The Future of Digital Acquisition Series: Part 1

Should we still isolate media by traditional and digital?


8 August 2021

3 minutes



In this series we’ll explore the Future of Digital Acquisition, starting with a much-needed discussion on whether we should still isolate media by traditional and digital. It’s a fair ask and a common topic of debate within the agency and marketing worlds. To get to the core of the topic, first, we revisit history. 

October 27, 1994. AT&T spent thirty thousand U.S dollars to post the first-ever online ad on a tech website, now known as, for a total of 3 months. The Click-through Rate of the same ad was 44%. Today, a brand will “beat the benchmark” if the ad receives anything above 0.15%. The reason was simple, users were not expecting it to be an ad, or were just curious about it. So, they ended up showing interest in AT&T’s proposition. The reason for today's benchmark of 0.15% is also interrelated. Simply put, there are just way too many options. Since 1994, more and more people started coming online, so did most of the brands who gradually started moving their budgets to online marketing.

That is, until about 5-8 years ago, for any marketing person, media used to mean planning and buying advertising on mediums like - print, outdoors, radio, and television. Meanwhile, “media” planners had this very specific skill-set, and digital media planning played the supporting role. In some cases, digital still plays the supporting role, but this too is changing rapidly.

Today, after the expedited digital transformation for businesses and consumers, the majority are heavily relying on digital channels for their business and personal needs, from buying a hat for your cat to running a multi-million dollar company. Media is not defined by traditional and digital, not anymore. We need to rethink marketing from planning for traditional and digital channels to planning for a digitally-enabled world. The consumer ecosystem has expanded and shrunk at the same time, which, in ways, provides brands better control over their marketing budgets by holding everything, and everyone accountable for their respective trackable goals.

To plan a campaign for a Digitally-enabled world, we should start by looking at touchpoint planning. Which is, everything a user can touch using a digital platform. It could be apps or websites from a smartphone or a desktop.  Living room entertainment on a Smart TV or smart-car devices. It could be an AR or a simple billboard people pass by while in their office building or in shopping complexes.  Without even realizing it, people do come across multiple digital touchpoints, and that’s where the planning should start. We understand what people do when they wake up, where they go for lunch, which social media post they interact with, and which billboard they face while being stuck in a traffic jam on a highway. All of this goldmine of data signals that people keep giving away, knowingly or unknowingly, is more than sufficient to make planning work for a Digitally-enabled world.


Want to learn more about how to eliminate silos between your digital and traditional objectives for connected strategies? Schedule a chat with us today.

Next up, how data and privacy play a joint role in acquisition. See you next week as we continue the Future of Digital Acquisition series.

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