Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Future Of Marketing …. The Basics Stay The Same

As marketers, we are utilizing online & digital advertising/marketing more than ever before — and it’s great!  It’s easy, however, for businesses to get too caught up in the digital world and forget the basics of marketing: to be where your customers are.
While it is important to have an online presence, a key aspect of our job as advertising professionals is to keep our clients focused on the use of an integrated marketing mix — because, let’s face it, our customers don’t live online. The use of both traditional and social media is the key to a successful campaign.
An example of an integrated marketing mix may include the use of television and radio advertising supported by print and online ads, public relations, and social media.  While radio and television ads will reference your website and social media involvement, anything online will link to each other, providing your customers with a real sense of who you are and the benefits of your product or service.
Speaking of traditional advertising, there really is nothing traditional about TV advertising these days. Many consumers now watch commercials on YouTube, while others buzz through them on their DVR. The ads that are really making a comeback and are the future of advertising are the product placements, the sponsorship ads, and the 2-4 minute ads that truly entertain while delivering a soft sell.
Whether you are advertising in the yellow pages, the local paper, or on your local radio, all media now has online advertising to complement your traditional advertising. So, while speaking with your media representative, ask about any PR or online advertising opportunities that can work hand-in-hand with your traditional media buy.
As we look to the future, some still feel that social media is just a fad. We don’t agree. Will things change? Of course! They always do. The scales of social media have tipped strongly to high usage. It’s only normal that they will tip back and forth for a while. But social media is here to stay.
Mobile technology also provides unique opportunities for advertising. When you download an app, you are asked if you would like to allow push notifications. More often than not, we enable this because after all, what would happen if we missed the latest comment on our Facebook status? Ever been lost and pulled up your map app to find local businesses are labeled right on your map? These “conveniences” are new ways to market your business. If you are not taking advantage of them, your competitor has the advantage.  
McDonald’s is already utilizing social media to push notifications to users based upon their location and their preferences. It’s only a matter of time before others jump on the bandwagon and even more innovative uses of social media will be found.
As social media and mobile technology advance, it won’t be long before a “typical” ad campaign may look more like this:
Television advertising including product usage and placement, radio ads with sponsorship community service tie-ins, online advertising and public relations through your traditional media sources, social media specific to your target market, mobile apps with push notifications, and geo-based mobile advertising.
Gone are the days of going home to watch some TV at the end of the day.  Consumers are now utilizing 2-5 devices at once now — television screens, computer screens, tablets, smart phones …. The list goes on.
Have two minutes to kill in the middle of the day? There’s an app for that!
If you don’t believe us, just ask Siri.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Holiday Shopping Already?!?!?

With back to school shopping wrapping up, retailers are starting to get in gear for the holidays.  Seems early?  When you’re trying to get the upper hand on your competition, it only makes sense.  Malls are dying out and everyone is grasping for the pieces of straw before the retail giants turn into fossils.
If you are like me, then you love to go to the mall just to walk around out of the pure enjoyment of shopping.  But with the economy in its current state, it is not the frequent pleasure trip that it used to be for many.  This is why retailers have turned to the web to drive sales.
This year more than ever, I believe you will see a huge increase in digital advertising among retailers.  It takes a matter of minutes to get into the minds of your audience at an extremely cost-effective price.  Sales are down for the week?  Give consumers a reason to come in with an extra 15% off their purchase.  What’s even better about this?  You don’t even need to print the coupon anymore; you can just show your Smartphone!
Though sales across the board were up in 2011 from 2010, online sales touted a record-breaking 15% increase in November and December, totaling 37.2 billion in revenue.
Why do I think this number is going to rise?  Well, there are a few reasons.  First, we all know the best advertising is word of mouth.  All I heard last year was about how much money everyone saved online.  Why the better discount online?  For starters, it costs less money to run a website than it does to run a store.  It cuts down overhead and payroll expenses.  This is why we see “web exclusive” deals.  Retailers can offer discounted prices online compared to what they would have to charge you in a retail location.
Though the price of the products is lower, there is actually higher markup for retailers to sell their products online.  Not only that, but they are no longer limited to a geographic area.  Reach becomes virtually endless through online, mobile and tablet advertising, and the cost per customer becomes much less.
Guest Blogger: Rich Kurisko 
The good news for shoppers — Black Friday lines should be shorter for all the early-rising, thrill-seeking bargain hunters.