Do Digital Right: Create “An Increased Likelihood To Buy”

Is digital a direct marketing medium or a brand building medium, or both? It’s a question that will continue to be asked by befuddled clients and their agency helpers alike.

Personally, I think digital is a radical transparency machine that challenges brands to become better at marketing, product development and community relations. But back to digital as a marketing opportunity…


Direct marketers have data on their side, and have made many persuasive cases that digital is a direct channel, first and foremost. Which is why I want to thank Simply Zesty, a digital marketing firm in the U.K., for firing an arrow into the heart of digital ROI.

We need to think about the process of how we buy something versus what we engage with online. A recent study released by Invodo found that consumers are 174% more likely to buy something after watching a video about it online. While this is a wildly encouraging figure that will probably need to be toned down a bit, this finding in itself is significant.

The fact that we’re more inclined to buy something from a brand after engaging with it online is what’s important. An increased likelihood to buy is all that should ever be asked of an online campaign, particularly one that is content led.

The issue for marketers is distinguishing where a digital visitor is in the sales funnel. If the site visitor is in research mode, expecting a purchase is unrealistic. “This is why having a data strategy is important,” argues Simply Zesty. Conceivably, if a marketers knows where people are coming from and what their intentions are, the likelihood of an e-commerce transaction can be greatly increased.

For me, the takeaway here is a click doesn’t mean much, because clicks are blind. What are the intentions of the person doing the clicking? Is she seriously shopping or casually browsing? Knowing the difference changes the score.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.