For those who do not work in the digital media buying ecosystem, they probably tend to think that placing a digital ad on Facebook or Google cannot be simpler. 

It’s a picture / video with some funny texts, plus a button at best. It sounds like it’s something that can be easily done in just a minute. 

Unfortunately the reality is so much harder than that. In reality, digital media buying is an extremely complex and manual process that can involve hundreds and thousands of people from dozens of companies in the world. Unavoidably, frequent mistakes happen in between. Some mistakes are smaller, some are bigger, some are found, and some will always remain unknown. 

After speaking to an extensive list of advertisers and media agencies, we have listed the 3 media buying mistakes that everyone dreads the most.

  • The most heart-attack provoking 

The “winner” of this category undoubtedly goes to budget-related mistakes. A budget with an accidental extra 0 at the end, or a total budget of 30K turned daily budget spent completely in just 24h, or a campaign keeps on running and budget keeps on spending because an end date is forgotten. 

This type of mistake may not cause big issues with the public, but for an advertiser this is definitely wasted budget that drags down their marketing and advertising ROI. For a media buying agency, the situation is even more dire, as this probably means loooong and painful hours juggling between clients, insurance companies, publishers, accountants, lawyers for a remedy.

As someone who used to manage media buying both in-house and in an agency, I am getting chills down my spine just from thinking about these budget errors.

  • The most brand-image damaging

While budget-related mistakes damage your wallet, they don’t necessary damage your brand image. The mistakes that are the most brand-image damaging can be little things. It can be a French ad accidentally being served to a Spanish speaking audience. It can be the space is missing between two words, or one tiny typo on the creative. 

As the ads are directly perceived by the public, any mistakes here, however small, can damage your brand image very quickly. If you expect your ads to receive likes and loves as reactions, and instead you are getting lots of “haha”, maybe something is wrong.

  • The most strategically impactful 

Tracking, hands down. 

Tracking is a delicate matter. It’s technical but it’s executed by operational people, who probably have a good understanding how the tracking should “look” but without the technical knowledge to tell that the tracking is wrong even when it looks alright. Therefore, this mistake can repeat itself campaign after campaign right under our noses and no one knows that this is a problem at all.

Wrong tracking means wrong data, and wrong data leads to wrong decisions. Imagine a brand wants to double down its advertising budget next year on a social network because data tells the decision makers that this is where the company saw the best ROI in the past year… but what if this data is wrong, and the best performing channel is actually Google Search? 

A tracking mistake can be a simple underscore “_”, but this frequently misused underscore can impact strategic decisions, and cause brands a great many missed out growth opportunities. 

At Grasp, we believe all of these mistakes should be detected and prevented. And luckily, we are not only believers, we are also solution providers. Have a chat with us and find out how to grasp immediate improvement opportunities (yes, pun intended). 

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