketing arena learned that consumer data could be segmented, classified, and managed to target consumers by demographics and buying habits, the “perfect” advertising channel was born. Messages for winter gloves could be precisely directed to people who had recently been browsing online for gloves! People browsing for gloves who lived in Florida might be targeted for ads pertaining to ski vacations in Aspen. Truly, it was thought, digital marketing would be the most effective channel for reaching buyers and converting an ad into a sale.
Clean Data and Not-so Clean Data
Other people who were also smart, but not very scrupulous, began trying to cash in on the revenue generated by targeted digital marketing by running “click farms” where hundreds of people, usually in a 3rd-world country, would click on thousands of ads all day long. Others created malicious computer programs to click on ads and then intercept revenue for ads which were never really viewed by a consumer. The problem has become known as “click fraud” and it steals billions of dollars in ad revenue every year.
How can an advertiser make sure the messages they pay for are reaching real people? The answer is related to the fuel that feeds the digital marketing engine: Data
The Answer – Digital Advertising with Clean Data
Finally, smart people who believe in maintaining the integrity of the advertising industry have devised methods to verify that the data used in marketing campaigns is “clean” – in other words it targets and accepts responses only from real, living and breathing human consumers. When an advertiser wants to place display or classified ads online or send an email marketing campaign it is critical to select a partner to work with who uses only clean, verified data.
ADS Data Direct is a digital marketing firm with deep roots in the consumer data industry. We have built a solid foundation based on high-quality data and earned a reputation for satisfying our clients with campaigns that deliver results.