For the last few years we have witnessed the rise of emerging channels like mobile, video and social media among the brands and advertisers. Marketers have realized the need to focus on improving customer experience in the fast paced digital world.
Digital Ad Campaigns have now become a top priority for many marketers and a good number of them are closely following on. Spending in digital formats has seen a sharp increase in the past few years. Many researchers now predict that Digital is essentially the mainstream. And, furthermore it will no longer be about ‘Digital Marketing’ but more about ‘Marketing in the Digital World’.
Many marketers would say that they do a lot of online campaigns but still see a very limited result coming out of it. Online and Social Media marketing has enhanced the reach to customers and provided marketers with opportunities to engage with people quickly and efficiently. But it’s up to the marketers how they nurture these opportunities and turn them into business relationships. It’s important that marketers understand the trends based on the technical advancements and craft their ad campaigns in the direction of these changes.
Below are some of the recent trends that brands should take into account while designing any ad-campaign on the digital platforms.
Marketers will need to realize the potential of Mobile. It is already one of the fastest growing media channels and is expected to maintain its upward trajectory in the upcoming years. Mobile’s surge has brought in a fundamental change to the marketing budgets and strategies and thus caused an impact in brand and consumer relationships. Ads via Mobile App are building a new set of audiences and have become the key to reach the right audiences at the right time. As the buying process and the marketing funnel keeps evolving, marketers will need to watch closely on their efforts to deliver better mobile campaigns and reap the rewards. (See how our MBA-Market Basket Analysis technique is boosting the sales volume)
Sitecore is a popular Web Content Management tool offering advanced Mobile capabilities to the marketers. Mobile is no longer just a device or channel. It’s where the customers are and it’s in the best interest of the marketers to present them with the relevant content when they are ready to engage with the brands.
Social Media usage has shot up high in the past few years. Big social companies like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat etc. have built an engaged audience and now are turning their attention towards monetizing them and also help marketers target their audience in an easy way. Social Networks are now being seen as more of a place where marketers can find highly targeted audiences and even track their ad campaigns with granular metrics. The challenge here is to link the Social Media campaigns to the Sales. Most of the marketing executives so far have not been able to measure the impact of their social media spending on their business. As we move forward, it is expected that social companies will continue to improve their ad and campaign offerings leaving the final job to the brands to figure out how they can leverage these offerings to their interests.
EpiServer is another popular Web Content Management tool offering a One Stop Social Capabilities Platform to marketers. They can now use similar or different messaging for an ad campaign in different social channels easily. It helps to use the right messaging for different audiences and also helps in measuring the overall outcome of the campaigns they are all connected to.
A recent study conducted by Cisco says that by 2019 consumer video will account for over 80% of Internet Traffic. It’s quite evident that consumers are now gradually moving away from TV towards streaming video on different media channels. New innovations in technology are driving the momentum. Social companies like Facebook, Twitter etc. are investing in ways to integrate more powerful video capabilities into their offerings. Some of the emerging things are auto-play video, live streaming and native in-app video ads. Recent studies have found that video views are up across all devices making it even more important for marketers to strategize multi-platform ads.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) has been creating a lot of noise lately. Gartner predicts that by 2018, some 25 million virtual and augmented headsets will be in the hands of consumers. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sees VR technology to spread in a similar way as smartphones. Tech- savvy consumers will be the first to embrace it but eventually it’s going to become ubiquitous. AR / VR technologies can provide marketers a much better way to demonstrate their product or service offerings and create an experience that can help the buyer make a quick and informed decision. Brands like Disney and AT&T advertising has already been using 360 degree video campaigns on Facebook, which is providing a kind of Virtual Reality experience to the customers. These types of immersive ads help marketers in presenting the consumers with richer stories and give them new reasons to interact with the brands.
With increasing focus on consumer experience, Content Marketing is surely going to have an important role for Brands in rising above their competitors. It will be critical for brands to ensure that their campaigns are native and personalized to the maximum extent. Behavioral targeting and automated landing pages based on user profiles are some of the practices getting popular among the brands in quick time. One emerging area to look into is user generated content. Through this type of campaigns, brands can try building a loyal customer segment while understanding more of the sort of messages that connects with them. This can be further augmented with Social Media. It allows brands to have a back and forth conversation with customers rather than just talking to them. On the other side, content publishers are increasingly moving over to building their own custom publishing units given the increasing prevalence of ad blocking software among the consumers.
A lot of organizations today have a dedicated practice of acquiring data. But many of them have struggled to translate this data into meaningful insights. Instead of jumping into the sea of Big Data, it is important to identify the set of data that is important for the business and develop a solution or plan based on the findings. Many experts believe that inventive strategies and quantitative skills are the very prerequisite for the next generation marketers. The core challenge is that a larger set of the data is not available to them in a timely manner. Hence it becomes difficult for them in making a decision backed by data insights that can truly have an impact on the campaigns while they are being executed. The key to real time data management lies in the ability of the marketers in filtering out the meaningful signals using the most pertinent data set(See how Big data is optimizing marketing ROI through Analytics)
Sitecore offers many out of the box and ready for customization analytic reports like Engagement value and Conversion rate that helps marketers derive meaningful insights out of the raw data.
Marketers driving highly personalized campaigns will be able to generate better results. The benefits include increased response and conversion, amplified reach, brand loyalty and repeat customers to name a few. Research says that a large section of the marketers sees their personalization effort as very good to excellent. However when it comes to the consumer, most of them feel that the messages they receive are not particularly relevant. Something that is missing is the more sound understanding of the user’s current needs. Brands will need to focus on this aspect and develop practices for smarter measurement of the existing data in order to provide customers with a better experience.
The ad blocking concept has been growing at a faster pace across the globe. Customers have embraced ad blocking as a solution to return to their preferred user experience and also voice their concern against irrelevant ads. Ad blocking is now common in mobile device and is fast making its way onto video. The solution to this is to bring in transparency and focus on improving the ad experience. The right feedback can come from those working with suppliers and partners or those who are associated with customers at a more granular level. The onus is on the marketers and content publishers to repair the consumer-advertiser relationship and provide helpful and relevant advertising to customers.
The consumer is always right. The quick rise of ad blockers further proves that there is still a lot of disconnect between marketers and the audiences. Customer experience is important in building loyalty and advocacy. The marketers should think from an outside-in perspective. In simple terms, it is necessary to understand one’s customers and then decide on the marketing approach. Then only they will be able to truly understand their customer’s viewpoint. Consumers are gradually voicing their opinion against the interruptive generic marketing. It’s now the Brand’s responsibility to do more of one to one marketing and take complete ownership of the customer journey. Hence marketers will need to be more creative with campaigns designed to target specific individuals and devices in mind with messages tailored to their needs. Connecting the dots is just the beginning; there’s a long way to go.
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