The How Much and Why of Digital Marketing

Online Marketing

How much of your marketing budget should go to digital and how do you know what’s working?

If you are old enough to remember the popularity of “paint-by-numbers” kits then you can certainly recall the days when your casino advertising budget consisted entirely of traditional media such as TV, radio, outdoor and print. Then along came digital with its search engine marketing, display ads and email offers, followed quickly by social media, retargeting, geo-fencing, PURLs and automated marketing programs. The sheer volume of digital options can make you long for the days of having that paint-by-numbers kit (for digital), which would tell you exactly how to paint your digital marketing plan so that you come out looking like the Picasso of casino marketing.

One of the most common challenges our clients face is understanding just how much of their marketing budget to allocate to digital. From there it’s all about exactly which digital tools will the core casino target respond to and how do you know what’s working? What traditional media do you cut back on to make your digital efforts more robust?

There are no cookie-cutter answers to these questions because, for as much as we’d like to think that we need to cater only to the 65-year-old grandma who doesn’t really know how to work her smartphone, it’s just not that simple. You need to research the media habits of your target audience in your specific market, and evaluate the trends over the last few years to understand how to allocate dollars to digital going forward. In 2016, US advertisers increased their digital spend by 20.5%, and will add another 14.9% in 2017, bringing the digital portion of their total media ad spend to 40%, according to eMarketer.

To make the landscape even more interesting, we now need to pay special attention to the digital budget allocation of display vs mobile. Digital advertising for desktops and tablets has been in decline while mobile ad spending in the US is up a whopping 45% in 2016, with another 25% increase expected in 2017. This year, mobile will represent 69.6% of all digital ad spending and almost 30% of total media ad spending. Are you spending 30% of your media budget on mobile? Do you need to? Where the heck is that digital-by-numbers kit??

Mark Astone