Product chevron_right

Creative Services chevron_right

Use Cases chevron_right

Showcase chevron_right

Resources chevron_right

Discover Aryel Immersive Rich Media 👉

Discover more Discover more

Back to blog

Understanding and minimizing media wastage, the unseen hole in your advertising wallet

June 27, 2023

An OOH banner displaying the impact of media wastage on advertising campaigns

Greetings to you, savvy marketer, and welcome back to Aryel’s blog – your trusty compass in the labyrinth of the marketing space.

You should now be accustomed to how things go round here: we’ve been there, done that, and through our continuous experimentation and analysis, we’ve weathered some marketing storms.

That’s why we know that, as a marketer, optimization is one of your main concerns. You’ve crafted innumerable campaigns, from traditional campaigns to experimental fringe explorations. Despite your tireless efforts, there has always been an unsettling question gnawing at the back of your mind – are your resources hitting the bullseye, or are they scattered into the digital abyss?

Consider us your calming confidant, the gentle voice whispering reassurances when marketing worries loom large. Today, that soothing voice wants to address a subject that may be causing a considerable drain on your resources, one that we refer to as media wastage in advertising.

This often overlooked aspect of marketing demands more attention as the digital landscape becomes increasingly cluttered with irrelevant and low quality ads. We believe this could be a turning point to streamline your marketing strategy and make the most of every single ad dollar in this tumultuous sea of digital clutter.

But let’s set the record straight: this isn’t just about trimming the fat off your marketing budget or making sure your YouTube ad isn’t shown to a dog lover when it’s clearly designed for cat aficionados.
It’s about a comprehensive approach that ensures your brand doesn’t just blend into the white noise of the advertising world, but sings out in a symphony that resonates with the right audience, every time.

What does media wastage mean?

In simple terms, media wastage refers to any part of your marketing budget spent on reaching consumers who aren’t part of your target audience. It’s like ordering a triple chocolate cake for a friend who’s allergic to chocolate – not the best use of your resources, right?

Media wastage can affect any kind of digital campaign, be it a PPC or a video ad campaign​​, so no one is safe.
Consider this: in 2022, a whopping $5.6 billion of digital ad spend was wasted, which constituted 40% of overall digital ad spend. Imagine that almost half of the digital ad budget disappears like the aforementioned cake left unattended in our office.

Media Wastage infographic: impact of media waste in advertising

And it’s not just about money. Ads placed alongside misaligned content can decrease purchase intent, while aligning advertising with the right content can boost purchase intent by 8%​​.

Misaligned with what you ask. Misaligned from your target audience interests and expectations, of course.
Now, I can almost hear you thinking: “If my ad reaches a few people outside of my target demographic, how much harm can it do?”

Well, in the world of marketing, every dollar counts. When we’re talking about billions of dollars being wasted annually, it’s not just a drop in the ocean. It’s a tidal wave that’s washing away potential returns – your potential returns.

How to reduce media wastage from your advertising campaigns

As a marketer, your objective isn’t just to unleash your creative prowess or keep up with the latest trends – it’s also about being an astute steward of your resources. As we said, every dollar lost in media wastage is a dollar that could have been invested in a more targeted, more impactful campaign. This could have been in refining your product, or enhancing the customer experience.

Imagine setting off a fireworks display in the middle of the day. Sure, the explosion might still be heard, but the full spectacle, the mesmerizing splendor of lights against the dark sky, is lost in broad daylight. That’s what media wastage does. It causes your brilliant campaigns to lose their effectiveness, their ‘pop’, by reaching those for whom it’s not intended. Worse, it reaches nobody at all.

You can’t chase every potential customer across all corners of the digital world. It isn’t about spreading your net far and wide, it’s about casting it in the right place, at the right time, and with the right message. This brings us to our first crucial lesson in minimizing media wastage: define your target audience precisely.

Understanding your audience is the north-star guide in the open-sky labyrinth of marketing. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with their interests, behaviors, and demographic traits, and understand how they interact with your brand. Gathering this intelligence is not as daunting as it might seem – it’s a mission that can be accomplished through market research, customer surveys, and data analytics.

Once you’ve drawn the contours of your target audience, the second piece of the puzzle falls into place – leveraging data-driven targeting. Remember, knowledge is power and in marketing, it’s the power to make your ad spend count. The insights you’ve gleaned about your audience should guide your targeting strategies.

This could encompass demographic targeting, behavioral targeting, or even psychographic targeting. The sharper your focus, the less likely you are to splatter your resources on individuals who aren’t aligned with your brand.

Once you have your audience figured out, the next critical step is ensuring that your content aligns with your customers’ expectations. Again, no generic content or one-size-fits-all strategies. Tailor-made creativity for smaller, niche audiences has shown to engage audiences more positively, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a personalized touch? More wide and generalized approaches only lead to, you guessed it, more media wastage.

Having mastered the art of defining your audience and data-driven targeting isn’t enough.
Now you have to be found by your customers. This brings us to our third vital concept, the implementation of contextual advertising.
Synchronizing your advertising content with the user’s viewing environment can make your ads more relevant, and consequently, more engaging. This harmonization minimizes the chance of your message falling on disinterested ears or, at worst, landing in an inappropriate context.

Moving ahead, we venture into a territory where technology meets creativity – programmatic advertising. By harnessing the power of AI to automate the buying and selling of targeted ad slots, these platforms offer precision targeting. They analyze copious amounts of data in real-time to deliver your ads to the right audiences, at the right times, and on the right platforms, significantly curbing media wastage.

But beware, once your campaigns are in motion, your job isn’t done. Now it’s time to put on your analyst hat to monitor and optimize your campaigns. Consistently monitor your campaign performance and adjust your efforts as necessary. Identify the platforms, ad types, and messages yielding the highest results and allocate your budget to amplify these high-performing elements. Also, analyze where your media spend is leaking and devise strategies to plug these leaks in future campaigns.

Here, retargeting strategies can prove to be a powerful tool. By displaying ads to users who have previously engaged with your brand, you’re focusing your efforts on individuals who are already familiar with your offerings. This makes them more likely to convert, thereby reducing wasted impressions.

And there you have it, fellow marketer. These techniques will undoubtedly put you on the right track towards curbing media wastage. However, do keep in mind that they merely touch the tip of the iceberg. The true essence of minimizing waste lies at the heart of advanced marketing strategies. Brace yourselves as we gear up to reveal some of the most efficient tactics used by marketing maestros in our forthcoming section.

Focus: how marketing pros minimize media wastage

We’ve journeyed together through the basics of minimizing media wastage, uncovering the fundamentals and making sense of the preliminary strategies. But now, it’s time to dive deeper, to probe into the secrets of the professionals, and to discover how true marketing virtuosos minimize media wastage.

Diversifying your ad arsenal: investing in richer ad formats

In the bustling bazaar of digital advertising, your ad is one among thousands clamoring for attention. Amidst this incessant noise, ad fatigue and ad blindness have emerged as formidable adversaries for marketers. Consumers have become so adept at tuning out ads that it’s become as instinctive as blinking.

It’s not that these users are visually unable to see these ads; the crux of the matter is that these ads fail to resonate, thereby going unnoticed and unrecalled. Compounding this challenge is the fact that the novelty of social media ads has begun to wear off. This leaves users yearning for something different, something more.

The antidote to this growing indifference? Investing in better, more diverse, and richer ad formats.

While full-screen ads are used, they often garner more ire than intrigue due to their invasive nature. Instead, the real game-changer lies in embracing rich media formats. Offering users an immersive and innovative experience, these formats stand out from the boring sea of traditional ads.

By infusing more diversity and richness into your ad formats, you’re not just aiming to be seen; you’re striving to be remembered.

Example of immersive Rich Media applications in Advertising

Want an example or two? The first thing that comes to mind is 3D ads.
These interactive advertisements bring a whole new dimension (literally) to traditional banners. Imagine showcasing the latest car model in your ad. Instead of a static image or a short video, the user can interactively explore the vehicle interior in a 3D space, zooming in, and truly experiencing the model’s aesthetics.

But the journey into rich media doesn’t stop at 3D. AR-based virtual try-on banners are gaining popularity among marketers and consumers. For instance, a fashion brand can use AR to allow consumers to virtually try on a pair of sunglasses or a new dress right from their living room. It creates a personalized, interactive experience that not only engages the user but also gives them a realistic feel of the product.

Finally, there are gamified ads – a term coined to describe the intersection of advertising and gaming. This concept takes ad engagement to the next level by turning ads into mini-games. Imagine you’re an energy drink brand. Instead of a typical ad, you create a mini-game where users race against time, collecting energy drinks to boost their speed. It’s entertaining, interactive, and embeds your product into a memorable experience.

Invest in a better ad placement:the importance of premium distribution networks

On the grand chessboard of advertising, where you place your pieces – your ads, in this case – can significantly influence the game’s outcome. Sure, creating high-quality content is vital, but ensuring it finds a home in engaging, relevant environments that align with your brand is equally critical.

For many marketers, social media platforms have become the go-to avenues for ad distribution. However, these platforms are double-edged. While they can provide vast audiences, their very vastness can lead to your brand being lost in the whirlwind of content that engulfs users.

So, what’s the antidote to this predicament? It lies in shifting distribution to more premium ad placement environments, such as premium publisher sites. Why, you may wonder?

Think about this – users often find themselves mindlessly scrolling through social media, given the plethora of non-relevant content they’re exposed to. In contrast, users on news sites scroll slowly, carefully consuming the content presented to them.

By aligning your brand with premium environments, you enhance your ads’ visibility and create an association of quality and trust with users. The result? Your ads stand out from the crowd, making a memorable impact rather than being just another blip on the user’s content radar.

It may cost more, but if you pick your audience correctly and match the right contextual content, that’s usually enough to enhance the return on your ads spending.

Beyond impressions: the shift to the attention-based measurement

As the digital advertising landscape evolves, so too must our strategies for assessing campaign success. Impressions and viewability were once the benchmark for validation, but as we enter a new era of advertising, these metrics no longer cut it.

In the pursuit of a zero waste media policy, it’s becoming increasingly critical for marketers to track not only where their ads are running but whether they’re truly capturing consumer attention.

This need has led to an industry-wide shift – the adoption of attention as the new universal metric. It’s not whether your ad was seen but if it made the viewer pause, engage, and most importantly, pay attention.

Enter the concept of outcome-based buying. This approach emphasizes the measurable impact of an ad, focusing on meaningful engagement rather than just exposure. It means moving away from broad metrics like impressions and instead focusing on specific outcomes that align with your campaign goals.

This shift is powered by sophisticated eye-tracking technology, which revolutionizes the way we measure ad effectiveness. The new attention metrics include in-view time, exposure time, and screen real estate. These data points offer a glimpse into how much time a user spends actually digesting an ad, providing advertisers with valuable insights to optimize their campaigns.

The repercussions of this shift extend beyond just tracking and reporting. The move towards attention-based metrics allows marketers to buy media based on attention rather than impressions, leading to fewer wasted resources.

By adopting attention-based measurement, you’re pivoting towards a deeper understanding of your ads’ effectiveness. It helps identify what’s working, what’s not, and where you need to make changes to better capture your audience’s attention.

Wrapping up: putting a lid on media wastage

As we conclude our journey through the world of media wastage, we hope we’ve provided you with some valuable insights. Unraveling the intricate threads of media wastage, we’ve shed light on the challenges it presents and strategies to overcome them. As marketers, we constantly strive to maximize impact while minimizing wastage, and understanding how to make this happen is the first step.

We’ve dived into how marketing professionals are leveraging larger, richer ad formats, investing in premium distribution environments, and shifting their focus from impressions and viewability to attention-based measurements. All these tactics are geared towards one ultimate goal – putting a lid on media wastage.

While the steps may seem complex, the reward is a efficient, engaging, and economical marketing strategy. It’s about moving from a broad stroke approach to a more precise, targeted strategy that captures attention and elicits action.

So, what’s your next step on this journey? Maybe you don’t know that, but we know a thing or two about rich media formats. Why not book a demo with our sales team? They can help you figure out how Aryel’s no-code AR marketing tool can help you design and implement a robust, waste-free marketing strategy that captures attention like no other.