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Digital on Tap: How to Market your Business

Digital on Tap: How to Market your Business

At present the digital space is evolving at a breath taking speed paralysing traditional marketing methods and dismantling previous marketing modes of measuring the customers buying cycle. Terms such as ‘it is all about mobile’ and ‘always on’ are ubiquitous in the marketing industry.

That being said, digital marketing is already progressing to the next stage in its evolution and although it may seem futuristic, the thought processes of some tech companies and digital entrepreneurs as to how digital will look tomorrow and beyond is astonishing. Dahlström and Edelman observe the process as shifting from being “always on to a concept of also always Relevant, responsive to the consumer’s desire for marketing that cuts through the noise with pinpoint delivery” (mckinsey.com, 2013).

The majority of marketers and businesses are coming to terms with matching their products, services and brands to what the customer is searching for an all devices. However, tomorrow’s consumer may be searching by means of body gestures, voice recognition and visual images coupled with the never ending array of new devices which allow for augmented reality (mckinsey.com, 2013).

Digital Marketing now and tomorrow

Warby Parker, a web retailer which specialises in eye ware, utilises the evolving digital techniques to allow visitors see what accessories actually look like when worn by means of a webcam. Glasses are delivered to a customer’s home free of charge and if incorrect can also be returned free. The user experience also includes a standard pupillary distance measurement by means of a credit card held against a person’s face as a measurement guide. A user can upload a picture of their own facial features helping to personalize user involvement and offer more authenticity (warbyparker, com). This technology proved to be commercially successful for the company and helped with building customer relationships.

Adobe is a major multinational computer company which specialises in software and digital platforms and recently launched a number of new digital capabilities. For example, the ‘Master market profile’ is a tool allowing marketers to measure audience participation in real time across multiple channels creating one unique visitor profile incorporating CRM and so forth. In addition, Cameron acknowledged that “these profiles can be used to create and share audience segments in order to deliver more personalised ads and content through email, digital, mobile and social campaigns” ( cmo.com, 2014).

The introduction of Google glass under the guise of wearable technology has been around for some time. The first impression for some may be that this concept may be only for individual use or for entertainment purposes. However, the following capabilities auger well for Goggle glass as a marketing tool as explored byRooke.

  • Retail stores could show messages to glass users when they pass the their premises embedded with special in store offer and promotions, a powerful marketing opportunity for savvy retailers
  • Can be utulised with Google Wallet to facilitate on line purchases
  • Or codes could be use to redirect glass users to a website where products may be bought or reviewed
  • Google Glass contains image recognition software which allows a picture to be taken including additional information relating to pricing products and purchase on line via Amazon (utalkmarketing.com, 2013).

The above mentioned are only some technologies which may become mainstream someday. The arrays of digital marketing channels available are varied from Google applications to Facebook and beyond. The pace of change is meteoric and there is little sign of a slow down on the horizon concerning all things digital. One central factor amidst all the digital development is the danger of concentrating too much on the technology and forgetting about the customer. At the end of the day the customer is always king and their needs and wants must lye at the heart of all marketing campaigns, digital or otherwise.

Mobile Marketing Trends

Mobile Marketing Trends

By the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people (Cisco via Mashable, 2013).

This statistic highlights the growing importance of having mobile functionality as part of a business website. Mobile commerce continues its upward spiral unabated with more consumers utilising mobile devices such as Smartphones and tablets as their primary method for browsing, researching and purchasing products online. Ireland is no exception to such statistics as mobile adoption and ownership increases, Adashkevich notes that “The market penetration of mobile usage in Ireland is actually over 100% with 5.52 million active mobile phones at the moment” (digitalmarketinginstitute.com, 2012).

These trends have explicit consequences for businesses unsure of how emerging digital technologies may affect, alter or disturb their very existence. Many industry commentators view the mobile device as ‘an extension of ourselves’, ‘is ever present’ and is ‘always on’, therefore it is proving to be a unique tool in building and strengthening both company brand and customer relationship (Wollen, 2013). Mobile is always on so this presents opportunities for real time targeting, anytime anywhere, a mobile device user is reachable 24/7 and this trend is predicted to rapidly increase in the coming years.

Mobile Marketing Trends

“Mobile is a driving force in search and decision, and growing more important every day. Businesses need to understand this importance, learn how and when to reach the mobile consumer…” (Mobile Path to Purchase, 2013). As business and the hi-tech industry evolve, the result often provides both challenges and opportunities for eager entrepreneurs. For example Tesco home plus located in Korea was eager to increase market share. Tesco’s research indicated two key factors. One Koreans were identified as very hard workers which allowed little time for shopping and second, they were passionate mobile users.

The campaign centered on making the walls of local train stations resemble real life stores which integrated QR codes (quick response code) which were scanned with smart phones by a waiting public. The products purchased were guaranteed to be delivered the same day. The end result was a successful mobile campaign integrated into an overall digital marketing campaign which resulted in a 130% increase in online sales (scribd.com, 2012). Another notable advantage with a Mobile devise is the fact that they are portable and light making them a people friendly internet accessory.

IKEA is a renowned company which specialises in designing and selling ready-to-assemble furniture, appliances and accessories. The 2014 catalogue engages the customer through mobile by allowing them to place virtual furniture in their own homes touching on the concept of augmented reality. This term is defined as “A technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view” (oxforddictionaries.com). Pages are scanned by mobile devices then by  looking through the device the user can see virtually what a selected piece of furniture looks like in any room in their home. This approach is much more engaging than a paper catalogue as it personalises the experience and gives the user more control in the buying cycle (theverge.com, 2013). Mobile marketing trends such as the examples above will surly become common place as digital technologies evolve.

 

Additional Advantages of Mobile Technology

As mobile technology evolves there are numerous features which help businesses develop a better understanding of customer behaviour. For example, 02 are pushing Location Based Messaging. This approach allows companies to target customer in real-time when they are just about to purchase. When customers enter a specific location, triggered by GPS technology, which is geo fenced they receive tailored messages on their mobiles specific to chosen brand and products they have searched for previously making mobile more focused and less instructive (www.o2media.ie, 2014).

The Smartphone of today can perform multiple functions which could only be dreamed about a few years ago. For example, if you wanted to record or scan a business card, a barcode, a check which is ready to be deposited of basically anything that you can actually see, today’s phone contain this functionality. You can download an endless list of apps. Digital wallets are becoming a popular term as they can be utulised for buying online or in store and so forth. There are apps for banking, for storing and displaying discount and membership cards. PayPal allows a user to sent money from any location where there is internet coverage.

There are applications for specific phones which allow a user to keep their shopping cards in one location the list is endless (living.msn.com, 2014). This has evolved from the initial mobile phone which resembled a brick with a huge aerial and definitely could not be described as lightweight or as something we could not do without in our daily lives. The constant monitoring of Mobile marketing trends are a central factor to both businesses and marketer alike if they are to stay competitive and connected with their customers.

Why should Businesses engage in Digtial Marketing Strategies?

Why should Businesses engage in Digital Marketing Strategies?

“I fear for what 2014 holds for some brands, they’re just not getting how big the shift is, how much our consumer audience is changing” (Bosomworth, 2014).

One interesting question transcending all others concerning digital marketing is: Do I really need Digital Marketing as part of my overall marketing strategy? And if so, Why and ultimately, why now? This question has significance for small and medium businesses (SMEs) which have been successful using traditional marketing methods, for example, media and newspaper advertising over many years.

They may well query the need for Digital marketing at all. Many businesses have been successful through several economic downturns and social changes before the advance of digital technologies. The traditional method of targeting basically marketed everything to everyone, or mass marketing. This approach has come under scrutiny due to issues associated with cost control which Wanamaker referred to when commenting on fifty percent of marketing budgets being wasted and not being able to measure exactly which half (slideshare.net, 2014).

Nowadays, however, there are tools, ways and means inbuilt in digital marketing technologies which allow us measure exactly where the best return for money is highlighted on marketing and how budgets can be utilised far better to increase ROI and decrease loss making sales strategies. The rapid advance of all things digital is having a mammoth effect on the way business is being conducted, monitored and reviewed nowadays.

Examples of successful Digital Marketing Strategies

The Happy Pear is a natural food market situated in Greenstones, Co. Wicklow (www.thehappypear.ie). It also has a store which specialists in healthy eating produce, a juice bar, sprout farm and catering services. Although the company used a website for years, they decided to develop an online shop offering educational health courses and general healthy recipes and cooking techniques.

After incorporating various digital channels into their business strategy, their business expanded rapidly. Their website nowadays looks slick and includes links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and so forth. These platforms offer happypear.ie the opportunity to engage with their customers through specific information on healthy eating information guidelines, special deals and in store offers and the chance for site users to ask questions relevant to their interests and hapypear.ie.

Furthermore, it also illustrates that the business owners were aware of an audience shift and so they followed and accommodated their audience by finding where they resided online and connected with them. From a digital marketing perceptive, the benefits to the business are as follows:

  • hiring additional staff to meet increased online demand ( increased employment)
  • online courses facilitates customers where travelling distances are an issue (customer retention)
  • ability to reach new destination like the UK and further afield (new markets to target for development)
  • online environment allows for longer opening hours (improve CRM and eCRM)
  • Increased product valuation concerning cooking tips and product informationtailored predominantly at target audience ( customer engagement )

(www.dcenr.gov.ie/nds/happypear, 2013)

The above example clearly illustrates that happypear.ie has been successful in grasping the capability of the internet, particularly digital opportunities, and in so doing can be seen as a business which have been successful in developing the many facets of digital marketing strategies.

 

Business example with no Digital Marketing Strategies?

As an example of a non-existent digital presence, Morrison’s a UK retailer announced poorer sales in the Christmas period, 2012-2013, due to a lack-lustre website and a non digital existence resulting in their competitors such as Tesco, Sainsburys and Asda gaining a competitive advantage (Computerweekly, 2014). Although Morrisons are a large UK retailer their oversight relating to the development of digital platforms reflected negatively on their ROI. In an attempt to rectify the situation, and answer a valid question, why do they need to introduce digital channels in their marketing campaign?

They have employed capgemini a technological consulting company to help them improve their online exposure by developing a multichannel approach in addressing their marketing needs as well as helping Morrisons understand the advantages of such a campaign (Computerweekly, 2014). Many social commentators have suggested that this too little too late as the retail sector is highly competitive and first movers have a notable advantage. As of February 2014 Lauchlan remarked “A salutary reminder …UK’s fourth largest supermarket chain Morrisons announced a full year pre-tax loss of £176 million for the year to 2 February 2014” (diginomica.com/2014/03/14/supermarket). Digital marketing it appears is fundamental to all business regardless of size.

Further afield, a motor dealer operating in Canada utilised digital marketing to drive the business forward and as such, the ROI has vastly increased. MacIver, a manager in the business contended that “as an early adopter of digital marketing and related tools, his dealership has seen a much higher return on investment than late adopters” (Rubenoff, 2013). Because this company realised the power the internet encompassed for their company and the need to engage with its potential, they have gained a huge advantage on their marketplace opponents. Their understanding of digital technologies coupled with their reasoning to adopt quickly and hire professional digital consultants to keep their web presence fresh and up to date has prepared them for future changes and increased their sales. Again this could be viewed as a successful digital marketing campaign.