E-commerce and the rapidly evolving tech landscape has had a profound impact on marketing and retail during the last 15 years, opening up a wave of new outlets and avenues for marketers to showcase and sell their goods, products, and services to end-users. The rise of e-commerce has also resulted in an increase in consumer expectations as people now demand a premium service across channels such as websites, social media, and blogs. Adapting to these changes, and blending online and offline marketing together so that they work for each other, is of paramount importance for companies and product designers if they want to maximize their brand reach and drive sales.
Online advertising and marketing was once a relatively straightforward undertaking for marketers as they were purely focused on attracting users to webpages and a single corporate site. They may have also used email as part of the marketing process. However, there has been a rapid rise in e-commerce and online engagement during the last five years due to the emergence of new touchpoints, including mobile, social media, streaming services, and tech devices. A company now has to engage prospective customers across all these channels, make their goods available via apps, effectively run e-commerce, and manage customer relationships on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Marketing is now a multi-faceted discipline and requires a unified, coherent strategy for success.
Online content is one of the most important aspects of marketing in the digital age as it can build a brand and show that they are a leading authority in the industry. A recent report revealed that 60% of consumers felt better about a company when they read a bespoke piece of content they had published, so brands are expanding their content reach to include videos, blogs, podcasts, articles, and even video games. Posting meaningful content on webpages and social media is one of the best ways to attract consumers, as it is central to a successful SEO strategy and ranking on the first page of Google, Bing, and other search engine listings.
Social media also ties in with SEO and content creation, and is one of the pillars of an effective online marketing strategy. There are billions of users browsing social media sites every day, which provides an incredibly lucrative opportunity for brands to reach and engage with people on a daily basis. Marketers can now post a video on Instagram and use links within an ad to drive clicks to other webpages and services. This content can also be “liked” and shared with other users, broadening the brand reach further. These sites are also great for developing customer feedback channels, which marketers can also use to their advantage to boost engagement.
These online marketing channels should dovetail with traditional marketing for the best results. As Seen on TV is a prime example of how to effectively use TV advertising and infomercials to drive viewers to online stores to buy goods. As Seen on TV ads use a call to action during these traditional ads, which help to link their offline audience with their multi-vendor marketplace website. The ability to blend offline and online marketing can be a particularly powerful tool for marketers as it engages different audiences and can increase the effectiveness of TV, radio, and billboard ads. As Seen on TV has had to adapt to online methods of retail but has retained its traditional marketing approach for best results.
Companies with physical stores have also had to embrace new marketing methods since the rise of the internet and e-commerce. For example, retailers are now sending SMS messages to mobile phones when they are in close vicinity to brick-and-mortar stores. These messages typically include special offers and money-off coupons, and are a sign of integrated cross-platform thinking. It also lends itself to the rise of mobile app marketing, which is the latest frontier for advertisers. Google claims that apps are a “powerful way for brands to build deeper relationships with their customers” and that they are ideal for complementing an effective offline experience.
New technology will offer further means for brands to market to customers, so retailers and enterprises must structure their businesses in order to take advantage of the latest developments, while ensuring they deliver a simple, seamless, and enjoyable experience to end-users through all of their active channels. Those that adapt and reap the rewards of an increasingly e-commerce driven world will continue to succeed, while those that are unable to change will become obsolete.