Debunking five digital marketing myths around Big Data

Marketing   |   
Published March 20, 2017   |   

Have you ever noticed that some companies make the wrong decisions when it comes to digital marketing strategies? Even in this age of digitalization? Surprisingly, it isn’t because of their lack of resources, opportunities or manpower. But, they fail. The result? Missed opportunities… Having said that, let’s have a look at 5 digital marketing myths that are pushing those companies down a slippery slope of missed opportunities.

1. Programmatic advertising platforms are the solution for everything

Programmatic advertising has been gaining a lot of traction as of late. The term describes a set of technologies used to automate the purchase, placement and ultimately, optimization of advertising inventory. This means that ads are no longer placed by people, but rather by machines, which do it far more efficiently and on a much larger scale. The best example of programmatic advertising is, of course, Google AdWords, which takes the bids, keywords, text ads and similar elements. It then assesses the best possible user intent in order to deliver your ad.

The programmatic trend is definitely becoming the future of advertising, however, it fails to account for one, very important element. And that is delivering the right message. This system nails delivering an ad to the right person at the right time, but the right message remains something that marketers have to figure out for themselves. Implementing these technologies is useful when it comes to automatization of marketing efforts, however, they fall short on delivering results without a properly formulated, user-relevant message.

2. A data-first strategy is a sure-proof formula for success

Data-driven marketing and product development are indeed important. Data is useful in driving a smart business strategy, but believing that a data-first strategy will somehow make the company more successful is simply wrong. Instead of focusing on data-first, companies should accept and implement data-with strategies. A good product or a service should always be followed by content creation and subsequent marketing. This strategy ensures that the data is used instead of simply being over-indexed.

3. Forget the website and focus only on social media

Most business owners don’t really think about this, but focusing solely on social media for marketing and business instead of using a dedicated website is a step towards failure. There are two types of marketing spaces in the digital world, one you own and the one you rent. You own your desktop or mobile websites and mobile apps. This includes the domain on which the websites are hosted, content on your pages, customer relationships, micro and macro outcomes, data and most importantly, your privacy.

Marketing spaces you rent include Facebook pages, Twitter profiles, YouTube channels, etc. Besides the name associated with those spaces, you actually own very little of them. The content is limited by rules set by the social media platforms. YouTube offers a lot of freedom when it comes to channel subscribers, but Facebook, on the other hand, limits you to what its algorithm decides to show to those who have liked the page. Customer data is reserved for social media platforms, leaving you with little to no data at all. Privacy is the biggest concern, as most platforms are trying really hard to find out every little thing about you. This is why it’s important to own first and rent later. If you can make the only choice, then choose to own your marketing spaces.

4. The Web and mobile web are a thing of the past and only apps matter now

More than half of all internet traffic is now coming from mobile devices. And most of the time on mobile is spent using mobile apps. This has led many to believe that the future will only be oriented towards mobile apps and that all the resources need to be invested in their development. Granted, mobile apps are very important, but thinking that they are the only choice in the digital world is simply foolish.

Desktop and mobile websites will continue to see an increase in usage. The best course of action is to invest in both the websites and mobile apps. People spend a lot of time using not only social apps, to share interesting things happening in their lives, play games and consume content, but also individual apps of companies whose services they’re using. And none of those companies is relying solely on a mobile app, but rather take advantage of both the app and the official website.

5. Cookies are everything you need

Most analytics implementations today are in fact cookie-based. And most advertising vendors insist on using fragile third-party cookies instead of first-party ones. This means that the data coming from ad networks don’t allow for a reliable track of human behavior and digital interaction, even when the same browser is being used on the same computer. Even with the use of first-party cookies, tracking people across multiple devices can be rather difficult. Relying solely on cookies results in poor product marketing decisions.

Instead, business owners and marketers should focus more on incentivizing people in order to self-identify across various digital platforms. Sam Cyrus, a colleague of mine from says that rather than using cookies, marketers should try to better understand their customers’ behavior and use that information to improve their marketing strategies. The best way to accomplish this is to use the User-ID feature available in Google Analytics.

There are many more myths regarding digital marketing. And marketers can take any digital marketing trend and overstate its impact, but that won’t make them true, nor will it provide the necessary results. In the end, it’s all boils down to delivering the right message to the right customer, at the right time, using the most suitable marketing technique available at the moment. Focusing entirely on myths and various trend in the marketing world can never replace tried and tested techniques which have already proven themselves useful time and time again.