Websites are what…like 20 years old or so? Everywhere you turn, all you see are people on their mobile phones. As a small business owner all you hear is that the world is online now and ‘everything is digital’. However, even with all this digital proliferation, you’ve yet to see the windfall from your hi-tech internet-marketing strategies, so what gives?
There’s no doubt that todays smart phones make information much more accessible and apps can make life easier. The key to successfully targeting this digital space and engaging the audience lies in understanding the consumers frame of mind at this stage in the information process – so what does that mean?
It’s simple: while the distribution channels might be migrating more each day to digital, traditional channels i.e., TV, Radio, Newspapers, Billboards and their traditional counterparts remain the overwhelming source by which mainstream America is exposed to advertising messages that are actually retained. The key is the retention!
- Offline is new Online – the reason you’re lost in Cyber Space is because your expecting digital advertising and marketing to have the same effect on consumers as traditional push media. This is the number one mistake. Traditional media pushes information that is retained by the audience, which drives traffic online, to take further action. Using online to push does not work because messages are less likely to be retained.
- Digital advertising does not engage readers who are looking for specific content and information, so there is much less retention of your message. In many cases banner ads and the like, are considered intrusive and contribute to ‘poor user experiences’ on most websites. In fact, consumers might avoid a website with too many ads because of the distraction they can create.
- Using digital to drive digital is a one way street, and it’s called Google. If you’re in the service business, and someone is in desperate need of your service, you have one small chance to get in front of them using digital and that’s by being on page one of Google. Even on page one, if your company/brand has very little recognition it will lose out to your competition who is, more often than not.
- People are tired of ‘searching’ and just want to turn to the local company that can best fulfill their needs. This type of awareness does not happen online, it happens offline by being a part of the community. Focus on creating real-life experiences that your customers can participate in and invest in loyalty and rewards programs and see how much more engagement you will drive.
- No matter how sophisticated online targeting becomes, it will not replace the power of the message from mass media because we can’t dismiss it so easily. Online is so fragmented, the odds of you being exposed to the same ad or message more than once a day is miniscule. In order to raise awareness and build a brand your message needs to be consistently received in order to be retained, and mass media is the only way to achieve that effectively.
There you have it. You see a recurring theme of ‘retention’. If your target audience does not retain the message, your campaign will fail. Stop navigating your ‘enterprise’ ship through an asteroid belt of digital ‘tactics’ that aim to reach a consumer that is not listening. Use mass-media to get your message out, which will drive them online, which will allow you to then pull them forward with the right landing page, content , social media network and email marketing campaign that will convert your lead into new and future business.
John Garcia – Digital Director – Baldrica Advertising and Marketing