Marketing to Gen Z: Authenticity Over Perfection

Born into the digital era, Gen Z is the first generation to be fully immersed in a world of smartphones, social media, and constant internet access. Because of this, they have higher expectations from brands when it comes to digital advertising. This cohort makes up 27% of the U.S. population, and will soon become the largest group of consumers with significant buying power (Insider Intelligence). 

Brands marketing to Gen Z should prioritize meeting their media preferences, directly communicating to them without abandoning key channels for existing customers. In this article, we will discuss the values of Gen Z and how to best align your marketing strategy with those values. 

Authenticity Matters, Not Perfection

In a crowded media landscape, brands often compete for consumer attention with flashy creatives and mass media placements. With a “best foot forward” mentality, brands can get caught up in trying to show consumers the perfected image of their offerings. However, Gen Z consumers often ignore this type of content because it’s not relatable or different. They care heavily about a genuine showcasing of a brand’s values and offerings. They want to understand why the product matters, not just why they should buy it.

How can you achieve this?

Be Realistic

When using paid, over-glamoured models, Gen Z does not feel a connection with the brand. Gen Z wants to see a representation of themselves in the people showcased in advertisements, choosing brands that feel personable. Make sure your creative feels authentic to get the best attraction from the Gen Z audience. This is especially important considering this generation is the most ethnically diverse in the U.S., and they are passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Make A Stand

Gen Z consumers hold companies to a high standard for corporate social responsibility. These socially responsible individuals go out of their way to support companies that stand for social issues they value. Use marketing to showcase how your brand makes a positive impact on society. Position your brand so that when Gen Z consumers purchase they not only get a useful product but also support the causes or social views they find most meaningful. 

Show Transparency

Gen Z wants to feel involved with its chosen brands and understand how they operate. Be honest with consumers about your practices, and tell a story about why you do what you do. This will inform your audience about your ethical standards and build trust. A lack of transparency can damage a brand’s reputation. In fact, 22% of Gen Zs reported that a lack of transparency reduces their opinion of brands and products, which is more than any other generation. 

Being genuine with Gen Z audiences should be a primary concern when it comes to delivering a marketing message. This authentic approach can be executed by being realistic with your audience, making a stand for a social cause, and showing transparency in brand practices.

How to Reach Gen Z on Social Media

If you want to effectively reach Gen Z consumers, social media is the place to be. Social platforms are a key part of their daily routines. 

On average, Gen Z spends about 8 hours a day online. And 90% of Gen Z are spending a minimum of one hour per day on social media – primarily on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. These platforms are all dominated by user-generated short-form videos, which speaks to the need for brands to focus on creativity and authenticity in their content.

And they’re not just looking for entertainment on social media anymore. 50% of Gen Z make social commerce purchases (along with 51% of Millennials). Social media is a place to authentically reach Gen Z where they are spending time, but it’s also a tool to drive sales conversions.

Here are three tactics to win over Gen-Z consumers on social media:

#1 Short-Form Video

Gen Z spends less time watching TV than any other generation. They’re consuming digital video content on social media platforms instead. In particular, short-form videos have taken off in popularity over the past few years, especially among the Gen Z audiences. 

These 6-30 second videos are great for quick recognition. They require less attention span and quickly convey a message. One can argue that TikTok is the reason for the explosion of short-form video, as the platform continues to rise to the top of popularity rankings. As such, social media apps are redesigning their algorithms to prioritize this content. 

Short-form videos also tend to gain more Gen Z audience engagement, with the average engagement rate at 50%. This level is considerably higher than other generations. With storytelling potential, attention-grabbing power, and virality, short-form video is a must-have tool to drive full-funnel results in nearly all Gen Z marketing campaigns. 

#2 Influencer Marketing

What do Gen Zs want from brands? Honest, relatable, and compelling content. 

Where do Gen Zs spend their time? On social media. 

Influencers offer the best of both worlds – authentic content across various social media platforms. This makes influencer marketing a no-brainer tactic to reach Gen-Z consumers. 

Successful creators have spent time building trust and confidence with consumers, which brings meaning to their name as they hold a high “influence.” According to a GWI Report, “Gen Z puts more stock in the opinions and recommendations of influencers than past generations, and that’s heavily shaping how they approach media in general.” Micro-influencers, with smaller but more dedicated followers, are a great way to gain trust and narrow in on niche Gen-Z segments that best match your brand.

Read more of our best influencer marketing tips here.

#3 High Impact, Interactive Content

Interactive content is growing in popularity among younger audiences, which can boost awareness and engagement with your brand. Users want to engage with content, whether that’s a swipe, tap, click, vote, or like. 

Instagram is known to have highly interactive content such as polls, carousels, quizzes, questions, prompts, and more. TikTok also recently introduced interactive add-ons that allow paid media content to further engage audiences with ad posts. Immersive content such as 3D, AR/VR, and the development of the metaverse introduce innovative ways to reach audiences in a “phygital” way. Interactive content allows your brand to be present with Gen Z as they shift deeper into digital connections and worlds. 

How Coegi Can Help

As a digital marketing agency, Coegi is well equipped to assist you in marketing needs to reach your Gen Z consumers. We ensure each campaign is carefully researched based on data-driven tools to strategically activate across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and many other platforms. Reach out if you are looking for a partner to effectively execute and optimize your campaigns to grow your brand.

How to Build an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

What do the metaverse, Web 3.0 and the cookieless future have in common? They demonstrate the need for agility to build an effective digital marketing strategy. Three years ago, these topics wouldn’t have even crossed our minds. Now they’re in our inboxes on a daily basis.

Now we’re learning the implications they’ll have and adapting our routines to ensure our marketing strategies seamlessly integrate into the changing landscape. By clearly defining the business goals aligned to our strategy, digital marketers can make informed decisions faster than ever before, allowing for real-time adjustments. 

Let’s dive deeper into how you can build an effective marketing strategy with these four key steps. 


Start by outlining your high level business objective. Is it to increase sales by 2X this year? Expand into four new markets? Or increase brand awareness among a new audience group? 

Whatever it may be, clearly establish that overarching goal with all key stakeholders. Then, define marketing’s specific role in supporting that goal. 

  • What are the marketing objectives that level up to the desired business result?
    • All departments in the organization should have a shared vision. Define marketing’s specific role in reaching success. 
  • How will you optimize your marketing efforts towards this goal?
    • If it’s brand awareness, set that expectation from the beginning and maintain focus. This will prevent you from getting sidetracked and optimizing towards tactics that do not ladder up to your primary goal.  
  • What are the key signals you will track to define short-term and long-term success?
    • Decide which KPIs will most accurately indicate your progress. We often choose a cost-based metric paired with an effectiveness metric for each key channel, to make sure we are prioritizing quality for our clients. 


Before you proceed with any advertising campaign, it’s important to check for alignment within your marketing and across the organization. 

  • Does your creative messaging and channel selection align with your target audience?
    • Conduct audience research to understand the places where your audience is most active and receptive to advertising. One of the tools we use at Coegi is Resonate, an AI-powered consumer insights platform which allows us to identify and target audiences on the channels, platforms and sites they over index for. 
  • Do your marketing/media KPIs align with your overall business goals?
    • Ensure all campaign tactics and KPIs support your previously defined marketing objectives and business goals. Be strategic when selecting your target metrics and make sure you are measuring what matters for your brand. 
  • Is your advertising consistent with your brand values and aesthetics?
    • Regularly audit your content for consistency and alignment. Live out your brand values and maintain a cohesive identity across the board. This will establish a positive user experience and strong brand message. 


Now you understand where to reach your audience. You have impactful creative assets, and are armed with a strong understanding of how you will measure success. It’s time to put your plan into motion. 

  • Define what brand safety means to your organization.
    • Outline the content and topics you are and are not comfortable with your brand being near. Use these to set targeting parameters that ensure your ads are only shown in brand-safe environments.
  • Set guardrails for quality assurance.
    • Maintain updated blacklists and use bid exclusions for brand safety and suspicious activity filtering.
  • Use AI for efficient media buying.
    • Algorithms and machine learning can help personalize ads with dynamic creative optimizations, expand your targeting pool with lookalike audiences, and automate the media buying process. 

Assess & Optimize

Once a campaign is live, your job is not done. You must continuously assess the media mix and channel tactics to see where you can improve. 

  • Understand that what worked last year may not necessarily work this year. 
    • The digital landscape is constantly changing, whether it be due to data privacy laws, emerging platforms, or changing consumer preferences. Be agile and avoid complacency. 
  • Stay curious and open minded.
    • Don’t be afraid to be an early adopter of a new trend – if it makes sense for your brand. 
  • Continuously improve through experimentation.
    • Inform future strategy by testing and learning which messaging and creative imagery resonates with your audience. Place trust in your media experts, and the process, allowing time to try new things and test hypotheses. 

My final words of advice for fellow digital marketers are – be patient. Data trends don’t happen overnight, and neither do results. But by being intentional and strategic at every stage of your marketing process, your brand will be ready to weather whatever trends the industry has coming its way. 

For more insights on how to build an effective digital marketing strategy, contact Coegi today.

The DOOH Primer – Digital Out of Home Advertising

Interested in DOOH advertising?

This primer gives you everything you need to know before launching a digital out of home advertising campaign. 

What Is Out Of Home Advertising? 

Out-of-home advertising (OOH) traces back thousands of years, with the earliest civilizations using it to publicize laws and treaties. The first large-format American poster originated in New York advertising the circus in 1851

OOH has since expanded to placements on park benches, transit, restaurants, and more. In 2005, the first digital billboards were installed and forever changed OOH advertising. 

What Is Digital Billboard Advertising? 

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) is a subset of the larger OOH category. This format provides an automated, targeted, dynamic and interactive way to reach on the go consumers in public places.

DOOH ad spend accounts for roughly a quarter of all US OOH spending. Growth can largely be attributed towards an increasingly mobile consumer, which in-turn increases the visibility of out-of-home media.

According to the OAAA, Americans now spend 70% of their time outside of the home, an increase of 50% over the past two decades.

Furthermore, consumers consume 60% of media via their smartphone or tablet on mobile web and apps. This lends to advertisers’ ability to connect with on-the-go audiences across touch points, including DOOH.

Download the full primer below to start leveraging this key advertising channel for your brand today. 

What You’ll Learn: 

  • How DOOH advertising is bought and then measured
  • When you should consider out of home advertising
  • Digital out of home content strategies and best practices
  • Available environments and ad inventory 
  • The major players in the industry

If you have any further questions, contact Coegi to learn more!

Digital Out of Home – A Brief History

Out-of-home advertising (OOH) can be traced back thousands of years to early civilizations. The first large-format American poster, measuring 50 square feet, originated in New York advertising the circus in 1851. By 1900, a standard billboard structure was established in America. 

With more products entering the market over the century, new and creative ways of reaching consumers became necessary. OOH expanded to park benches, transit, restaurants, etc. In 2005, the first digital billboards were installed, forever changing OOH advertising. 

What is Digital-Out-of-Home?

Digital out-of-home (DOOH) is a subset of the larger OOH category. DOOH markets to consumers when they are on the go in public places. Instead of interrupting a user’s online experience with an ad, it meets them in real life. Also, rather than traditional billboards, these placements can be dynamic and interactive.

The Growth of DOOH Advertising

Various eMarketer studies suggest DOOH ad dollars account for roughly a quarter of all OOH spending in the US. Growth is largely attributable to increasingly mobile consumers who are in turn increasing the visibility of OOH media. According to the OAAA, Americans now spend 70% of their time outside of the home. This is an increase of 50% over the past two decades. Plus, consumers consume 60% of media via their smartphone or tablet on mobile web and apps. This lends to advertisers’ ability to connect with on-the-go audiences across touchpoints, including DOOH.

How is DOOH Inventory Bought?

Direct – Sign individual IOs and contracts with OOH vendors to secure space upfront using specific parameters. Space is usually secured on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

Open Exchange – Purchase inventory at auction within seconds before the impression is served. The buyer gains control of when and where their ads will be shown. However, publishers reserve some inventory for direct buys. Advertisers can engage in private marketplace deals to secure more premium inventory through programmatic channels.

Private Marketplace – Secure priority access to premium inventory like airports and roadside billboards through private marketplace (PMP) deals. This offers greater control of creative messaging, ad timing and data usage, while still giving publishers higher yields. PMP inventory is typically higher in price than open-exchange inventory.

How to Measure DOOH Campaign Results?

As a one-to-many medium, multiple people can see an OOH ad at once. Nielsen and Geopath provide US industry standards for measuring impressions using variables such as speed data, traffic, on-site counts and audience distribution data. 

Geopath does the majority of roadside billboard measurement. Nielsen assigns each type of signage a multiplier based on average views per ad play. If using a DSP, advertisers can use 1×1 tracking pixels to track how many plays an ad receives.

High-Impact Use Cases for Digital-Out-of-Home Advertising 

DOOH for Lower-Funnel Campaign Objectives

Programmatic technologies allow for more targeting controls throughout the day. They allow a creative digital media buyer to control spend only when and where a user is most likely to convert.


  • A coffee brand only advertises before 2 pm.
  •  A food delivery app optimizes spend towards areas where drivers aren’t getting rides.
  • A pharmacy only serves to DMAs where allergy counts are high. 
  • A sports team pauses a campaign when tickets sell out.

DOOH for Targeting Niche B2B Audiences

Many B2B marketers view out-of-home as a mass-market medium, rarely leveraging it outside of industry events. However, with smart use of customer data, planners can confidently buy screens when their niche audience is most likely to see them.

Example: A trade group targeting architects want to geofence a four-day conference in Las Vegas. They can buy the DOOH signage within a radius of the conference and at the airport. Additionally, they can upload attendee data to continue the campaign after the conference to reinforce messaging.

DOOH for Testing Multiple Creative Messages

With static billboards, the same creative often is deployed for 6 or 12 months at a time. Programmatic creative is deployed with an ad server, allowing for more robust creative testing. By pairing this technology with an intelligent measurement strategy, brands can test messaging. Additionally, by porting other data points, creatives can be dynamic and change in real time.


  • A hospital shows current ER wait times
  • A sports team displays a countdown clock to tip-off
  • An auto shop displays weather conditions and alerts

How to Design a DOOH Advertisement

You should approach your DOOH content strategy differently than typical display or video campaigns. These placements truly reach people on the go, so you must capture the attention of onlookers immediately and leave them with a memorable message.

Consider these design elements for your DOOH assets: 

  • Loop or slot length (if applicable)
  • Physical display size
  • Resolution of display and aspect ratio
  • Whether or not sound is available
  • Motion types accepted
  • File type and maximum size accepted
  • Video codec type (if applicable)
  • Capabilities: linear, dynamic, data-driven, real-time optimization, etc
  • Content restrictions such as adult content, alcohol, violence, drugs, etc.

DOOH ad content should be relevant to both the brand and the display location. Also, make sure the brand name is present and viewable to drive awareness and make the brand connection with viewers. 

How to Access Digital Billboard Advertising? 

Contact Coegi to get a full list of venues available in your target geo and the accompanying creative specs. Creative opportunities differ by venue and can include static and animated ads, large format ad sizes, sound-off or sound-on creatives and more.

To achieve maximum scale, DOOH advertisers should send creatives that can scale across multiple venues. Your Coegi account team can advise on which venues are best for your audience and goals and provide creative requirements accordingly.

To see DOOH advertising in action, view our case study

You can also read our DOOH FAQ article with Vistar Media, one of our industry-leading technology partners. 

Why Digital Out Of Home Advertising Will Gain New Life in a Cookieless Future

Digital out of home (DOOH) advertising came into fashion for marketers back in 2017-2018. Coegi was an early adopter of the channel, understanding its potential in driving mass scale with greater flexibility than traditional billboard activations. 

In its infancy, the targeting capabilities were limited to demographic visitation propensities and locations such as gas stations and taxis. This meant that it was primarily relevant for brands targeting metropolitan areas. Now, as more locations have adopted digital screens, digital out of home has become a valuable tactic for a wide variety of brands. 

The pandemic’s stay at home orders brought DOOH ad spending to an abrupt halt. But, now that consumers are gaining confidence in traveling again, digital out of home needs to make its way back into marketing plans.

How can marketers create sophisticated digital out of home strategies? Hear perspectives from Coegi’s Director of Operations, Julia Wold, and our tech partner Vistar’s Director of Client Service, Jared Reiner. 

#1 Choose Your Locations Wisely

Julia: How should brands select which DOOH advertising locations they target?

Many marketers are seeking out ways to add new tactics into their media plans as they prepare for the deprecation of the third-party cookie. DOOH has become one of the key tactics brands have turned to, capitalizing on a population that is more hungry than ever for outside experiences. Marketers should leverage venue locations in the same way you would leverage publisher specific partnerships, in a contextual manner that best resonates with key audiences. 

With Vistar’s vendor transparency, you are able to not only see the venue type and location, but also the media partner for an additional layer of brand safety. And, unlike traditional out of home, you aren’t limited to an always-on strategy. Instead, you can daypart, reaching consumers at the time that is most relevant for your messaging. 

For instance, consider reaching business professionals with placements at transit stations, office lobbies, skyways and Ubers at peak commute times. If you are messaging to families, consider waiting room screens, movie theaters, malls and recreational centers. We executed a college game night promotion for our NBA client with a presence in gyms, bars and transit hubs at the colleges and universities near the stadium.

Jared: How has Vistar expanded upon their location targeting since 2020?

There are a variety of ways to take advantage of location targeting in digital out-of-home. The Vistar platform has best-in-market POI data from Foursquare built in for seamless activation of proximity-based targeting. We have also on-boarded over 4,700 location-based audiences that are now available, including full taxonomies from Factual and Epsilon.

#2 Implement Post-Exposure Mobile Retargeting

Jared: What success have you seen from brands incorporating mobile retargeting on OOH buys?

OOH is one of the most trustworthy formats of media. It has been around for over 100 years! But what some people aren’t aware of is how well OOH interacts with other media channels. With mobile, we have the unique ability to capture audiences that were exposed to an OOH campaign and then continue the conversation on a channel where they can interact with trackable engagements. 

Brand marketers have seen great success in using high-impact OOH to convey messaging that resonates emotionally with consumers, followed by retargeting on mobile with a specific call-to-action. For example, advocacy campaigns seeking donations, universities encouraging students to request a brochure or schedule a tour, or brands promoting a discounted offer.

Julia: What’s the benefit of incorporating mobile retargeting on OOH buys? 

Mobile retargeting is an amazing way to re-engage with consumers who saw your original messaging. It’s also an efficient way to extend your media buy across new inventory opportunities on the device that 90% of the population spends an average of 4.5 hours per day on. 

For one of our tourism clients, we promoted digital out of home messages about an upcoming summer golf tournament in areas with an abundance of golf courses. Not only were we able to re-message users after they left the event, but we were also able to retarget that same audience the following Fall to remind them of late season golfing opportunities. This audience was the most highly engaged across the campaign and drove the highest conversion rate of golf trip guide downloads.

#3 Incorporate Advanced Measurement Studies

Julia: Why are advanced measurement studies important for DOOH buys?

Out of home, as with other forms of more traditional media, for a long time lacked a solid measurement foundation. Even if you could roughly estimate reach and frequency, it was harder to justify ROI to key stakeholders. Digital out of home takes the guesswork out of proving effectiveness with in-platform advanced measurement solutions like foot traffic, brand lift and sales lift. For a large tech client, Coegi leveraged a brand lift survey in tandem with DOOH delivery. We measured a 4% increase in brand consideration and a 7% increase in purchase intent. Without this study, these significant gains would have gone unnoticed. 

Jared: What advanced measurement studies are available through Vistar?

Vistar’s advanced technology allows us to capture OOH exposure which enables a wide array of attribution studies. For CPG and automotive clients, we partner with IRI and IHS, respectively, to provide sales lift. For clients with brick and mortar locations, we deploy foot traffic studies to understand an attributable number of store visits. 

An exciting new offering focused on online performance is our partnership with MIRA, which allows us to connect real-world exposure to OOH with online conversions. Finally, many advertisers choose to run brand studies. These are excellent not only for measuring the impact of your messaging and media strategy on consumer awareness and intent, but also asking research questions to learn more about your audience, your competitor’s status, creative impact and more!

#4 Test Dynamic Creative Messaging

Julia: What success has Coegi seen from dynamic creative messaging?

While dynamic creative just launched at scale in the Vistar platform in April 2022, Coegi has been using dynamic creative on other programmatic platforms for some time. The flexibility can’t be beat. You are able to reach the right audience at the right time, with a message curated up to the minute. This capability on out of home media will allow us to scale data driven messaging to every available screen, anywhere in the world.

Jared: How does Vistar envision dynamic creatives impacting the effectiveness of  DOOH advertising?

We just released our universal dynamic creative solution for DOOH and believe this will be a game changer for the industry. By unlocking the power of dynamic, we can deliver messaging that changes within a person’s environment in real time to be more relevant. This will create better conversations between brands and consumers leading to significant investment in the space.

Finally, what are some best practices that marketers should consider when activating a digital out of home campaign?


Programmatic DOOH advertising unlocks the ability to take the targeting and messaging techniques we have developed in the digital space and apply them to the oldest format of media. It’s critical to consider both the media strategy (what time should your ads show? In what contexts? With which audience segment?), as well as your creative strategy (does this creative match the physical world context where it will be shown? Is my brand name visible if someone is just quickly passing by during a video?) Taking the time to curate the right audience, then having simple, relevant messaging goes a long way in the OOH space.


Forecast, forecast, forecast. Venue availability and inventory is constantly changing, and with demand fluctuations, so can anticipated CPMs. In order to make sure your DOOH advertising plan is solid, take these steps. 

  • Create a plan prior to launch. This is especially important in smaller geographic footprints and less densely populated areas.
  • Develop assets in all sizes dictated by the DSP’s media plan to ensure proper scale at the most efficient cost. The plans will always tell you the available impression percentage by spec size.
  • Lastly, understand the format and scale that your message will be delivered in. Clear font and simplicity of the message is key when you consider you only have 3-6 seconds to make an impact. 


Interested in exploring digital out of home from your brand? View our comprehensive digital out of home primer here to learn more!

How to Drive D2C Sales with Digital Marketing

Brands of all sizes are exploring how to drive CPG product sales through a D2C model. This is no surprise as US D2C sales will surpass $197B, with a rapid trajectory in 2024. While this only accounts for 2.6% of all retail sales, brands cannot ignore this emerging growth channel.

D2C models offer immense value for brands beyond just profitable sales due to the opportunity to collect consumer data and establish brand loyalty. 

However, with convenience as a leading factor driving purchase decisions, how can you steer your audience away from mass retailers as the default and generate interest in your direct-to-consumer site? The key is to add value with a seamless, personalized, and memorable shopping experience. 

In this article, you’ll learn how to create a successful D2C commerce experience by optimizing your omnichannel strategy at each stage of the purchase funnel.

Maximize The Shortened Purchase Funnel

How can you make sure the right individuals are finding your brand and, once they have, ensure they complete the purchase? 

Understand the purchase funnel is becoming shorter as information is available at our fingertips. Consumers can search for a product, read reviews, compare brands, and make an informed purchase in a matter of minutes. Take Carvana for example – they transformed the lengthy process of purchasing a new car into a quick, digital transaction. 

Knowing this, marketers need to create compact omnichannel marketing campaigns that align with the user journey and product life cycle. A well-tailored digital media strategy accounting for each stage of the consumer journey is paramount to driving D2C sales. Let’s explore how to accomplish this for your brand. 

Create Brand Awareness And Product Consideration

We start at awareness – testing and amplifying messaging within well-researched prospecting audiences. Then, by activating a flexible, omni-channel approach, we can learn who our best audience is. We’ll also learn what channels we can reach them on and what messaging resonates best with them.   

An important part of establishing awareness for D2C brands is using SEO and PPC to show up in product search. Combine PPC search ads with organic SEO to optimize your efforts. Once you’ve reached users in the discovery phase, deploy smart retargeting to stay top of mind until purchase. 

Move Seamlessly From Consideration To Sales Conversion

As a consumer nears purchase, machine learning and algorithms need to get to work. Use AI to predict and serve the right messaging at the right time. Also, use technology like dynamic creative optimization to tailor messaging to complement previous touchpoints (e.g. add to cart or don’t forget the items in your cart for abandoners). 

At Coegi, we bring together over 20 technology integrations, alongside certified experts on all digital platforms, to deploy advanced retargeting focused on recency and frequency analysis. As a result, we are able to deliver more efficient results, creating greater ROI for brands. 

Establish D2C Brand Loyalty

To build loyalty, find ways to delight users with unexpected incentives, promotions, or gifts. Utilize the first party data collected from their initial purchase to re-message in a personalized fashion. Email marketing is a strong tactic to keep that ongoing pulse without fatiguing your customers with ads. But, serving ads for complementary items to previous purchases can be effective with sufficient buffer time post-purchase. 

Ironically, if you hyper-focus on selling, you’ll miss out on sales opportunities. Instead of constantly pushing for purchases, also explore ways to create conversations through your marketing. Engage with your audience and establish a brand community. This authentic relationship is what creates loyalists who will continue to support your brand for years to come. 

To learn more about how to create a successful omnichannel digital marketing strategy, view our CPG Digital Marketing Playbook here

5 Ways to Refresh Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Looking to breathe new life into your marketing strategy? It’s easy to feel stuck using the same messaging or the same tactics over and over. But, there are subtle ways to reinvigorate your advertising without reinventing the wheel. 

Here are five easy ways you can refresh your digital marketing strategy and approach to better reach your audience and optimize campaign performance. 

Step 1: Adjust Your Audience Targeting

Digital media strategists need to place audiences at the cornerstone of their planning. As campaigns perform, evaluate if you are reaching your target audience in the most efficient ways. 

Continually review your target audiences through a combination of research, performance analysis, and product/service feedback to understand who your best customers are. Once this is established, your digital media agency or in-house operations team can build on these learnings by activating relevant first, second, and third party data sets available across platforms to reach their audiences on channels where they are known to engage and are available to target.

Note: Be vigilant about staying ahead of shifting policies and privacy laws that impact platform targeting capabilities. This will become more prevalent as cookies diminish

Step 2: Keep Your Creative Fresh

Everyday, consumers are bombarded with ads across every digital platform. To help break through the clutter, update creatives every three to six months and carefully monitor frequency. If your audience is constantly seeing the same creative, ad fatigue is likely to set in and even negatively impact your reach. By rotating in new creatives, you can keep engaging content in front of your target audience.

If you’re not using video ads, incorporating this medium is a perfect way to invigorate your advertising. 

Why? Because videos are: 

  • Attention-grabbing – the motion and sound of videos captures attention driving higher engagement 
  • Engaging – videos convey more information and drive higher engagement than static images
  • Versatile – video creative can be adapted for use across various channels such as YouTube, Connected TV, and social media 
  • Shareable – users are more likely to share entertaining or interesting videos on social media giving your brand greater exposure 

Step 3: Authenticate And Test Your Messaging

Make sure the message you are sharing is relatable to your audience. This doesn’t mean you have to constantly be coming up with new ad copy and creatives. Instead, use a test and learn strategy. You can use AI optimizations  to find the best combinations of existing creative and messaging for your core audience groups. 

A/B testing various creatives and headlines also allows you to utilize your top best performing ads to guide future collateral, bringing informed ideas to each marketing touchpoint. 

Step 4: Audit And Optimize Your Website User Experience

If you are sharing a different message in your advertising than on your website, you will quickly lose user interest or, at minimum, confuse your customers. Analyze your messaging as well as your customer’s journey. Make sure ads have cohesive messaging that aligns with the corresponding website landing pages. This not only allows for a positive user experience, it also helps with relevancy score to help martech platforms prioritize your ads. 

Additionally, with the ever-increasing number of users on mobile, prioritize design, targeting and optimizations for a mobile-first environment. Creating this seamless user experience will help guide your audience down the funnel towards conversion. You can use Google Analytics or other web analytics platforms to understand website behaviors and make adjustments based on where consumers are abandoning their journey with your brand

Step 5: Be Bold And Adopt Relevant, Emerging Channels Early

Set aside a portion of your budget for testing new channels and platforms. Run test campaigns to see your audience activity and engagement on new platforms. Once you find the top performing channels and tactics, you can meet your audience where they are most active. You can also keep an edge on your competitors by being a first-mover with new trends. 

Some emerging advertising channels to consider testing include:

  • Influencer marketing
  • Emerging social platforms: TikTok, Twitch, Reddit, Clubhouse, etc..
  • Podcast advertising
  • Digital-out-of-home
  • Connected TV/OTT advertising

This can also be as simple as testing a new ad format in a platform already included in your media mix. 

In the fast paced world of digital advertising, marketers cannot afford to be complacent. Always keep an eye on your marketing strategy and how it aligns with your company goals. Not all strategies need a full overhaul to stay competitive. Making a few small adjustments can make a big difference in staying relevant in the advertising space. Use these five steps to analyze, update and refresh your digital marketing strategy on an ongoing basis. 

To stay up to date with the latest marketing strategies and trends, subscribe to our bimonthly newsletter, The Loop.

Recommended Reading

How to Build an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

Use Instacart Advertising to Drive Sales | Webinar

CPG brands, are you taking advantage of the power of Instacart advertising solutions? 

Benefits of delivery provider advertising

Delivery apps offer robust first party data,  allowing brands to target in-market audiences interested in your products. Grocery and alcohol brands can leverage display and sponsored product placements with Instacart advertising to drive purchases while audiences are actively shopping. 

View the webinar below from Coegi and Instacart to take advantage of the power of Instacart to drive consumer product trials and repeat purchases.

Why use shopper marketing?

Creating shopper marketing campaigns is a win-win for brands and retailers. Retailers gain more shoppers and brands receive better shelf-space and visibility in return. Additionally, brands benefit from simplified product discovery for their products. To do this effectively, it is important to understand the consumer shopping journey, reaching them in between shopping visits and at a frequency that makes sense given the cadence of shopping for the product.

Leverage delivery provider data

Delivery provider ads are a strong shopper marketing option for brands highly focused on ROAS and driving attributable sales. These solutions help facilitate quick conversion and minimize point of purchase friction. Serving ads in delivery platforms, such as Instacart or UberEats, creates closed-loop reporting so brands can connect marketing directly to in-platform sales.

In this webinar, our Instacart representative outlines the strategic solutions available on the platform. Along with Coegi’s panelists, they discuss best practices you can use to reach your audience and drive CPG sales through the Instacart platform.

View the webinar to learn:

  • How consumer trends and external factors are driving delivery growth
  • What opportunities are available for brands with Instacart advertising
  • How to leverage Instacart ads to drive product sales
  • Strategic insights for maximizing results of Instacart campaigns

After viewing, if you have further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Coegi for more insights on how to activate a shopper marketing campaign!

The CPG Digital Marketing Playbook

Ready to take your CPG digital marketing strategy to the next level?

 Download our comprehensive guide to CPG advertising today. 

The world of CPG marketing is exciting and bursting with growth opportunities. In fact, e-Marketer reports retail and CPG will be the top industries for ad spend growth in 2022, both expected to increase by more than 30% year-over-year. With these opportunities comes significant competition, but strategic CPG marketers can create smart media plans that build meaningful impact with their most qualified audiences.

In Coegi’s CPG Playbook You Will Learn How To: 

  • Understand and leverage the latest digital marketing and ecommerce trends impacting CPG brands
  • Create the optimal media mix by understanding the most effective channels for CPG advertising 
  • Implement cookieless solutions to reach your target audience on digital channels
  • Measure the results of omnichannel CPG marketing campaigns

How to reach your target CPG audience with digital marketing? 

Leverage consumer data to gain a robust understanding of your customers and apply cookieless targeting methods to future-proof your strategy. Do in-depth audience research accompanied by channel testing to determine the optimal media mix for your brand. 

How to create the optimal CPG marketing channel strategy?

How can your marketing support your overall sales strategy? Incorporate key e-commerce and digital marketing tactics into a holistic marketing strategy placing your brand at every customer touchpoint, while also optimizing for reach and addressability. 

How to measure the results of your omnichannel marketing?

In this playbook, we outline the tools, technologies, and techniques needed to showcase meaningful CPG marketing ROI. Learn how to activate the right data partners, align your marketing with business goals, track incremental results and, finally, create a customized measurement framework for your brand. 

Download the CPG Digital Marketing Playbook now to level up your strategy. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us to set up a discovery call. 

What CPG digital marketing channels will give your brand the most bang for your buck? 

CPG brands typically lead the way in adopting new marketing tactics, so it’s important to stay ahead of the curve.

The Top 10 CPG Marketing Channels

Social Video

Video ads are one of the most engaging mediums to capture user attention. As a result, video produces meaningful marketing results on social platforms. In particular, short form video is impactful in driving both branding and performance goals in as little as six seconds. 

Why is social video effective for CPG brands? 

CPG video ad spend will increase by 38% in 2022. Video-first channels such as YouTube, TikTok, and now Instagram are excellent because consumers choose to visit these platforms to learn and be entertained. Think how-to makeup tutorials for beauty brands or recipe videos for food and beverage brands. 

How to use social video successfully: 

Use short-form video to show your brand personality and bring messaging to life. Additionally, show your product or service in action, demonstrating real-life use cases. Finally, make optimize your video for mobile viewing and follow other creative best practices outlined here. 

Social Commerce 

48% of all social media users made a social commerce purchase in 2021 and 77% of Millennials and Gen-Zs use social media to shop. These purchases are being driven by trends such as live commerce, in-platform shopping tools, and improvements to in-app purchasing processes. 

Why is social commerce effective for CPG brands? 

Today, product discovery is taking place on social media. Platform algorithms optimize to showcase brands and sponsored posts in ways that feel organic to the user. CPG brands can cash in on the opportunity to position their product in front of engaged audiences by using various social commerce applications to find their niche consumer groups. 

How to use social commerce effectively:

Explore various ways in which your brand can be discovered on social media, whether through promoted product posts, influencer live streams, or social marketplaces. Then, create a seamless purchase process and have a measurement and pixel strategy in place to capture the resulting sales. 

Read more: Social Commerce 101

 Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing ad spend will surpass $7B in 2022. These digital creators are both storytellers and social media experts, well-versed in creating authentic messaging which resonates with their followerships.

Why is influencer marketing effective for CPG brands? 

Influencer marketing is not just an awareness play. Creators are increasingly driving the social commerce landscape. Tactics such as livestream commerce, discount and affiliate codes, and shoppable posts support down-funnel conversions for CPG brands, while also building brand affinity and trust.

How to use influencer marketing successfully:

Allow creators to make authentic content that is not overly scripted. Social media users want to see relatable content which feels authentic to the platform they are on. Learn from the social expertise of influencers and their cultivated communities.

To learn how to choose the right influencers for your brand, watch this video.

Connected TV

As of 2021, there were nearly 214 million CTV users, and that number is projected to increase to 230M by 2025. With the proliferation of cord-cutting, connected TV is becoming a dominant channel in the digital advertising space. 

Why is CTV effective for CPG brands? 

Connected TV advertising delivers high impact video content on the largest screen in the household. CPG brands can showcase their products and tell their brand story with greater flexibility than traditional TV, while also achieving incremental reach. It also allows for greater addressability through contextual and behavioral targeting, so CPG advertisers can speak to refined audience groups.

How to use CTV advertising successfully: 

Communicate your message with quick 15-30 second ad placements that are visual and compelling to your target audience. Also, be strategic with your channel selection. Rather than running only on one platform, such as Hulu, maintain appropriate frequency and extend reach with cross-channel integrations. 

Listen to our CTV podcast episode: The Future of TV 

Digital Out of Home (DOOH)

According to the OAAA, Americans now spend 70% of their time outside of the home, an increase of 50% over the past two decades. As audiences become increasingly mobile, DOOH is making its way back as a staple in omnichannel marketing plans. 

Why is DOOH effective for CPG brands? 

DOOH placements are a great way for CPG brands to achieve mass market reach with greater flexibility, improved targeting, and quicker activation. Brands can test and swap creatives to cater messages to core audiences and contextual placements. Additionally, you can control spend by only showing up when and where an individual is most likely to convert. 

As more digital screens become available, the DOOH inventory options and contexts are only rising. For example, food and beverage brands can advertise on grocery store screens, gas station kiosks or bars to drive quick purchases. 

How to use DOOH advertising successfully:

Understand the format and scale that your message will be delivered in. Additionally, use a clear font and a simple message to convey your message in the 3-6 seconds. 

Learn more: The Digital Out of Home Primer 

Paid Search

Paid search gives brands the opportunity to have preferential placement on search engine results, while only paying for click-based engagements. Ad spend in this channel increased 39% in 2021 and is expected to rise in 2022. 

Why is paid search effective for CPG brands? 

This channel is particularly important for CPG brands seeking to drive eCommerce sales. 40% of all product searches begin on search engines, so PPC is the key to being discovered by new, in-market audiences. 

How to use paid search advertising successfully:

Support your paid search efforts with organic website search engine optimization.  30.5% of eCommerce traffic comes from SEO, so it must go hand-in-hand with PPC to support your overall search strategy. 

SMS Marketing

Nearly 300 million US consumers will redeem short message service (SMS) coupons in 2022. As a result, SMS marketing is rapidly growing due to its effectiveness in driving quick, inexpensive conversions and high engagement rates. 

Why is SMS messaging effective for CPG digital marketing?

Many CPG marketers now use SMS as a strong purchase driver. After being alerted about a special sale or new release, customers are prompted to redeem a discount code, view a new product drop, or check out a new sale. This can push audiences to complete a purchase they have been considering. In-message links and discount codes also offer a more clear way to track attributable conversions.

How to use SMS marketing effectively:

Tie SMS marketing into loyalty programs to facilitate a value exchange with customers. You are then able to collect their contact information. In turn, they receive your special offers, coupons, and are the first to know about new offerings. Lastly, make sure you are compliant with the TCPA guidelines

Amazon Advertising Platform

Amazon Ads is expected to exceed $32 billion in revenue by 2023, accounting for an estimated 76.2% of US eCommerce ad spending in 2021. It is the undisputed leader in eCommerce with a wealth of valuable consumer data. 

Why is Amazon advertising effective for CPG brands?

Amazon offers multiple ways for CPG brands to engage with its vast audience by advertising on-site or across the open internet. The platform data provides visibility into millions of consumers’ shopping behaviors. There are various ad formats for point of purchase advertising as well as opportunities for awareness and consideration tactics that will ultimately lead to increased sales. 

How to use Amazon Ads successfully:

Utilize real-time data to target in-market audiences with Sponsored Product Ads. Additionally, expand your reach with lookalike audiences who are similar to your best customers to enhance awareness and consideration.

View our blog post: How to Drive Full-Funnel Advertising Results on Amazon 

Retail Media

Retail media refers to media placements owned by retailers using their first-party POS data. These can be executed on retailer sites or programmatically on social and display channels. This channel now accounts for one in every eight dollars of digital ad spend. 

Why is retail media marketing effective for CPG brands? 

Retail media is now the third largest digital advertising channel in the US, making it a pivotal part of any CPG strategy. Brands are seeing more full-funnel implications of retail media’s high value shopper audiences. CPG advertisers can take advantage of eCommerce site ads as well as programmatic placements to find retailer audiences and take them from awareness to point of purchase with closed-loop measurement. 

How to use retail media advertising successfully:

Use retail media in a holistic, connected plan. Connect media across social, ecommerce and DTC channels to ensure they are supporting each other and driving customers through the funnel.

Read to learn more: Retail Media’s Impact on the CPG Marketing Mix

High Impact Display

Display ads served programmatically or purchased via direct buys offer CPG brands the opportunity to make a splash with their broad awareness and consideration campaigns. 

Why is display advertising effective for CPG brands? 

Display provides a great opportunity to drive engagement by helping stop the scroll and generate interest. CPG brands can also use high impact display ads to retarget audiences who have interacted with the brand’s website or social channels. This keeps your brand top of mind. Plus, it helps support campaign efforts as customers move through the purchase funnel. 

How to use high impact display successfully:

For CPG brands, we recommend using dynamic creative for personalized and interactive offers which drive measurable actions, rather than standard banner ads. Create various creative collateral tailored to your unique audience groups. 

To learn about additional channels and tactics for CPG brands, download the complete CPG Digital Marketing Playbook

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