Marketing is under fire as of late. It seems that marketing and the scandals of social media are combining, and consumers are becoming rightfully annoyed about the misuse of personal data. This means that marketing needs to undergo… well, marketing in pursuit of cleansing its image. We’re all used to submitting our data to ‘advertising ID generators’ if we like it or not. It’s the price we pay to use services such as the Google Suite or Windows 10 freely. However, from an image standpoint, this might be rather difficult for people to stomach. It might mean that they completely try to switch off from marketing where they can. This might mean using ad-free services, or browser plugins that block advertisements or website scripts on a case-by-case basis. It might even mean purchasing subscriptions to all premium services they use in an attempt to rid themselves of ads, allowing the platforms we market with to fund themselves directly. This means that no matter how we feel about this situation, the marketers of the future will have to look to challenge these perceptions and employ tactics to advertise effectively. ‘Effectively’ can be defined in many different ways. It might mean how much reach you have, how much engagement you process, or simply the investment to reward ratio average you keep. It might mean keeping clients on board instead of looking for personal ways to market their wares. Finally, it means shouldering the burden for silly social media scandals that might have generated negative attitudes that affect your business. No one said this might be easy. Here’s a little extra guidance to help you achieve these aims:
Marketing will need to be more subtle than ever. In that, we mean that it must not be forceful. We’re all used to seeing advertisements in big broad letters in our magazines, on our billboards and during our television programs. However, subtle tricks can be used to gently lead clients to certain affiliate marketing links. For example, the use of SEO (Search Engine Optimization,) can be dutifully applied to a wide range of hobbyist and specialist online hubs. This way, content is custom fitted, appropriate, and can even be wrapped in helpful content. Subtlety means using the ‘recommendation culture’ to dutifully suggest certain marketed locations to check out, without ever having to forcefully insult the intelligence of those being exposed to this. There’s a big difference between being told to ‘Buy X’ and ‘X could be useful!’ This distinction isn’t deceptive or shallow either. It’s simply the more polite, appropriate and pleasant manner of promotion. Overview your marketing efforts, and see where you could be lacking. It might be that a little subtlety could go a long way in giving you the customer engagement you’re looking for.
You might have noticed that the online culture of product marketing is becoming more and more personal and interactive. This is true in many cases that support it. For example, take smartphone gaming advertisements on YouTube. It is now the case that instead of offering a flashy video advertisement, the user is presented with an interactive and bite-sized demo of the game in place of an advertisement. This allows the firm to see engagement right there and then, and detect how many skipped the ad before they began playing. While this is a slightly more expensive method of selling your product and may not work for many things, the marketing professional of the future will develop interactive advertisements as a fundamental necessity. Just imagine the practical applications of cyberspace and virtual reality. Pretty soon, the internal home will not only be a place reachable with screens and printed materials. Soon, your potential clients will be surrounded in rooms of your making, with potential interactive opportunities as yet fully uncovered. It can pay to start thinking about that now, allowing you to set in motion innovative plans to tackle the potential future of advertising.
The recent social media scandals, while damaging, can also offer a lot of good. People are interested in viewing great content more than ever, and why should marketing be separate from this? The answer? It shouldn’t. Just because catchy jingles and marketing phrases can stick in the minds of those exposed, it doesn’t mean those same people will care about actually following up with a purchase. Marketing is the ability to see human nature and effectively capitalize from it in making suggestive ideas a reality in the eyes of those you target. This is why often baseless and unintelligent marketing attempts seem to be the majority. Quality of content is often misplaced for sheer quantity. See the word ‘Pepsi’ four times in one day, and the following day at the movie theatre you will be that little more inclined to choose that over Coca-Cola. This is psychological reinforcement, and the effects have been well documented scientifically. However, instead of stimulating the habits of those you expose, could there be a better way? Could you stimulate their spirits? Now, we’re not asking you to write the next masterpiece in soulful music to sell your client’s toothpaste brand. However, a little creativity can reign supreme in a world where clients are more discerning. Using firms such as Inner Spark Creative can allow you to put your finger on the pulse and then creatively try to engage with that. These more human-focused approaches allow you to not only present your firm in a creative way, but in a way altogether worthy of being listened to. The best part of creativity on this level? Doing something different allows you to seem new and exciting, and helps you become a firm worth watching. It’s no accident that the Superbowl commercials are considered some of the most important. They are the most curated, professionally worked through, and well-defined . They know how to get a message across in a novel way in a short amount of time. Moreover, they know how to stimulate discussion. Try to view all marketing campaigns you produce in this light, and you’ll likely have nothing but success. The marketers of the future have plenty of untapped potential at their feet. Use this advice, and you’ll be slightly closer to finding its treasures.