Communicating in a Digital Age

Marketing has long been a race to reach the consumer more effectively and efficiently than the competition. Up until eight years ago this could be accomplished through traditional means. An advertisement in the paper, on the radio or television would be more than enough to gain your business the amount of reach necessary to achieve the goals of the company.

Then Apple launched the iPhone and everything changed.

The Internet on a smart phone, along with the adaption of applications, enabled consumers to remain linked to the web outside of the confines of their computer. It wasn’t long before newspapers changed over to the Internet medium and everyone stopped going to grab the paper in the morning.

Satellite Radio, as well as a staggering increase in the number of stations in each metropolitan area, has turned radio ads into ineffective at best. If your target market does not have satellite radio, you can be sure they turn to one of the ten other stations available to them when a commercial break begins.

To make matters even more challenging for advertisers, the invention of the Digital Video Recorder – DVR – has given the consumer the option to skip advertisements all together. Outside of live sports events, or the local evening news, consumers are recording their favorite television shows. Not because of their busy lifestyle, but to avoid annoying commercial breaks.

In short, you cannot use traditional means and expect the same results. You have to quite simply think outside of the box and break through the bombardment technology has placed between your business and the consumer you are trying to reach.

Ok, so that’s the bad news, but it’s really not so bad.

Technology may have made reaching the consumer different than in the days of Mad Men, but you can also use this technology to your benefit. A social media campaign using specific platforms designed for your message can be more effective than traditional advertising ever was.

Why you may ask…

Consumers spend all of their time on a smart phone or tablet, but they are also more tuned into what they are reading than when watching TV or listening to the radio. Ads mixed into their Facebook wall will give you the type of quality exposure TV advertisers can only dream of.

You no longer need five to ten ads to reach a consumer.

Retargeting, a subject I will discuss in another blog, is a prime example of using technology for your benefit. Using a consumer’s search history to deliver ads directly to their social media platforms, among other Internet mediums, specifically pushing a product they are already searching for.

Have you noticed when you search for something on the Internet, you also see an ad about that product on your Facebook page? Retargeting has reached mainstream in such a quick amount of time because it has proven to be very effective. After all, if a consumer is already searching for something online, an ad on their social media page for the same product will most certainly give your ad a greater click-through rate.
Successful businesses embrace the digital revolution as an opportunity to reach consumers more often than traditional mediums offer, and much more effectively too. The trick is to understand how to reach them.

The consumer buried in their smart phone at a dinner table surrounded by friends doing the same thing…

The person checking Facebook at work to take a break…

The rabid sports fan checking Twitter for late breaking news and rumors about their favorite team…

It’s no longer about trying to enter a family home through a television or radio. We communicate differently now and if you want to break through that logjam, then you have to think like the average consumer today.

Come to think of it, that may be the only thing relevant left in traditional advertising.

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