Experience and Data
The role of marketing is to give customers what they want at the point in time that they are most likely to buy a product or service.
Before online shopping, stores focused their efforts on trying to please the customer by providing a pleasant shopping experience so that they purchased what they wanted in-store. User experience is a key part of online retail as well.
This data allows a customer to be targeted based upon behaviour, rather than relying on previous purchase history, in real time; at a point where they’re most likely to make a purchase. The number of channels available has increased too; social platforms are providing new ways to reach a customer and video advertising is becoming more popular.
The experience now has also changed somewhat, with customers now being able to rate or like a product and view reviews and similar purchase from other internet users or friends and family through Social Networks.
Many see the future of online retail, as using digital to channel a customer’s purchasing journey by assessing their current and past online behaviour as well as their reaction to advertising; assessing these through traditional analytics, with added focus on a user’s social graph and network connections.
A Changing World
The way in which advertisers reach potential customers is changing, both in the online and offline world, but technology is closing the gap more and more; brining online offline and vice versa. Technology is providing more creative ways for brands to raise awareness of their products, a good example of this are escalators on the London Underground, where monitors have replaced static poster adverts.
QR codes,despite the criticism, and technologies such as Blippr have allowed brands to go one step further and embed online calls to action to traditional billboard or newspaper adverts.
Lynx took this one step further with the “invisible advert”, where they rented a house and projected images which were only visible to members of the public wearing special glasses: www.adverblog.com/2012/05/08/lynx-invisible-anarchy/
According to Deloitte, 57% of people believe that TV advertising has the most impact: www.thedrum.co.uk/news/2012/08/22/deloitte-survey-finds-57-people-still-...
Online video advertising has also grown recently, with YouTube allowing branded channels and interactive adverts to appear pre and post-video and at key points throughout videos.
Key players such as Channel4 and ITV now offer more content through their online players too.
YouTube advertising already allows you to target adverts based upon location, language, interest, buzz and type of user, giving advertisers much more control than traditional television advertising currently offers.
With the advanced technologies and integration of television and broadband providers, traditional TV advertising could change drastically. There is the potential of targeted television advertising wherever customers also subscribe to the partnered broadband service. Virgin Media look well poised to be able to provide this; having a package that combines mobile, television and internet, thus advertising could be based upon web usage and potentially where customers visit through geo-location targeting.
An area of considerable growth will be mobile. Smartphones are now a part of everyday life and provide mechanisms to target a user based on their location and social profile. Newer phones are also bringing in Near Field Communication, which will allow brands to track customers based upon them checking in to purchase products but also, where they then go and how long they spend in other locations.
For me, however, the most exciting future area is augmented reality. This was trialled on Smartphones, allowing you to hold up your phone and have it overlay key points of interest based upon location, but it didn’t really take off. Google recently showed off their Google Glasses and in my opinion, these show the true power; allowing you to walk through a high street and have it project whether your friends have checked into a coffee shop, who is there and for the coffee shop to push you offers. Restaurants could push their availability and menus for that evening too, allowing you to book as you walked in the vicinity. Many have said it before, and I think some still holds true; SoLoMo – Social, Local, Mobile.
The future of customer acquisition through digital marketing is one where a user’s profile extends beyond their browser session. It is one where their offline activity can be combined through the use of mobile and social graphs to their online activity.
Advertising will become more relevant and targeted, allowing highly focused localised adverts to be pushed to users, as well as more generic brand advertising to be displayed on videos or television based more on interests rather than keywords or content categorisation.
Technology will allow more creativity, encouraging users to engage more with content through the use of augmented reality and near field communication. For example, you may hold your phone up to an advert on the Tube to see a picture or video for a musical, rather than just seeing its name.
The future definitely promises to be exciting but again, ensuring campaigns are part of an integrated strategy is key to success and despite the technology changing, many of the marketing fundamentals remain the same. If you are interested in finding out more, register to attend one of our events or contact me – Matt.Stannard@4psmarketing.com/@Matt_4ps
Chief Technology Officer
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