Old Dogs...And New Tricks
Posted January 24, 2012
Well, it’s here: 2012. Some say the Mayans predicted that, in the year 2012, the world would come to an end. But many have debunked this theory, instead taking on the belief that, actually, this year will be about the transformation into a new era…perhaps even one of physical or spiritual revolution. Cue the Zen meditation music.
While we don’t pretend to be the authority on world history or have the ability to predict the future at PromoAid, we can say that the “debunkers” may have had the right idea when it comes to marketing…
This coming year will be about taking the plunge into experimentation, whereby marketers integrate nontraditional marketing strategies into their standard practice. It will be about listening to the consumer, molding your marketing missions around the consumer, and making the whole mix consumer-centric. Marketers must get comfortable with potential discomfort, and make bold choices to ensure brands reach people where they are, at the right time, with the right the message. And proof of efficacy is vital.
The two key drivers of this shift are the recession and the explosion of emerging technologies. Consumers are mobile, doing their own research, and looking for discounts. So we know what they want…we just need to give it to them.
To drill down, let’s tender the following types of nontraditional (fast becoming traditional) marketing strategies and tactics as necessary pieces of the marketing pie over the next year.
Mobile. In November 2011, the digital marketing suite, IgnitionOne, reported that search alone via mobile devices increased 355% from Q4 of 2010. And everyone’s favorite search engine, Google, estimated that roughly 44% of last-minute shopping searches during the holidays in 2011 would be on a smartphone or a tablet.
The data keeps streaming in, and we can keep quantifying. But the qualitative meaning is pretty straightforward: if you’re not integrating mobile into your marketing efforts, you’re neglecting your campaign.
But besides just having to be there, mobile presents a unique opportunity: it takes the traditional benefits of online tracking, and layers on the ability to amplify reach, and zero in, to catch the consumer at a moment in time.
Hopefully you heard all that, and you weren’t searching “Mayan prophecy 2012” on your iPhone.
Price Sensitivity. Pat Conroy, Vice Chairman of Deloitte, observed the swing in segmenting due to the recession. While it’s clear that low-end consumers certainly feel the recession and discount-shop as a result, high-end consumers’ habits have changed, too. They now also discount-shop, but consider purchases of premium brands as a “special occasion”.
Also look to the Ipsos Mendelsohn Affluent Survey, which polls around 14,000 affluent adults who make over $100,000, annually. Almost 90% of affluents decreed, “When I decide to buy a luxury item, I go out of my way to find the best price possible.”
On the whole, no segment of the economy is exempt from the ripples of the recession tsunami. And so we see consumers look to couponing, value brands, discount promotions, etc. They will partake in your brand. But this year, you have to prove the value in a clear-cut way, and couple it with incentive.
Social Media. PromoAid has shared the staggering statistics of social media with you before. But get this…are you sitting down?
- According to ComScore, Facebook accounts for 1 of every 7 minutes consumers spend online.
- Google+, the newest in the upsurge of social media sites, just hit the 65 Million users mark, and roughly 25% of that was in the month of December 2011.
- Twitter’s base increased 59% in the last year. It now reaches 10% of the of the worlds’ internet users.
And according to a new study by Sentient Decision Science, 49% of consumers utilized social media to research brands in 2011, doubled up from 2010.
We also see a lot of companies and retailers starting to hire full-time, in-house, or on-the-floor social media managers, who are living and breathing the brand, and relaying it to consumers. Surely there’s more of this to come this year.
Social Media is about the consumer having a voice. Marketing no longer encompasses the traditional practice of sticking to a plan and budget for the year. It’s about being fluid, and flexible. Listen to consumers, use the insights and learnings, and adjust accordingly, whether it’s the message or the media by which you’re sending it.
Part of being a strong marketer is evolving. In 2012, it’s important to think “bigger picture”, and focus on breaking down boundaries to incorporate these new forms of nontraditional marketing efforts into your campaigns.
Failure is possible. But not taking the leap forward so as not to risk it just means you’ll fall behind. So direct from PromoAid: make 2012 about integration, fluidity, and experimentation.