Trends within the marketing realm appear to come and go every single year. It’s easy to forget how reliant we all once were on a particular marketing channel, only for it now to be more of an afterthought – if it even gets thought of at all!
Billboards, direct mail, radio advertising, transit advertising, and TV product placement are all examples of the old-school way of marketing, but with changing consumer preferences and advances in technology, marketers must look to new ways to maximise any returns on marketing investment.
What even is marketing?
Marketing is about researching your target audience and delivering value to them (ordinarily through the product or service you are trying to pitch).
Marketing is quite literally the process of getting a target audience to like your product or service. A marketer’s goal is to find the best way to place their product in front of someone. Of course, the best outcome is that they buy it and keep coming back to buy more!
Times are a-changing
If we delve into those old-school marketing methods, there are grey areas in all of them due to the change in today’s society. Billboards are still popular and it’s rare to come across a blank advertising space waiting to be filled, but with so many advertisements being blasted at consumers on a daily basis, a billboard needs to stand out to catch the eye of a potential customer.
Companies are now experimenting with different ways to exhibit their billboards. Dash Water has made a clever impression recently with its Wonky Fruit movement and has excelled in the space by tilting the billboard to fit within the ‘wonky’ theme. 2022 has also brought us 3D billboards, where something jumping out at the audience is a sure-fire way to capture the viewer’s attention through disruption.
Remember when direct mail was all the rage, and anyone who was anyone had letters flying through people’s doors?
There’s something very humble about receiving anything through the letterbox. It’s a fuzzy feeling when you see you are the ‘chosen one’. Especially when the post is opened to an offer or an aesthetically pleasing letter, it makes it far more tempting for a consumer to read it.
Despite its previous successes, direct mail has fallen out of favour with many consumers for several reasons:
- People may not want to open mail if it isn’t addressed to them
- People may find it invasive if the material is now finding its way through the front door
- If the customer hasn’t bought anything since moving house so it’s fallen into the wrong hands
- You may find you’re bothering another potential customer
- Direct mail often finds its way to the bin so it can be wasteful
- High production and delivery costs
- Limited tracking for ROI
Similarly, radio advertising and transit advertising have also fallen by the wayside in recent years, mainly due to changing consumer behaviour as a result of modern technology.
Radio advertising can be great for those who listen to the radio, but this is naturally lesser so since we have multiple channels of music streaming readily available. I always used to listen to the radio in my car, but now I Bluetooth music directly through from my phone so I can listen to music without any interruption from advertisements.
Similarly, with transit advertising, it’s not often you see people actively looking out of a vehicle window (apart from the driver – but they should be concentrating on the road). It’s usually a sea of heads looking down at their phone or watching TV in the back of the car.
Transit advertising may not be so literal in the sense that you drive past a truck with a giant Mars Bar and write down the website URL to then go and order a mega-pack at home that night. But it can work on a subconscious level, and you may then stop at the next service station only to realise you’re craving a Mars Bar. In theory, the method checks out, but there are limited statistics to back up the number of conversions and successes of these types of marketing methods.
Make your marketing campaigns personal
There’s a vast number of tactics used nowadays to generate new and entertaining marketing, but one of the most successful ways of bringing products to the attention of your hopeful buyers is by personalising your message to a specific consumer.
As a company that provides a data solution, my opinions could be biased, but they make logical sense. To get high engagement with a customer and maximise revenue potential with them, wouldn’t it make sense to understand who they are by looking at the data they provide? Data can be as simple as knowing their name, or it can go as deep as understanding their income and the number of rooms within their house.
Using three of the most common marketing methods in 2022, let's look at how using data can enable personalised engagements.
Influencer marketing is, quite frankly, huge – particularly with the so-named Gen Z population. It’s based on the concept of people being “influenced” to buy a certain product by known faces on social media.
“Influencers” can be on any platform (YouTube, TikTok, Instagram etc) and will often specialise in a certain niche like gaming, makeup, dogs, or homeware. People who are interested in what they are posting will follow them to keep up to date with their life. As their follower base grows, brands in the same space as the influencer will start working with them to promote products or services to that specialised audience.
How can this help with personalised marketing? By looking at who a customer follows, it is possible to infer what types of products and trends they’re currently interested in, and how that changes over time.
If you know that the customers who previously bought a product from you are now changing with the times and following different influencers, it might be that you consider updating the products you put in front of them.
When you sold them a bedside table back in 2019, they were loving the Bohemian style. Now, in 2022, they’ve found a new set of influencers and they’re desperate to achieve similar things in life, so they’ve decided to start shopping around for Minimalist-style tables. Knowing they have switched up who they follow, you could be the first to put the latest range of minimalist bedside tables in front of them, putting you ahead of the competition.
Now with this being said, we can provide a non-invasive insight into your customer data so you may not necessarily be able to dig around in someone’s profile. But, you can certainly see the overarching bigger picture of who somebody is by using open-source data to enrich a customer’s profile (something which The Data Refinery can provide).
Content Marketing works a little differently from social media marketing. The marketer is not selling directly through an influencer, but it is another indirect style by providing knowledge on a subject matter first, so the customer is more ‘in the know’ before having the product or service pitched to them. It’s an effective way to distribute information to an online audience.
Using data to understand who your customers are can help you establish the most appropriate channel and time to communicate with a specific customer.
Using Open Data sources to really dig deep into your customer’s characteristics, you can also gain insight into their internet speed which can lead you to determine what type of content you send. If a slower internet speed, using imagery or text may be a preferable way to be seen, whereas, for those who have a speedy internet speed, you may want to consider video content to excite the customer and spark their attention.
For example, some products may be most suited to someone who uses YouTube, but then the customer may not necessarily use YouTube very much if they spend a lot of their time using Instagram, for example.
Knowing that you have a customer who may spend most of their day connecting on Instagram, it might be worth considering releasing your content on a platform where the target audience is more likely to see it.
Experiential marketing immerses a customer or potential customer in the experience. It can also be known as ‘interactive marketing'.
An example of this is a retail show where companies are first getting their products in the public eye. If it were a food & drink company, they may get you to try a taster and it builds a stronger connection between that person and the brand as they have experienced it for themselves whilst enveloping more than one sense.
Using data to your advantage in this scenario could involve researching the socio-demographics of an area where you plan to run the event. You wouldn’t necessarily want to hold an event which costs time and money in a desolate area.
You may also need to consider who can get there and other factors such as age, income, and life stage. If the people at the event aren’t in a position to buy the product, it’s a waste of time and resources.
If you can see what a customer has responded well to in the past, use it to your advantage and lean on them to further your growth. Using the insight you have gained from historic purchases, can ultimately make your decisions for you on whether or not experiential marketing is the best tool, and how/when/where to use it. If you can see certain customers have loved a product and you are due to release a new flavour, head to the area where most of them belong.
Use data to your advantage
All the latest marketing trends certainly work and can take your company from one level to the next if they are powered by high-quality, informative data. That way you can create the best personalisation methods to reach the core of who your customers are.
Reach them through the people who inspire them, the methods they can access, the things they want to experience, the topics they search for answers to, and use your findings to become better and better within the field.
We enable companies to build marketing campaigns that are personalised. We connect social platforms to validate influencer research. We can help derive sentiment or content trends through customer interaction data, and we can guide interactive marketing through 360 degree enhanced customer views.
If you’re wanting to grow but don’t know where to start, book a demo and someone will be in touch in no time!