Media Integration: Why Bother?

Posted on July 28th, 2011 by Tiffany Categories consumer behavior

Direct mail pieces. Email blasts. QR codes. Billboards. Website banner ads. iAds. Blog posts. Facebook pages. Twitter accounts. Google +. Newspaper ads (yes, they’re still being read). If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the myriad of ubiquitous marketing channels to tap into, chances are your audience is in the same boat as you are. Only, they’re on the receiving end of this balancing act.

In a time when the list of options is exhaustive (and frankly, exhausting) at what point do the marketing channels find balance on the weighing scale? They really don’t. That they find a tipping point towards a more receptive and responsive audience is more probable.

 

Media integration involves developing an understanding of the audience. But it also involves a broadened mindset by agencies and marketers approaching their demographics; especially where greater ROI’s are at stake.

 

A study released by Pitney Bowes demonstrates the relation between age and media-preference, vis-à-vis marketers. According to the study, 47% of the marketer’s aged 55 and over preferred working with just one media channel. Younger marketers, who are still finding their way with direct-mail pieces, are more apt to adopting multiple channels in order to produce effective marketing campaigns.

 

 

The trouble with giving preferential treatment to a specific marketing channel is that we risk isolating the audience who would like to connect with our brands, but doesn’t have a feasible way of doing so. At least not one that’s tailored to their preferences.

 

Of course, numbers tend to speak louder than words. In the United States, technology and use of the Internet are becoming more and more democratized across varied ethnic groups, and we found a few numbers to think about:

 

- 51% of African-Americans, compared to 65% whites, own desktop computers.

 

- 70% of all African-Americans and English-speaking Latinos use text messaging.

 

- Simultaneous media consumption is also increasing. Nearly 60% of U.S. households watch T.V. while browsing the web.

 

Attention spans are shorter, multi-tasking is second nature to millions and the option to switch off a blaring advertisement is taken for granted.So the bottom-line? Some nuggets of wisdom don’t really go away. All your eggs in one basket is still not prudent. Experimentation and diversifying will help you develop a deeper message for a wider audience.

Increasing Consumer Engagement

Posted on July 20th, 2011 by Tiffany Categories consumer behavior

As consumers, we feel the need to engage with our friends, families, communities and work organizations; not with marketers or brands. We may develop brand loyalty – a concept that is quickly fading as people find more choices for themselves – but as consumers we don’t always make it a point to engage with the CEO of a company to getter a better sense of how they or their companies are doing.

 

How do we stand apart from ourselves? We’ve profiled the consumer growing with the cutting edge of technology over and over: curators, multi-media savvy individuals who carry the information age in their pockets. The flip side of the jargon-laden consumer? Attention spans are growing shorter and shorter with every new product innovation.

 

There are no surprises there, but the question that keeps rebounding is “how do we stand apart?” The post is about increasing consumer engagement, and the answer to the question contains part of the solution. Mainly because at the end of the day, we all need more than a shiny gimmick to make ourselves stand apart.
 
The answer to increasing consumer engagement isn’t just soliciting as many “Likes”, re-tweets, followers or “+1’s” as possible. Honestly, how many of us flock to posts by brands that have over a 100 comments on them? Since comments are sometimes lost in a sea of voices wanting to be heard, how deeply is that brand really engaged with its audience?
 
Which brings us to the real issue at hand. Marketers tend to assume that by sending out content or messages through social or traditional media, they’ll be able to attract a following or an audience that stays involved with the company beyond brand loyalty. Consumer engagement involves more than a one sided approach entailing an overdose of media or products.
How do we stand apart? To make a marketing program truly consumer-centric, we begin by asking them what they want. It sounds simple enough, but the simplest ideas are sometimes the most difficult to implement. The idea here is to make the customer feel valued.
 
There is no right formula, of course, but the key to increasing consumer interest lies in demonstrating a genuine interest in their needs; to approach them to understand who they are and how our services fit into their needs in the best way possible. The channels and the tools we use to garner and measure feedback are just a nice by-product of the process. 

 

Mobility and Sharing

Posted on July 13th, 2011 by Tiffany Categories consumer behavior

Mobile adoption isn’t a new trend. Not since the advent of cell phones a decade and a half ago. And in the past few years, mobile technology has propelled itself forward with leaps and bounds, and if you own any kind of a smart phone, then you’re tuned into this change.

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The change is stemming from the way people are now consuming their media; if it’s not a pocket screen, then it’s a tablet. But it’s all instantaneous and prêt-a-porter.
 
The proof is in the numbers pudding, really, especially since advertisers are beginning to realize the potential that mobility and sharing now carry. As people walk around with more smart phones (1.6 billion units sold worldwide in 2010), they perform searches, find information faster and communicate with thumb-clicks of buttons.
Preferences for communication are changing – tablets over laptops, mobile coupons over printed Groupon’s, even QR codes over long URL’s.
 
With 2011 now in its 3rd quarter, we’re all well past the point of talking about early adoption and readiness for trends. But the fact remains that some businesses and small-business owners are still debating the usefulness of mobile technology to position themselves with their target markets.
 
But how does mobility and sharing translate to usability? Or even wide adoption? Short answer: by tapping into existing social media platforms and offering a way for consumers to curate and share their preferences more easily with their networks.
 
Says Alexandre Mars, CEO of Phonevalley: "The brands that are winning the mobility race are investing in new currencies like utility, social and hyper-localization.” No surprises there.  The only surprise is the rate at which adoption of mobile technology is still moving, especially by marketers.
 
The YouTube video below encapsulates the trends to gear up for before the end of the year, some of which we’ve covered in our previous posts.
 
Video Link: Mobile Trends 2011
 
How have you adapted or changed your marketing techniques for greater mobility? Leave us a comment to let us know!

 

Interactive Advertising

Posted on July 6th, 2011 by Tiffany Categories digital media

A few months ago, we wrote a blog post related digital marketing trends and developing interactive ads. In a short space of time, interactive advertising has become the latest arena for advertisers to step on to.

 

Lately, interactive ads have come much further along than simple “Likes” on Facebook. “Appvertising” – a term coined loosely for advertising geared for mobile devices – is beginning to take flight. Reason being the opportunity to develop rich, multimedia content that is informative and engaging at the same time. 

 
After all, who doesn’t love an entertaining ad with great images and a catchy tune? However, considering the time and money investments required to produce one of these, understanding how to build one might be a good idea.
 
As with all advertising, knowing your audience and purpose before you begin is a necessity. With interactive advertising, the keyword is always “interactive.” 
 
Take, for instance, the TRON Legacy interactive ad made for the iPad.
 
This ad has more than the very evident “cool” factor working in its favor. For one, it leaves the user in control. Start and stop times notwithstanding, the ad features compelling video with an option to skip out at any time. More importantly, the ad plays the role of a mini-website with interactive options. With a picture gallery, a music library, multiple trailers and user options to control the experience, the TRON ad really does have it all. Also noteworthy is what the ad doesn’t have; namely, an endless barrage of text. 
 
To recap with a quick checklist for your next interactive ad:
 
     – Hand over the control to the user.
 
     – Combine media. Make “multimedia” work for you in the best way possible.
 
     – Keep text to a bare minimum.
 
     – Design for the medium. While clean lines and sparse design may work for print ads, it’s the details that matter in their      interactive counterparts.
 

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