Over the last 5 years working in the Media Industry I have found that business owners and marketing managers have been asking themselves this question on a daily basis: where should I spend my marketing budget this year?
The decline of standard media and the rise of digital usage
As society evolves, so does society’s behaviour in the way we engage with each other and consumerable goods. The products and services that we choose to possess and the companies that we chose engage with move with trends like anything else. Naturally, our behaviour has a flow-on effect. We once relied on television and radio for entertainment. The stations chose what we watched and when we watched it. However technology has made it easier and easier for people to view and digest information quickly and more importantly when they want it by the way of News websites, Apps and Youtube. In turn, this has had an effect on our rapidly decreasing attention spans.
Neilson online reported “traditional TV viewing among 18-24-year-olds in Q1 2015 was down by more than 17% year-over-year, comparable to Q4 2014’s decline. Between Q1 2011 and Q1 2015, weekly viewing by this demographic has fallen by close to 32%.” *
In other words, in the space of 4 years, almost one-third of this age group’s traditional TV viewing time has migrated to other activities.
So how does this effect your business?
If TV media (for example) was a platform that your business relied heavily on for promotion, you may be finding it difficult to achieve the same exposure that you did 4 years ago. In essence this means you are now achieving less exposure, less brand awareness and less promotional cut through than before. When we take into consideration that average cost of TV advertising is on a consistent incline, we must ask ourselves, is this a viable form of advertising or would my marketing expenditure be better spent elsewhere?
Whether to use conventional or digital media is simple and can be answered through another question: what do I want to achieve?
What are your marketing goals?
Marketing can be used for a variety of purposes from promotion of a product to generic brand awareness. We must first determine our objectives in order to make an informed business decision around what platforms we should be using to promote our products, services, brands and messages.
The main difference between conventional marketing and search engine marketing (SEM) is that they work on a separate push or pull model.
TV, radio and print media generally work around a push model, where one is “pushing” their message out into the market and hoping they might get a bite. While this conventional form of marketing is great for brand awareness, it also has its limitations. In order to create cut through, you must have an attractive message and most importantly be consistent (repetition, reach and frequency). This cut through will compound over time as the frequency of your message increases and people become more aware of your brand. This “shot gun” effect enables maximum exposure but with limited targeting capabilities. The objective from this form of marketing is to hope that next time your target market is in a purchasing position e.g “I need new Nike shoes”, they will remember that Footlocker ad that has been drilled into their head over the last 4 months. So what are the drawbacks? As soon as you stop, someone else takes your place and you are forgotten. The issue with achieving consistency over these conventional platforms is budget. To keep your message is a costly exercise and an expense that many companies simply can’t accommodate.
This leaves us with pull marketing. SEM is offered across a digital platform, enabling extremely targeted exposure towards an audience who are already in a direct purchasing position. I like to call it “low hanging fruit.” If you are searching “buy Nike shoes online” it is likely that you are shopping around, looking for a style you like and an attractive deal. Chances are, when you find what you want you will order them and have the convenience of it being delivered right to your door. As society evolves, so does the way we interact and engage with everything surrounding us. Ask yourself, next time you need a product or service, how would you go about acquiring that? How often in the past have you sat there and searched for the product you want to order? Did that radio ad you heard 3 months prior influence your purchasing decision in any way? Let’s be realistic, right?
Why is Digital Marketing and SEM evolving into a more attractive model?
- Your product/service is being displayed to an audience who are actively searching for it
- Your return on investment can be accurately traced with conversion metrics and goal tracking. Everything digital can be tracked and quantified
- Far more cost effective than any other form of conventional marketing
Be vigilant, ask questions and take the time to think about what your goals and expectations are for an advertising campaign.
For more information on informed marketing decisions, contact Results First on 0800 878 833.