Back-to-school shopping is one of the revenue tent poles for many brands. Students from kindergarten through college need everything from electronics to clothing to school supplies to health and beauty aides in September.
We’ve become a nation of “multi-screeners” using smartphones, tablets, computers and TVs — sometimes simultaneously — to gather and explore information. As a result, the path that consumers take from awareness to purchase is now a multi-touch journey. From the initial search, a typical buyer will visit company websites, read reviews on blogs or consumer sites, subscribe to newsletters, watch a YouTube video, visit a brand Facebook page, see a banner ad, see a retargeted banner ad, conduct additional searches with refined terms and look for a coupon or a discount – all before making a purchase decision.
Frequency in digital media serves as both a tactic and a means of measure. The media community has long believed in the concept of the “Rule of 3”*. Some define this as 3 exposures required before a user takes action or remembers a brand. Others define this as a best practice where any more than 3-4 exposure per day becomes too intrusive to users. Traditionally, in digital media, frequency is measured as a number of impressions delivered to a user usually within a 24-hour period.
A big news item last month was Google stating that they are actively pursuing websites that purchase links specifically for the purpose of passing page rank. They recommended various tactics to use for text link ads geared towards driving traffic so that you can still get the traffic without the search engine link juice being passed. You can read more details in Google Engineer Matt Cutt’s blog. I would also recommend reading some of the industry backlash including this post.