Andrew’s Favorite Digital Advertising Aphorisms

A satirical approach to eradicating internet marketing mumbo-jumbo

Since I began my career at TargetClick in October 2012, I have not only earned the opportunity to engage in professional development and hone my talents/skills, but I have also received a chance to evolve on a personal level as well.  For instance, I have begun, and I mean only begun, to master the ins and outs of Search/Display/Social Media Advertising. I have sat in on presentations given by some of the industry’s “top dogs.” I have been entrusted with managing Online Video Campaigns for national brands. Hell, I have even learned that your co-workers make up some of the best co-WERKers to accompany you whilst out for an evening on the town.  However, beyond all of the epic projects and events that I have had the good fortune to take part in, there are four humbling “life lessons” that have definitely made a mark on me during my wondrous adventure in the online marketing space.  Given that they have had such an impact on me throughout my journey, I thought I would take a moment to share these Digital Advertising Aphorisms with you here:

(Note – Much of the content below is meant to be both humorous and educational.  Consider yourself warned.)

  • Digital Advertising Aphorism #1: Internet users possess the capacity to inflict physical harm to websites. 

AS-what-a-hitOf course, I am referring to the use of the term “hit.”  Rather than utilize and distinguish between the correct metrics for website traffic, such as Visitors, Visits, Pageviews, or even Clicks (when referencing a Click on an Online Ad that resulted in a Visit to a site), many individuals find themselves caught up on just how many “hits” their website receives during a given time period.  First and foremost, the term “hit” does not denote the number of Visitors or Visits to a webpage.  In contrast, it refers to the retrieval of an item—such as a downloaded file or image—from a web server.  So, there is a damn good chance that for each Visit to a website, multiple hits will occur as a user accesses content deemed relevant to him/her.  Second, using the phrase “hit” as a catch-all for web traffic fails to showcase the differences between the acquisition metrics identified above.  Assuming you would like to measure the overall Engagement with your space on the web, you may in fact be very interested in comparing the number of Visitors, Visits, and Pageviews associated with your site so that you can optimize your copy and creative accordingly.

  • Digital Advertising Aphorism #2: It is a sin to omit a preceding article when discussing an online platform, medium, or network; it is equally malicious to not relate such entities with a power source of some kind. 

Please let me elaborate this one via example: I do not manage search campaigns on Google and Bing; I manage search campaigns on THE Google and THE Bing.  Furthermore, I do not keep up with my friends and family on Facebook and Twitter; I keep up with my friends and family on THE Facebook and THE Twitter.  Oh yeah, I forgot that such systems are capable of travel and physical work, so I better add in the term “machine” or “engine” when referencing them.  So, I guess you could say my high-powered online life could be described like this: “My name is Andrew Snyder, and I manage Search Campaigns on The Google and Bing Machines.  In my free time, I enjoy keeping up with my friends and family on The Facebook and Twitter Engines; I also manage a few Campaigns on these social media motors of online advertising.  In all honesty, I think the absurdity of this Digital Advertising Aphorism speaks for itself; I have no further discourse on the matter.

  • Digital Advertising Aphorism #3: Everybody and their brother has mastered the art of Graphic Design.   

AS-make-it-popNow, first thing’s first: I am not a Graphic Designer.  The most you will get out of me in terms of “design” is a stick figure, and maybe a few chicken scratches to set the scene for my masterpiece.  Although I am more than happy to admit my flaws when it comes to artistry, I must say with a bit of regret that not everyone is as humble as yours truly.  I cannot begin to tell you how often I can literally hear our beloved designers cringing, grinding their teeth and letting out (silent; sometimes audible) screams of frustration at some of the requests received from clients.  A few of my personal favorites include: “Can we make the logo bigger, or pop out more?” “Can you have the image look like the picture I drew in Microsoft Paint?” Or, a simple “No” without any additional comments or notations.  From my experience in managing Campaigns that include Graphic Design, I can say that the best route to greatness involves granting a designer the freedom to work his/her magic with a key set of basic objectives in mind.  To put it another way, let the artist do his/her damn job; that’s what he/she is there for.

  • Digital Advertising Aphorism #4: All Digital Advertising professionals are super-humans unbound by the limits of time. 

In the online marketing world, campaign implementation must take place yesterday, if not the day before.  I am unsure as to where this universal demand originated, and I would like to personally beat down the man or woman responsible for it, but I have noticed that the moment a new assignment has arrived on an agency’s radar, it must be damn near completion within minutes in order to reach client satisfaction.  Oh, and did I mention that reliance on other parties, or the actual customer, for information, guidance, and/or assets plays no part in the timeline for project execution?  Instead of pushing for quick turnaround, oh wonderful client, I offer up the following suggestion: Have faith.  The company you have chosen to work with is committed to your success (if they’re not, we’d love to hear from you!).  And, when left un-rushed, your agency can take extra-care to ensure that your Campaign launches flawlessly, and on time.

Now, please do not take all of the shade I just threw too personally.  I love my career, and I really do enjoy the client relationships I have forged in the past 16 months – yes, even some of our more “needy” associates get my love.  Actually, one of the most rewarding parts of working at TargetClick stems not from creating and managing stellar digital advertising campaigns.  Instead, I find much more satisfaction in serving as a resource to my clients on their path to profitability; in this case, to achieve growth using online marketing to its fullest.  So, although I often think of myself as an SEM machine capable of churning out hard-hitting, logo-popping campaigns at a moment’s notice, you won’t find me using such terms to describe the work that I do.  I mean come on, hits on The Google Machine?!  That’s just ridiculous.

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