The Smart Edge of Brand Connect Practices

Author: Suchi Yadav

Designation: Business Advisor - Retail

Let’s recall the so-called ‘Good Old Days of Marketing’ where Marketing evolved into a discipline unrecognizable from its naïve roots to early trade. The first selling and promotion of a product were used in Harper’s Magazine back in 1884. The marketing of the supplies was beginning…. Of its prosperity.  Over the past three decades, marketing has had to keep up with the leaps in technology innovation and our relation to it ever since. The industry evolution from the invention of telephone, swiftly followed by television to the biggest change in history of marketing by introducing personal computers (a glorified typewriter), through which first marketing tactic was introduced, i.e. “print media”, that included creating a shiny and glossy brochure, making very expensive magazine ads and monthly mailers (one’s that required stamps, not internet connectivity) to nurture their relationship with customer’s buying journey.

Evolution of Advertising Arsenal

With the advent of the internet in early 90’s, landscape evolved from emails to search engines like Yahoo (1994), Google (1997) and E-Commerce sites like Amazon (1994) and eBay (1995). For all the marketers, this age was a Goldmine, where emails became a new outbound marketing tool, joining the traditional arsenal of TV, radio and print advertisements and telephone sales. While search engines cataloged the new websites that allowed users to find basic information they desired from the comfort of their homes. Marketers also used SEO techniques to increase their visibility by generating keywords, excessive tagging and backlinks to generate high rankings. All this online activity was, is still and will be stored as digital information. In the year 2000, a study found that the digital assets which have the most rapidly growing information and more a text-based information, famously known as “Big Data”. Why do we call that? Because of the capability of storing data that it has, with an irreplaceable digital asset which can be also used for future practices, by replacing physical resources like paper, film, DVDs, and CDs.

After the early hype of Internet, dot com bubble burst in 2001, and marketing tactics shifted drastically. More focus was given on inbound marketing through information sharing, user-centered design, and collaboration. The introduction of social sites like LinkedIn (2002), Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2007) made this all more possible as internet users started sharing more and more personal data online. With the help of the data collected, it became possible to track patterns and trends of human behavior. Data-Driven Marketing has driven so much momentum that numerous companies have emerged with expertise in this technology. For example, Optimove that specializes in digital precision marketing using the power of predictive analysis. Its marketing cloud uses Digital data to acquire the emotional intelligence that helps to connect with customers more effectively and also marketer to develop better and clear strategies, strengthening customer relationships.

Along with this, the need of transparency is obvious when you look into customer perceptions on all digital platforms. Across social media, 19% of consumers find it easy to differentiate between marketing communications, advertising, and branded content, while 30% have little or no trust in content they see on them. In an era, where customers are the driving seat, we the marketers need to engage customers in an ongoing conversation with creating a real and loyal relationship.

Mass Customization of Brands

It is quite evident that when customers get used to transparency, they are sort of addicted to the quality of your product or service you sell and are more likely to spend more. Given this situation, the cost of being an average product or service gets so high that either they fade away or evolve to this new paradigm. With transparency comes personalization what we call in today’s world as mass customization. This primarily is propelled with user generated data, insights of which gives the visibility to the buyer persona to be able to create unique consumer experiences and journeys empowering marketers to claim their own share of market potential for brand establishment. This form of marketing gives an infinite supply of creative intelligence instills a bond between your brand and its prospective consumers. A successful example of the user-generated campaign is Go Pro’s ‘Photo of the Day’ social media campaign, where GoPro features a customer’s photo on their social media sites every day to prove to a wider audience the merits of the camera. The audience can vote on GoPro Award Page, incentivizing people to send in their photos and driving engagement.

To keep up with the trending marketing activities we need to incorporate Agile Marketing that helps to measure how effective your organization is at achieving new marketing tactics. It involves strategy and theoretical results that help in executing activities quickly. One of the reasons for agile marketing is Social Media, where brands try to communicate with their users and share a voice or a message creating a personality that fosters transparency while connecting to their consumers. An example of this type of marketing was carried out in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII when a power outage at the Superdome caused lights to go for 34 minutes, the sandwich cookie’s social media team bumped into this moment, tweeting an ad that read “Power Out? No Problem” with a starkly lit image of a solitary Oreo and caption with “You can still dunk in Dark”. This message caught on almost 15,000 retweets and more than 20,000 likes on Facebook, which is pretty impressive for an offbeat joke made by a cookie. These marketing tactics are upbeat in nature and are in sync with the consumers’ expectations giving a sense of urgency to respond leading to conversations and a strong bond between brand and consumers. While the internet has and will continue to change many things, it is not the only one that can make an impact a the end of the day it is all about the human psyche of the consumer that makes it work. Despite the growth of Digital Advertising, the marketing ad spends of Television still hold the third position in the market and continues to grow. Embracing digital trends does not mean discarding traditional marketing methods. Therefore, we need to keep up with the trends while integrating the old for solid marketing success.

Influencing the Smart Age Consumers

Marketing campaign were much simpler in old times. Channels to reach customers were limited. Demands of potential buyers have changed drastically since then, attracting new customers now centres around producing informational content that is Search Engine Optimised (SEO) or through webinars or onsite shows. Over the years, marketing campaigns have changed with the times, singing a different tune when consumers call for it. Earlier, commercials were key sales pitch, encouraging consumers to go out and purchase. However, as time has moved on and people becoming less receptive to the selling game. They are now in the realm of intelligent storytelling. Heroic tales replaced the “Buy Now” mentality, and this continues to evolve further. In an age, where anyone can start an online business and make success out of it, and consumers need reliable stories, which they can relate to logically and not an offer with a sense of escapism like any best-selling novel. Statistically speaking, 38% of people want to hear stories about regular people and brand customers, whereas only 19% want to hear about celebrities or employees.

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