1. Adapting offline creatives for digital works – The first thing about digital advertisers and agencies is that they just adapt their offline creative to digital and it will work. This is a big myth. I am not sure if it is a lack of understanding on the part of advertisers or agencies, but we've seen it happening a lot. It definitely doesn't work. Digital requires a very specific creative art and skill, which if deployed in the right way, can give fantastic results.
  2. Digital reach is too small – When people create a media plan, they talk about quantum reach of media like television, print and radio. In that context, advertisers consider digital to be very small in terms of reach, to be able to get a fair share in the media plan. They say that digital is still in its infancy and very small for their business. I think it is a myth that digital is small for any brand of category. Today there are billions of internet users and if you target well, you could find meaningful numbers for several categories. Advertisers need to be cognizant of the actual size of their category before formulating their media plan.
  3. The only way to measure digital is clicks or response – The third big myth is that the only way to measure digital is solely by clicks or response. That is incorrect. There are plenty of other measures available that will give marketers data in terms of building brand preference, brand awareness, top of mind recall and explain the role of digital in the overall purchase model. We use plenty of tools, including various third party tools from Nielsen and others to measure the effectiveness of online campaigns. We have proven case studies with clients like P&G, Unilever, etc., where we have successfully measured brand metrics. So it is not only just about a click or response.
  4. Digital media is all about banners, search or social media fan pages - We constantly hear from people that digital media is all about banners, search or social media fan pages and once they have covered these three, they are good. People who are brand custodians and who actually think about integrated brand strategies truly understand that there are plenty of other digital advertising tools available on digital media, which they could use. For instance, video is a big advertising tool on the web today, so there is plenty of scope in video advertising. People have yet to explore a lot of rich media formats like interactive advertising formats, viz., Smart Ads, where one could optimize content based on target audiences in a dynamic and real time fashion. Similarly, Social Ads allow you to drive earned media consumption through paid media display campaigns.
  5. Digital media planning is tough – There are tools available for traditional media planning, but people say that they do not necessarily have the tools for digital planning. I think this is partially true; and that digital media planning is not as well-integrated with offline media planning is a fact. For advertisers who are ready to invest the time and energy to understand digital media planning, there are plenty of tools available. Third party analytics firms like ComScore provide tools. Even leading publishers like Yahoo! provide several ways for advertisers to plan and target their campaigns on their network.
  6. Digital doesn't work for the B2B sector – When we think about technology clients and services essentially selling to enterprise businesses and other corporates, there is a notion that digital advertising doesn't work for B2B advertisers. When we worked for big brands like Intel, Accenture or Dell, we found that there are plenty of technology professionals or senior-level decision-makers. This segment is definitely not an easy one but the fact is that people do multiple things on the internet. Advertisers can target the same set of audiences in the context of email, news, entertainment, finance and much more. B2B marketers can also benefit by building some custom branded content and then targeting their audience. Leading internet players/publishers and marketers need to work together to define how this medium can work better for B2B marketers.
  7. Connected devices are the ‘next’ big thing – It’s happening NOW. Connected devices such as tablets, mobiles and smartphones are seemingly everywhere and are already changing how users consume information. They are increasingly powerful, giving advertisers new canvases to reach distinct audiences on the scale needed to drive results. Brands have to realize that the next billion new-to-net-users in developing countries are likely to get their first taste of the internet through their mobile phone, rather than a PC. Companies need to align their marketing strategies to evolving user behavior. These have to be designed for mobile first.

By Vaasu Gavarasana, Global Key Accounts Leader, Yahoo! Asia Pacific