Marketing Technology Campaigns Are Enabling Negative Attitudes About the Repetitive Nature of Online Marketing Initiatives. We Find out Exactly What Puts Customers off and the Ways in Which Marketing Campaigns Can Be People-Centric
“A captivating moment was when I realized that people, including myself, were not saying, ‘I just bought an item on eBay.’ They were saying, ‘I just won an item on eBay.’ It was the thrill of the hunt. I bought a car on eBay.”
– Mary Meeker
Undoubtedly, the internet’s popularity remains unmatched globally.
Only 0.4% of the world used the internet in 1995. By the end of 2017, 54.4% of the global population engaged with the WWW.
The Internet continues to make lives better for us. And, marketers are at the forefront of this continued dynamics in www.
Marketers have ensured that 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to shop online in 2021.
The History of Marketing Online
“In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”
– Charles Darwin
Online advertising saw the light of the day in 1994. It was a banner advertisement that started it all. The entire eco-system has grown very rapidly from that epoch until today’s day. The subsequent years saw the immense potential of web marketing and advertising unfold.
Businesses that were advertising on the internet had tools that allowed them targeted advertising. Enterprises were also equipped with tools to calculate ROI. Pop up advertisements that excited the industry circa 1997, quickly faded away. By the year 2000, most web browsers were equipped with pop-up blockers.
Replacing this, advertisements were now being strategically placed in search engines. Another model was pay per click. Ad-publishers were charging advertisers only if the user clicked on an advertisement. This was a contrast compared to only a few years back when the charges were lump-sum.
The Rise of Social Media
Early 2000’s saw Social Media platforms dominate the internet. Social Media was a rage (and still is) among all age groups, especially millennials. The influx of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram et al. opened the floodgates for advertisers.
The development of advanced tools allowed marketers to perfectly initiate and gauge their campaigns. Every enterprise wanted a piece of the digital pie. You were not really a business if you did not have a digital presence. Online marketing and advertising became a stream within itself.
Online Marketing Today
A new wave of advertisement publishers has emerged to enhance the scope and scale of web marketing. Native advertising as a concept is picking up very quickly among the marketer community. Publishers allow advertisers to create content that is organic but is integrated with a brand. This content transforms into informercials that consumers can relate to simultaneously promoting a brand.
Social Media marketing and Search Engine Marketing are also evolving dynamically. Influencer marketing which is hip and in rising adoption by marketers is growing rapidly as well. Hence, the online marketing realm has its hands full with a technological leverage and marketer expertise. This promises a new world of exciting products and inspiring marketing campaigns.
Reciever outrage towards promotional content is on the increase. Digital Advertisements are misdirected, repetitive, annoying and persuasive. This is coupled with auto-play videos and advertisements in applications that refuse to exit. Consumers don’t mind relevant advertisements but remarketed advertisements are a definite no-no. Plus, web browsing is getting impossible without moving past a barrage of advertisements.
This has initiated a cascade event where consumers perceive web advertising to be a negative phenomenon. Consumers do not want to be stalked. Hence, disabling of cookies along with Ad & Pop-Up Blocking software is common in the internet user community.
Such consumer trends are a warning sign to marketers. If users willingly disengage then marketers will be disarmed off their marketing arsenal. The time to change consumer perception is now!
Aligning Advertising Strategy with Consumer Preference
Marketers should be subtle during their entire marketing campaign. This is a welcome change for users because they can associate with products and brands that they can resonate with.
MarTech Series lays down the ground rules for targeting advertisements and marketing—-
Pop up commercials are the most annoying segment of online advertisements for users. Eighty-one percent of internet users shut web pages when a pop-up occurs. Hence, the use of pop-ups ads should be minimal. If pop-up commercials are a part of the campaign, marketers need to practice caution with them. Pop-up content has to be of a very high quality so that readers extract maximum value from them.
The annoyance quotient of pop-ups can be further reduced by giving them easy design. Users should have the power to easily close out of pop-ups. A simple, ‘no thanks’ or a ‘not now’ or something similar should be engraved in a pop-up advert.
Online buyers complain that they view similar products like their past purchases when they surf the internet. This raises a faux pas within the buyer group about being stalked. Consumers are extremely serious about online privacy. Instances like these lower brand value for clients, substantially.
Retargeted marketing should be applied with some acumen. Variations to a targeted commercial add great flavor to retargeting. Hence, a retargeted consumer set can be introduced with newer features or enhancements for a previously purchased product.
Don’t Mislead Customers
One of the biggest marketing sins is to mislead customers into viewing an advertisement. Clients complain that most advertisements clicked via them were clicked accidentally. Advertisements placed in the webpage content are commonplace. Although, when clients reading something important find this out, it always outrages them.
Marketers need to use optimum strategy to differentiate advertisement content from web content. Ultimately, the goal is to convert visitors into customers. Gaining new customers or retaining the older ones is highly impossible if they are being misled.
Keeping strategy aside, marketers need to collaborate with good advertising agencies to design advertisement content. History is proof that good advertisements sell themselves. Engaging commercials need very little marketing efforts and speak volumes about the product’s quality.
Marketers also need to remember that there is no point in spoonfeeding content to consumers. It’s as good as misleading people or challenging people’s intelligence quotient.
Digital commercials need to be presentable. Their appearance is directly proportional to the endorsed product. They should be made keeping in mind target audiences. Commercials work best if they resonate and appeal to their targeted buyers.
Marketers need to make commercials up to their customer’s standards. Audiences have always known advertisements to be visually beautiful. Hence, people involved in the process of producing commercials should vouch for the same. Agreeably, the outcome cannot always be predicted or controlled. However the better the attempt the bigger the chance of producing a good-looking commercial.
Videos and Autoplay
A video that plays automatically after loading a web page is desperate. Clients detest this gimmick and prefer shutting down the web page. It also makes clients look down on the brand that was promoting the video.
The best method to demonstrate videos today is via Native advertising. Traditional ways work too but video placement has to be very precise.
Products and Customer Experience
Products precede marketing. Today, considering the avenues marketers are enabled with, marketing any product is easy for them. Entrepreneurs know this and try and develop out of the box products. Since there is an array of enterprises that exist today, the world is exposed to multiple products.
Marketing them has somewhere created an atmosphere of digital advertising jam. On the suffering end are customers who receive product promotions all day on their email, Social Media and web browser. Marketers need to maintain that digital advertising remains a niche and an exclusive space.
This is not happening because businesses are trying very hard for the digital gold rush. Products should be developed for people. It is never a great idea to tell consumers that they need a product. Enterprises should display an important ethic of putting people first while conducting business.
The other important aspect of an online enterprise to succeed is winning customer loyalty. In a highly competitive online business world, enterprises should strive to give the best customer experience to their clients.
The combination of a good product and high standards of customer service is ideal for businesses to grow and sustain.
Businesses That Have Successfully Implemented Consumer First Web Marketing
Zappos’ brilliant consumer-first policies have helped them build quite a reputation for themselves in the digital world. Zappos provides a 365-day money back guarantee that includes two-way shipping. Their customers are more than happy to associate with them. To top that Zappos customers leave no stone unturned to praise the brand on Social Media.
From 15,000 subscribers in 2014 to almost 5,000,000 today, Slack has come a long way fairly quickly. Slack’s functional prowess as a collaboration software has been widely spoken about in the tech world. However, where Slack has truly won is in delivering world-class customer service to its subscribers. They do it via answering almost 8,000 support calls and 10,000 tweets each month.
People-First Digital Advertising
When enterprises put their consumers first, they are thinking long term. Sales drive company revenues and as such consumers need to be transformed into brand loyalists. This is only possible if enterprises practice caution about critical areas of their business like product development, marketing, and customer service.
The future of digital marketing seems to be dominated by futuristic marketing capabilities. These are methods like Influencer Marketing, Native advertising, and Programmatic Advertising. The globe is moving towards the Smartphone being the most preferred digital medium. Mobile Programmatic Advertising is predicted to be the future of mobile marketing.
Developing products and marketing strategies by keeping consumers in mind builds an environment of consumer trust. This ensures that the enterprise consumer collaboration brings in an era of rich and ethical business practices.