By Jay Osterholm
To find the ways that digital marketing is growing and evolving, we need only to look at consumer behavior in the digital world. People own more smartphones than ever before, online TV is overtaking traditional television and the Internet is obsessed with viral GIFs and videos. The world’s entertainment comes and goes swiftly, and consumers expect it constantly and everywhere. Creative directors are no longer challenged to merely generate memorable content; they are expected to produce a continuous volume of it. There will be no complaining, you advertisers. From the first television commercial, we have been hacking at our audience’s attention span and engorging their media appetites.
However, as creative departments order out for more caffeine IV’s, we need to take a minute to consider these changes in consumer behavior and how it has shaped digital marketing. Through my research and our work on client campaigns, I have noticed three separate areas in which digital marketing has grown. Mobile marketing, location-based advertising and multimedia content have received a lot of attention from marketers, which stems from extensive analysis of consumer behavior in these areas.
There are over 300 million mobile phones in the United States, half of which are smartphones. This is a huge market that is relatively new and open to innovation. Many developers have begun to take advantage of mobile potential. Mobile shoppers use their devices for a number of purposes, including scanning coupons, comparing prices, and finding store locations. These behaviors are performed in the store or en route, demonstrating the direct and immediate impact mobile marketers have on driving traffic and affecting sales. It shows how brands will be rewarded for building a mobile presence that focuses on influencing the consumer through store and product information, as well as savings.
Tied into the benefits of mobile commerce is location-based marketing. Websites such as Foursquare, Yelp!, Urban Spoon, etc., have made it necessary for even small mom-and-pop stores to create an online presence. Consumers trust their peers’ opinions, and the reviews on these sites consist of just that. Brands that fail to assert themselves online are losing out on a host of potential traffic. Even when physically in competitors’ stores, consumers will use mobile websites to compare prices. Mobile diners use their phones to check out menus, happy hour times, and restaurant locations. Shops and eateries that lack informative web presences limit their clientele to little more than foot traffic.
To better connect with their consumers through these new platforms, many marketers have begun to explore multimedia. Visual content has been a growing focus in the digital world. Facebook bought Instagram for an unbelievable $1 billion dollars. Last year, Tumblr reached a growth rate a 218%, dwarfing all other social media sites. Consumers respond positively and quickly to visual images and video, especially on mobile devices. Marketers have hopped onto the trend with content that is eye-catching and interest building. On platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Tumblr brands have begun to release advertisements that entertain rather than inform, in the hope that viewers will repost it to their friends. This concept of media sharing widens the reach of an ad like never before. It taps into a key value of social media advertising; brand exposure. If an audience finds something humorous, exciting or inspiring, they are more likely to share it. Multimedia marketing aims to elicit such a reaction, thus establishing a relationship with their consumers extending beyond simply business.
Fueling the growth of digital marketing is data and metric analysis, which is constantly evolving, becoming more granular and sophisticated. Today’s metrics allow marketers to quickly and easily adapt campaigns to align with consumer behavior. Programs like Facebook Insights and Google Analytics, with their accurate and real-time updates, sharpen the accuracy and adaptability of campaigns. They allow marketers to understand the ways in which consumers interact with each other, and therefore how we can better interact with them.
As mobile platforms, location-based marketing, and multimedia content evolve, you can be sure that metrics will be fundamental in getting us there, and spearheading digital marketing innovation.
Jay Osterholm is the founder and CEO of The ODM Group, a digital marketing firm that provides successful business outcomes through strategic and innovation digital solutions. @josterholm
How to Increase Sales Revenue Using Social Media
News Journal offices
Golf/Tennis Summer Outing
Radnor Valley Country Club
Accounting Manager / Controller
Receptionist / Front Desk