I have a mission. I am starting to believe that reach is being limited by the proliferation of optimization in the digital space and I want to find out more.

Remarketing, behavioural targeting, and look alike strategies all contribute to narrowing down the campaign exposure to people we believe are our best prospects for a sale. Eureka! Our campaign is optimized, our click rates go up and our cost per acquisition goes down. All great news if the objective of the campaign is to generate a sale, that is most likely to be conducted through an e-commerce site.

What about building general awareness against a wider group that may trigger a sale or interest in a new product or category that hasn’t yet found its niche?

In other words, is the mass potential being taken out of digital whether we want it to be or not? Every day I am served the same ads over and over again. Whatever happened to frequency ceilings? I very rarely see an ad for a product, place or service that I have not already expressed interest in via my search history or my site visits. This has led me to believe that if you are a client utilizing digital advertising solely for awareness, then your ability to build reach may be compromised and you may need to apply special tactics to not be optimized. Dare we say a de-optimizing strategy! Sounds contradictory doesn’t it? Read on…

The alarming thing is, it has also been noted that the more optimized your digital buy is, the higher the click rate and there could be more opportunity for fraud. Beware of the bots!

So stay tuned! I am on a mission. I am going to review the research, talk to my peers and see what metrics I can find to support or dispel my theory.

Julie McIlroy