Horsens, a small town in Denmark, serves as the perfect example of how small-town values combined with digital innovation can bring about lasting change. When it comes to promoting products and services in today’s always-on world, more and more companies are looking to take the virtual road less travelled. So, how can established brands and new startups alike find success in this new world of “omni-present” online marketing?
Why Are People Embracing Online Marketing?
The short answer is: because it’s effective.
A recent survey conducted by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and the American Advertising Federation (AAF) discovered that 65% of consumers say brand loyalty is not important, and that they will try products or services from different brands to find what suits them best. This adaptability is precisely what makes online marketing such a dynamic and effective tool.
What is the brand loyalty survey?
The Brand Loyalty Survey is a benchmarking tool that examines consumer attitudes and behaviors towards brand loyalty from both digital and traditional marketing perspectives. The survey was commissioned by 4A’s and AAF to help guide the marketing and sales teams in understanding customer preferences and how to appeal to them. It examines brand loyalty and how it influences a variety of consumer behaviors from searching for products and services to purchase, to sharing content to grow audiences.
Horsens is a small town in Denmark with just over 10,000 residents. It’s most famous for its ice cream, Horsensky (named after the town’s founder, Hans Christian Sanders), which is mostly sold outside of Scandinavia. While the town has a certain “small-town charm” with its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses that line them, it’s still a hub for commerce and banking. In fact, one of the town’s main attractions is the Hans Christian Andersen House & Museum, which is actually a converted church that showcases the prolific writer’s work and contains some of his personal belongings.
That’s not all there is to see in Horsens, of course. The town has a 12th-century church, a 15th-century church, and the 14th-century church of Visserne. If you’re a fan of the Romantic poets, you may want to make a trip to the Holberg Museum, which is devoted to the work of the great Danish writers. You can also catch an organ performance at one of the churches at least once during the year.
The Evolution of Online Marketing In A Nutshell
The evolution of online marketing in A Nutshell, a handy guide to marketing strategies and tools, cites four forces propelling marketers into online marketing:
- The explosion of digital media
- The rise of consumer-centric marketing
- The impact of social media
- And finally, the evolving needs of consumers
Let’s examine each of these in turn.
The Rise Of Digital Media
It’s fair to say that digital media, and social media in particular, have had an outsize impact on marketing. This can be attributed to a combination of factors. First, the cost and availability of digital media has decreased significantly, which allows marketers to experiment with different approaches and get more engagement from their audience.
What’s more is that people are spending more time online, which means there’s more opportunity to capture and retain their attention. Furthermore, the amount of data we have access to has increased exponentially, which allows marketers to get more sophisticated about their approach.
The Impact Of Social Media
In the social media age, audiences now have the ability to engage with brands on multiple platforms, which presents unique challenges for marketers. While this openness makes the world of online marketing more interesting, it also complicates things. One of the most significant changes brought about by social media is the impact it’s had on content marketing. Simply put, content marketing is simply the practice of creating and distributing valuable, engaging content to attract, retain and delight customers.
This content can take the form of anything from a short blog post to a full-blown video campaign, and it’s often shared on social media platforms such as YouTube and Instagram to attract and engage with new audiences. What’s more is that since social media platforms allow for hyper-targeting, content can be designed to reach a specific audience.
The Role Of Brand Loyalty
While social media plays a major role in digital marketing, brand loyalty is still considered the cornerstone of marketing. This is because consumers are much more likely to be influenced by brands they already know and trust, which is why establishing and strengthening brand loyalty is a top priority for all marketing teams.
Even in an environment where brand loyalty isn’t considered valuable, consumers will often choose to go with brands they know and trust rather than taking a chance on a new brand, product or service. In fact, brand loyalty can be considered a form of market segmentation, where a brand or product is chosen based on the assumption that the customer will have an existing affinity for the brand or product. The goal of marketing then becomes to increase a brand’s or product’s affinity for the customer, which can be measured using various marketing methods.
Brands & Authentic Experiences
As we’ve established, brands have always been considered important for marketing, but in today’s digital age, they’re considered even more essential. This is because brands can create unique and memorable experiences for consumers, which may become a valued gift when competing in a world full of digital marketing noise.
While traditional methods of marketing, such as TV and radio ads, remain an important form of marketing, they’re not considered sufficient anymore. Instead, marketers must look to other platforms, such as email marketing and online videos, to capture the attention of consumers.
Based on this, brands now have the ability to innovate on a whim, and it’s essential that they do so, because the competition is always evolving and capitalizing on new opportunities.
In today’s digital age, everyone is a marketer, and everyone is in search of marketing insight, which is why consumer-centric marketing, or marketing from a perspective that focuses on the customer, is gaining popularity. This type of marketing, also called “persona marketing,” tailors marketing activities and strategy to the individual needs, interests, and motivations of future and current customers. This type of marketing makes consumers feel that they are the priority, and it gives brands the opportunity to create deeper connections and garner trust.
Persona marketing doesn’t mean that customers are considered “assets” to be developed and improved upon, but it does mean that understanding and connecting with your customers on a personal level is critical.
The Need For Evolving Marketing Models
As previously stated, the evolving digital marketing landscape presents marketers with new challenges and opportunities. One of the significant changes brought about by the internet and social media is the changing nature of consumer behavior. This is all the more reason to be mindful of evolving marketing models and the need to update our approach as times changes.
As stated by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and American Advertising Federation (AAF), “Just as businesses evolve to fit the times, so must marketing.” While it may be tempting to stay stuck in the digital marketing rut, established brands and new startups alike need to be nimble enough to adapt to changing consumer preferences and behaviors.
To conclude then, changing consumer behavior and the availability of new marketing platforms and techniques, such as online marketing, makes it essential that marketers are always looking for ways to evolve and improve. Luckily, the internet provides endless opportunities for marketers to stay ahead of the curve.