In the recent past, Internet users were basically faced with only one marketing medium whenever they accessed the Internet – E-mail. The only point of interaction or marketing that they got was plainly through emails alone and anything past that was just passing time, browsing through passive and static company websites. This phenomenon is however changed and the interaction completely overhauled.
Today, the same Internet user is faced with a myriad of marketing and interaction media ranging from social platforms, e-mails, newsletters, Adwords, videos, popups, infotainment websites, etc. This means that over the past few years, the digital marketing environment has changed and what now characterizes it is totally a whole new thing.
This review helps you understand the changed trends that characterize this marketing environment. These are;
- Social Platforms Adopt Search and E-commerce
Arguably, social media platforms have completely changed the business environment for the better with targeted marketing and advertising as well as collection of feedback from users. Now, imagine these same social platforms adopting search and e-commerce capabilities.For instance, Facebook is already in the process of developing its own search engine. The Facebook app is also undergoing enhancements whereby users no longer have to leave the Facebook platform to access an e-commerce website to purchase orders. Instead, users will be able to search for items and place purchase order via the app and get order confirmations through instant messaging.
The potential is immense. As with the real-time interactions on such a social platform, the users are able to track the delivery of their ordered products as well as share their experiences with other users. To imagine all this is possible on a single social platform is simply astounding.
- Identity-Based Pay-Per-Click Marketing
The development of identity based pay-per-click marketing has indeed given marketers their Christmas, New Year, Easter and every other celebration holiday an all at one go – the celebration is colossal and marketers are having the time of their lives. Marketers are now capable of targeting people with specific adverts based on their phone numbers, e-mails or social accounts and it is really mind boggling.This targeting of adverts is further made exciting because the marketers are able to meet the specific needs of the targeted people, and satisfied customers mean good reputation and more conversion. This marketing strategy is also cost effective as marketers don’t just throw ads to the wing, but they are able to get more returns from the higher conversion rates.
Better still, with targeted marketing through identity based pay-per-click approach on social media platforms,marketers can enable viral popularity of their brands, in that the marketers are able to target those individuals with big social accounts that have a huge following and networking capacity. Once an ad lands on such an account, it is viewed by a large number of people, and through social networking, the brand reputation spreads rapidly like wild fire.
- CASE– Facebook recently acquired WhatsApp, which has a higher presence especially in the Europe, and thus by targeted ads on Facebook, and to specific WhatsApp users, the conversion rate would be higher.
- Wearable Technology
With technology opening up the world and enhancing easy sharing of information, there was literally a scare as more people became aware of health concerns and the impact of lifestyle changes to their health. With time, they started developing independence from digital platforms in a search of better and healthy living.As such, technologists rose to this scenario and started offering solutions through provision of health information which many people were seeking, and with time, people were back to using technology. Nowadays, technologists have come up with simple apps and even wearable technology gadgets e.g. HealthKit, which users can have on them throughout to monitor their daily routine and activities.
Marketers are therefore able to target such users with ads that are health related and capture these health conscious users. As more data is generated from such portable and wearable technologies and apps, the data becomes a basis for customization of targeted marketing strategies and even better technologies.
- Consumers as Brand Ambassadors
Marketers have discovered the impact of customer referrals and recommendation of their products, which has a favorable outcome than when they push the products themselves. With platforms that build social links and networking, customer interaction on products are bound to come up.Marketers are tapping into customer behaviors and preferences, and targeting them, and once the customers have experienced the marketers’ products, they are quick to share their experiences with others in their links or social circles, and this has been proven with a lot of customers. This is termed as User Generated Content because it is the user who is generating content that attracts others.
This phenomenon has been put to task on platforms like Instagram and YouTube where users have channels where they popularize products out of their experiences and even use reviews of other users to push for the products.
- CASE– In December 2014, Microsoft gave some users Lumia phones to use its apps in accomplishing their resolutions in the #MakeItHappenpromotion.
- Live Video Streaming
Unlike before where users usually could access recorded videos, today there is a craze for interactive live streaming, much like reality television programs, where users want to be engaged and experience real-time events as they occur and share in the experience firsthand.Marketers have awakened to this reality and are using this strategy as streaming is now so easy, only requiring you to have a phone, which enables you to even link to your social account and stream there too. The marketers place advertisement materials in the background and they are captured as you take the videos for streaming.
- Advertisements with an Expiry: Snapchat
Snapchat was a storm in social media, with users taking to it like a moth drawn to a flame.In an instant, thousands, then millions of photos, videos, text and even drawings were being exchanged among contacts, and this was a craze that marketers could not overlook.The app allows you to take photos and short videos and send them to a contact or contacts. The content posted, however, has a short viability window and then it’s no more. This creates an enthusiasm among the app’s users to capture the content before it expires. This creates some sort of authenticity and exclusivity for the marketers’ content as it is not likely to find content from different marketers that looks the same.
- The World Wildlife Fund- Danish branch developed an ad tagged @Don’t let this be my #lastselfie on animal images, representing how fast animals get endangered –as fast as a selfie on Snapchat
It is evident that these new age marketing approaches are here to stay in today’s technological environment, and they are rapidly morphing with upcoming advancements and keeping up with the changing user dynamics.