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Impressions Are People Too: A Digital Marketing Reminder

September 14, 2021

Marketing and advertising used to be an industry that leaned heavily into qualitative data to make informed decisions.

“How does this loaf of bread make you feel?” “What about if you saw an ad with a family gathered around the table passing this bread and laughing?”

We, as an industry, used guided, deep-diving questions to get at the actual psychological correlation between the consumer and the product. The goal was to understand the person so deeply they were no longer a consumer. Instead, they were Carrie, your next-door neighbor, who you can count on always having the best-baked goods at the neighborhood potluck. Suddenly, it became easier to craft messaging and creatives that sold a product to your neighbor than to a so-called “consumer.”

Leaving the Past Behind Isn’t Always a Good Thing

With the rise of social media, Google, Youtube, and the overall web as a new avenue for marketers around the globe, suddenly Carrie next door started turning into impression number 104,567. The industry began to be flooded with analytics and data that we never had at our disposal before. Rather than estimating the number of drivers that might see and recall a billboard, we were now able to prove the correlation between someone seeing an ad and actually purchasing a product.

As we moved from making informed strategic decisions through qualitative to quantitative data, we lost sight of the person/ people we were talking to. We now look at our audience through metrics like impressions, link clicks, cost per click, interaction rate, IP address, and much more. While we have all this data at our disposal, at the end of the day, they are just numbers and a form of measurement. Digital marketing data tells us if we are hot or cold, but it will never indicate if any given message left a lasting impression on your target consumer.

Think of it this way. You’re at your first party post-pandemic; you walk up to a stranger, and without saying anything, you start telling them about your breakfast and ask if they would want to join you next time. First, how awkward. Second, how do you know if they like breakfast? Maybe they intermittently fast every day?

But what if you knew them already… you had done your research and knew that brunching is their favorite thing to do and the activity they missed most during the pandemic. That breakfast invite would be much more valuable and could be the start to a great relationship.

Scenario A is the biggest mistake digital marketers make nowadays. There is the mindset that if the message is shown to enough people, someone will have to engage. Wrong. A person with a family, hobbies, and a full life sits behind that screen. Even with the rise of digital, we all still crave human interaction.

Why Impressions Do Not Equal Sales

In digital marketing, impressions are a measurement of how many times your ad appears on a screen for a potential customer to see.  Many brands look at their high volume of impressions and wonder why sales have not increased. This is because they are missing the understanding of their consumers’ psychological traits. And without this understanding they can not properly identify the relevant psychographic segments that are likely to engage a consumer to eventually purchase their product.

Tribu Creative is a digital marketing agency that places a special emphasis on deeply understanding the target market of our partners all the way down to what a day in their life might look like. We use this data to create tailored, award-winning creative coupled with strategic deployment that builds tribes. We advocate that your biggest marketing weapon is your audience of brand-loyal fans. We strive to build tribes that sell products, not just increase transactions. Tribes that are built through bringing people around a collective experience or common interest. Tribes of Carries, Jakes, and Devins, not just of numbers and data.

Remember, impressions are people too.

If you’re ready to build a tribe around your brand, then let’s get in touch. Drop us your @ and we’ll be in touch!


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