The good news for digital marketing this holiday season? Digital ad spend has surpassed TV ad spend, topping $72 billion in 2016. The bad news? For the most part, digital advertising produces abysmal results. Industry-wide, click-through rates are below one percent, and response rates for display ads are just 0.09 percent. Worse, digital ads have become so annoying and intrusive that more than 25 percent of consumers are actively blocking them.

So does ramping up digital ad spend even further this holiday season for traditional email and display advertising campaigns make sense, or are retailers simply throwing good money after bad? Like so many marketing questions, the answer is: That depends.

If your plan is to simply book additional space for traditional display ads, then there’s nothing in the data to suggest you’re not spending frivolously.

But despite its shortcomings, digital media gives marketers access to a lot of very useful data. If you plan to use your “big data” trove to inform an…