For generations marketers primarily used the strategy of getting their message out there to as wide an audience as possible, hoping that some of them would be interest and become customers. This is basically how advertising works on TV, radio, news, magazine, and billboards. Of course, marketers will choose which TV shows to advertise on to hopefully increase the chances that someone will be interested, but it is still a pretty untargeted strategy.
As digital marketing continues to advance, it is becoming easier and more effective than ever to target people with very precise ads. Marketers can use the geo-location, their browsing history, their search terms, and even information in their emails to send out very targeted advertisements that will resonate directly with that person.
On top of that, marketers can also gather precise data using the many tools that are available for measuring the success of a marketing campaign to determine which strategies are working best.
Despite that fact, however, it is still estimated that even in digital marketing about 30% of ad spend is entirely wasted.
In most industries, there are many methodologies used to cut out waste. In manufacturing, medical, and even office environments, for example, companies often use things like Lean, Six Sigma, and Kaizen to spur improvements and eliminate waste. The marketing industry, however, doesn’t seem to be moving quickly in that direction.
Given the advanced technologies, software, and other options available to marketers today, it is clearly time that they start taking active steps toward reducing waste and optimizing their efforts.