Because of their highly competitive nature, the sales and marketing worlds are always moving at the speed of light. Marketers face the ongoing challenge of staying ahead of the curve, so as not to lose ground in their fight for audience and marketing share.
Every challenge brings opportunity, and this is no exception. Instead of assuming, you must throw out your marketing and sales strategy every time a new platform or trend becomes dominant. Use your current strategy as a baseline, and challenge your staff to involve and incorporate the newest of new. A look to the horizon to spot some emerging trends.
Harvest Information from Analytics
One of the incredible benefits that digital advertising provides is the constant availability of near-instant analytics. You can see how effective a video ad placed on a website is based on views or click-throughs (or both). You can receive a sales analysis to see who is buying, and who is browsing.
The trick is to use these immensely powerful tools to establish trends, not to make an immediate knee-jerk determination over an immediate spike. The best strategy to accomplish this is to designate the metrics you will use to measure success in advance of launching a campaign, or better yet, a series of campaigns that will point to longer-term movement.
Along the same lines of taking advantage of analytic tools to gauge success, you should use the same philosophy to place ad buys. Programmatic buying has changed the landscape of media mixes in a way that would have been inconceivable 10, or even 5 years ago.
Using ad manager tools through web titans like Facebook and Google, marketers can set their budgets and schedules, and then drill down into incredibly specific demographics by age, gender, region, household income, and other similar parameters.
If you know your target audience, you can reach them through banners, display ads, or retargeting campaigns that “follow” people who visit your site or channels.
Taking a step back, all these newer ad buying tools and techniques are great, but they won’t make any difference if your ads don’t connect with your audience. Content is king, and marketing is the advertising currency of the day. That means that people will be more likely to stop and engage banners that don’t automatically scream “this is an ad!”
They want something that offers useful information or makes an emotional connection. This could be anything from how-to videos demonstrating how to complete a project to shared videos of pets or acts of kindness. Advertising may sell your product; content will sell your brand.
Now, let’s look ahead to the future with two big buzz terms. First “Artificial Intelligence” or AI. Not long ago, this term was synonymous with robots and seemed like a far-fetched, futuristic dream. Fast forward to the present, and you’ll see that it’s been applied more broadly to tech that “learns” as if performs its function.
This comes into play with home-automation devices, smartphones, and wearables. If you are marketing a product or service that isn’t directly related to AI, the important thing to do is consider new advertising channels it presents as it matures. Stay ahead of the curve and see how the world’s biggest brands take advantage of platforms created for and by AI.
Prepare for ATSC 3.0
Finally, the other buzzword is “addressable advertising,” which will eventually be made possible by a new television broadcast standard known as ATSC 3.0 which will arrive in the early 2020’s. Addressable advertising takes programmatic one step further by changing what commercial content is served during live television depending on the demographic.
Sales and marketing professionals always need to look to the horizon and build on their strategies as new opportunities become available. Embrace new platforms as an extension of your existing media mix, not in place of it.