Advertising has undergone a sea change in the last two or three years and if you’re still trying to turn heads with a big banner ad plastered across the front page of a website, or hoping that a billboard is going to magically attract the attention of a passer-by, you’re missing a big opportunity.
No, in 2018, you need to be targeting consumers online, and doing it with smarts. Consider this: all of us engage with the net (we shop, we read the news, we chat the friends). All the while we’re leaving a digital footprint or a digital ID. Marketers are starting to follow this trail to work out what it is that makes us tick; what it is we really want.
Welcome to a personalized form of advertising: people-based marketing.
Keep a database
Whether you’re an online business or a brick and mortar shop, start building up a customer database. If you’re struggling to get this information, find a creative solution. Why do you think so many businesses invite you to sign up for loyalty schemes? They’re an easy way of getting the good stuff.
From there, a marketing agency can look at your data and start working out what it is people want on a case-by-case basis. Imagine you’re a car dealership. You’ve built up several years’ of data on your customers. Well, the marketer comes in and looks at a random customer of yours; perhaps it’s a Rob Smith, a total stranger today, but someone who bought a car from you seven years ago. Seven years is a long time to go without an upgrade, and that will spark an idea: why not speak to all the people in your database who haven’t upgraded in the past five years? People like Rob will be automatically set to one side, and from there, they’ll be served a tantalizing ad for a new car on their favorite site… a car at your dealership.
Use social media
Social media is a marketer’s dream. It’s full of information about people. Think about it: we share our entire lives on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. All a marketer must do is take that information, draw up some top-level insights, and start selling us products we actually want to buy.
Imagine you’ve just gotten engaged. You let Facebook know. What does Facebook do? It lets marketers know. The net result is that the next time you’re browsing your social media feed, you’re served a post about a groom’s suit. Sure, it’s a little close to home, but it’s an ad you actually want to see, as opposed to a product you’d never buy in a million years.
Start using social media properly. Grow your following and get familiar with Facebook insights. A basic understanding of the toolset will get you into first gear, and from there, you can chat to a digital agency to drive real results.
Even if you’re sitting pretty, remember that technology waits for no one. One of the great things about advertising online – and doing it smart – is that you save whopping amounts of cash. Businesses like Kodak are proof that doing the same thing ad nauseum is a recipe for disaster. Our advice? If you’re in the business of selling a product or a service, you’d do well to ring up your local advertising agency and ask them about people-based marketing. If they try to sell you an ad on a TV network instead, politely decline and try somewhere else. The future is here, and it’s grounded in data; in the trail of breadcrumbs we all leave as we flit about the web.
We know it’s been a lot to take in, so we’ll leave you with this brief layman’s introduction and dive deeper in a future post. In the meantime, start researching the topic online and thinking about the myriad ways it can help your business.