The 411 Behind Digital Ad Strategy

Programmatic advertising can be a scary thought. You may be thinking it sounds expensive and extremely complicated....

Lucky for you, it’s neither, and Brandzooka’s team of experts is here to help answer your questions and guide you on your journey to becoming an advertising all-star.


Before a successful advertising campaign can be launched the question, “Why am I running this advertisement and what am I trying to accomplish?” must be asked. This step seems like a no brainer, but many small and newly founded businesses skip this step leaving them with an in-cohesive ad that does not reach the customers they are truly trying to target.

Figuring out your goal is an important part of this first step. Can the metrics you are trying to track be measured and will you be able to track those metrics to gauge the success of your campaign? In addition to traditional KPIs such as clicks and impressions, most of this attribution will come from the implementation of a pixel on your website, which is a line of code that will track users from your advertisement to your site. These pixels will track the conversions your ad is generating while also capturing the device IDs of visitors to your site. Whether you define a conversion as the purchase of a product or something as simple as a site visit, these conversion goals should be defined and hashed-out before your advertisement goes live.


Once you have the goal of your campaign defined, the next step is to figure out what type of campaign best suits your advertising needs. The advertising funnel can be most simply broken into 3 categories: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. These three stages of the funnel align directly with the type of campaign you decide to run, and once you have figured out what stage of the funnel your potential customers are in, the type of campaign can be chosen.

For potential customers in your high funnel, you are likely to consider a CTV campaign. The main goals of a CTV campaign is to drive awareness. CTV campaigns are typically on the biggest screen in someone’s home and occur during times of mostly undivided attention which promotes brand recognition. These are also the most expensive campaigns and conversions will occur on different devices; however, the main goal of CTV advertising is to present your ad to as many potential customers as possible who are not already aware of your brand.

Once a potential customer is aware of your brand it is time to “remind” them about it on a device that a direct conversion can occur. This is where display campaigns will come into play. These campaigns play on mobile phones, PCs, and tablets and are for people in the consideration stage of your funnel or customers that are already aware you exist. Display campaigns are segmented into video, audio, and banner formats with each becoming less expensive as well as less impactful respectively.

Each of these campaign formats can be used in unison to create a successful and cohesive advertising strategy. For instance, if you are able serve a potential customer an ad on a CTV device and then can successfully reintroduce yourself through the use of video, audio, and banner ads you will have a far higher chance of a conversion than if you had jumped straight to a display-based advertisement.


After the goal and type of your campaign is decided the next question to ask yourself is “Who do I want to target?” Audience targeting is the biggest advantage to programmatic advertising in comparison to more traditional forms of advertising. You are in control of who you purchase ads for, not the publisher. Reaching the audience you want to reach is the basis of programmatic advertising.

The first option is to target everyone. This is great for campaigns where the town, city or state is the only thing that is important to the success of the campaign. Things like local events and public initiatives are perfect examples of campaigns where targeting everyone in a small geographic area is perfect.

The next option is first party data which can be split into two categories, Retargeting Pixel Audiences and First Party CRM Data. Retargeting is the most common form of first party data. It involves placing a pixel on your website and then serving ads to users that visit. It is extremely powerful and consistently will be your highest performing audience strategy. First Party CRM Data consists most commonly of email addresses but also may include phone numbers and physical addresses. First party data will always be your best performing audience strategy but will also always have the least amount of scale. It also is advertising to users who are already familiar with your brand and does not bring in any incremental or new potential customers.

The last type and most common programmatic audience strategy is third party data. Brandzooka integrates with over 200 data providers that provide robust out-of-the-box audiences that anyone can target. These audiences are used for what’s called “Prospecting” or reaching potential customers within your customer persona who have not already heard about your brand. This strategy will, in most cases, also be the most expensive as these data providers charge for the use of their data. This type of audience targeting is great for A/B testing, as you can target different segments of potential customers with different interests to see which performs the best.


Now that you have your informed and well thought out advertising strategy established, you may be asking yourself, “How do I know it’s working?“ This is where the real fun begins, and there are several resources available to further hone your advertising strategy and make the changes that will improve performance going forward. You can use the Analytics and Reporting views to start to compare performance and find areas to optimize. Is there any difference in performance across different creative groups that are running? Are there devices that are performing better than others? What about time of the day or day of the week? Are you seeing conversions spike on specific days? During lunch and dinner? After work hours? Look at the data holistically, each time you identify something that isn’t working, or that is working well, is an opportunity to improve this and future campaigns.

As long as you are asking yourself: What are my goals, what type of campaign suits me, who doI want to target, and how can I use the data to better improve my strategy going forward, you will be on your way to positive ROAS and less advertising anxiety. An advertising campaign is not one size fits all, and Brandzooka’s team is here to be your resource in the ever changing programmatic landscape.

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