THUNDER BAY – Special to NNL – We’ve got TiVo, PVR, XM, YouTube, and DVD/Blue Ray TV boxsets – All without commercials. Digital marketing including search, social media, YouTube, website, mobile, text and other forms of entertainment that are coming to us sans non-invasive advertisements are increasing in popularity. These mediums are growing as people have less time to spend on entertainment as family and work take up more time. The remaining time people do have at the end of the day should not be spent watching commercials that are irrelevant to the viewer so they are fast forwarding and just plain not being reached or even worse devaluing the brand for taking up valuable airtime.
That is why digital media is increasingly growing in popularity both for companies and customers as end user patterns can be detected and messaging can be tailored so the advertising is more likely to interest the prospective client. Social media, Google, and even our smartphones are monitoring our patterns online and geographically where we have been to increase the relevancy of advertising in the future. In today’s data driven society, information is king!
With digital marketing you can highly tailor your marketing message so it appears as if it is a one-to-one communication that is directed at that individual or target market. In addition, the viewer of the ad has plenty more opportunities to interact with the company as everything is instantaneous online with few barriers for the customer to overcome. When you capture that customer’s attention, you have them emotionally engaged and it is a lot easier to convert a sale when they are caught up in their feelings than say a TV ad at home where they have time to think and really evaluate if it is for them; if they aren’t fast-forwarding through it in the first place. What I am hinting at is the conversion rates online are much higher and more importantly can be tracked and your messaging improved to increase your ROI.
The last time you advertised on TV, in the newspaper, in a magazine, how successful was it? What was your return on investment? More than likely 95% of the people reading this article cannot tell me their exact ROI using these mediums, whereas with digital marketing you know exactly what you get for what you pay for. In the past, marketing was seen as an art where people put fancy ads that may or may not be working out to the public and hoped for a great response. If sales happened to be up, they took credit for it rather than great customer service or a persistent sales force. Now, marketing is becoming more scientific and math based as it can be traced back to a specific advertisement, on a certain webpage for example. Large corporations are data mining to retain their competitive advantage to leverage this intelligence with existing relationships to get more business or business from people similar to their existing client base. The other advantage to digital media is that it can be modified instantaneously, whereas with a traditional advert if there is an error or if it is not working, it cannot be changed.
Ideally, digital marketing allows you to feel out what is working best in terms of wording, images, or colour so companies realize what is working first before you proceed into traditional forms of advertising. Letting your digital marketing lead a full-blown marketing campaign ensures you are portraying the most accurate and effective messaging before investing additional advertising dollars that may never come back in traditional mediums. Advertising with digital media allows you to capture that customer data that can be utilized to not only adjust the content, but also the placement of where a billboard or bus advertising would appear for example. Demographic information based on location to see what media they are most likely to read can also be obtained. Capturing customer information will paint a better picture of your customers and guide your valuable marketing dollars through the fog to reach its intended audience.
Nick Kolobutin is with the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre.
A member of the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE), the Northern Technology Alliance is comprised of four regional innovation centres in Northern Ontario. They are: Innovation Initiatives Ontario North (North Bay); Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (Sudbury); Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (Thunder Bay); and Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (Sault Ste. Marie). The Northern Technology Alliance is dedicated to working collaboratively to foster business growth, research and innovation throughout Northern Ontario.