Optimising digital advertising with virtual payment

How to capitalise on the data-driven clarity of virtual payment

  • Digital advertising is gaining on traditional media, now more than ever
  • Companies are moving media investments to digital platforms for the better benefits
  • Virtual payment is the ideal solution for this diverse, fragmented digital landscape

Even before the new normal, we were spending less on traditional advertising. Covid-19 has only thrown fuel on the fire, with television and newspaper advertising losing ground to digital media. Just as in so many other areas of life, the future of advertising looks digital.


The digital lesson

The economic consequences of the pandemic won’t be clear for years, but many lessons can already be learned. In fact, they have to be learned, at least by businesses looking for future-oriented tools and sustainable success. Chief among these lessons is the dramatic rise of digitalisation.

The recent Mastercard-KoreFusion study Global Digital Flows from January 2021 on commercial payments in Europe discovered that digital advertising across Europe grew by nearly 8% last year to a total forecasted spend of USD 61.6 billion despite the pandemic. Video advertising especially has over-performed, with more of us than ever turning to platforms like YouTube, even in a B2B context. Spending on digital marketing is growing faster than traditional ad spend, and even faster than overall GDP. This new advertising ecosystem can be streamlined and optimised by virtual payment solutions, so mastering these solutions is the key to the future of advertising.


The reason is clear

The benefits of digital advertising over traditional media echo the reasons why digitalisation has become the main business driver across industries:

  • Measurable data
  • Targetability
  • Flexibility
  • Customer centricity
  • Needs orientation
  • Cost-effectiveness


The challenge of market diversity

The advantages go a long way to explaining the attractiveness of digital advertising, but payment can be complicated in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. The right payment solutions will help you navigate these challenges.

Europe is a fragmented and highly regulated advertising market (look no further than the recent broad-reaching GDPR regulation). Its advertising ecosystem is home to a vast network of actors and stakeholders, from agencies, consultancies and marketing tech to media centers and publishing houses, which now sell digital media alongside traditional press.

Corporations themselves are largely fragmented when it comes to their advertising activities, with several departments involved, from the social media manager and the PR in marketing and communications to the IT, finance, and accounting employees responsible for setup and payment. Throw in the giant advertising networks like Google, Facebook (these two host over 70% of global digital advertising spend), LinkedIn, and Twitter and the scope of the complexity of digital advertising becomes clear.


A virtual solution

Virtual payment is the ideal method for harmonising the diversified digital advertising landscape. AirPlus Virtual Cards provide companies the ability to make the most of the rise of digital advertising. The benefits of virtual payment include:

  • More control and flexibility
  • Better data quality for easy reconciliation
  • Automatic and recurring payments
  • Extended payment terms and working capital optimisation
  • Customised campaigns
  • Highly secure
  • Seamless payment

In contrast to traditional media like print and TV, the most common buying model for digital ads is pay per performance. This often takes the form of paying per click or per time it appears on the screen of your intended audience. Unlike with traditional media, you pay for what you get here, and the heaps of analytics mean ad campaign results can be measured and evaluated in real time and in great detail. You determine beforehand the value of ad performances and what you’re willing to pay for a given result.

But how you should pay is just as critical as for what. The established ad giants and traditional agencies when it comes to high investments still rely on direct debit and bank transfers, while smaller investors turn to company and personal credit cards, even on digital platforms.

But the digital ad calls for a digital payment solution. Virtual cards enrich your procurement process with the same sort of data-driven clarity and simplification that the digital landscape offers to your advertising.

Especially since the pandemic, companies are always looking for ways to maximise their working capital. Virtual payment plays a role here too. All virtual card transactions are combined in a single easily understood statement and billed all at once at the end of your agreed-upon statement period.

You benefit from longer payment terms that significantly improve cash flow over traditional methods like bank transfers and invoices. What’s more, AirPlus assumes all upfront payments that you make with your virtual cards, freeing up your working capital and allowing you to prepare for each statement period.

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