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Monday, March 10, 2014

As the conventional consumer has become the digital consumer constantly connected via their smartphones and tablets, marketing departments and firms have had to adjust how they reach out to their customers. Over the years this has resulted in a hybrid form of marketing with marketers still using traditional methods, such as TV advertisements, newspapers and trade magazines along with digital media from email mailing lists to social media and digital advertising.

In a survey completed in 2012, traditional media still made up the majority of marketing budgets, but 50 percent of marketers planned on increasing their paid digital marketing efforts and two-thirds planned to increase their budget for earned digital media. On the other hand, only 22 percent of marketers planned to increase their budget for traditional marketing with 38 percent actually planning to decrease their investment in traditional media. While there will always be a place for some amount of traditional marketing, especially since it’s been found beneficial to use a combination of the two in certain cases (such as following up a digital campaign with TV ads), digital is quickly becoming a major if not the main medium for marketers. What has caused this major shift to digital? There are several factors.

1. The Empowered Consumer
The consumer has been the major driving force behind the shift to digital. The Internet and social media have given the consumer a powerful voice to express how they feel about individual companies, and given the consumer access to thousands of businesses to pick and choose from. This has forced companies to adopt social media and digital tools in order to cater to this new type of customer that has a bigger voice and more choices than ever before.

2. Better Messaging
The Internet also provides unique opportunities for marketers to better segment and target the consumer. Platforms such as Google and Facebook create huge amounts of data about what each individual likes, clicks on and is talking about. This data is incredibly valuable for marketers trying to better understand their consumer, so they can use better messaging and stand out in what has become a highly competitive market.

3. Rise of Mobile
The increase of mobile devices has also provided greater incentive to switch to digital, because it allows marketers to incorporate location data to seamlessly reach the consumer at any time and when the messages will be most relevant to where the consumer happens to be. A revealing statistic shows that 64% of people with a smart phone use their mobile device for online purchases.

4. Better Measurement
Measuring the success of a TV advertisement or billboard campaign is difficult and inaccurate, and it can be difficult to pinpoint why, exactly, that the campaign was successful and where it could be improved. The digital space makes it easier to test messaging, measure results and adapt campaigns quickly in order to get the best results possible, because there is more data available for marketers to access and analyze.

5. Build a Relationship
Finally, digital gives businesses the opportunity to become more human in the eyes of the consumer and develop relationships with the consumer based off of friendly conversations, better customer service and providing added value through blogs and other social media posts.


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