The marketing landscape has changed dramatically over recent years, and continues to do so at a lightning rate. Traditional marketing is increasingly integrated and in some places has been replaced by digital marketing practices. Digital can be more direct, more tailored and more able follow a consumer’s behaviour online – who would have thought that advertisers could use a consumers web browsing history to present ads from websites that they have recently visited?
Thanks to smartphones and the diversification of social media, digital marketing is only going to get more remarkable. So how has the promotional marketing world embraced digital?
It’s no secret that businesses and agencies are using platforms such as Facebook pages and Twitter to engage with their audiences; a practice that serves as an effective vehicle for promotional marketing such as offering exclusive coupon codes to Twitter followers or the hosting of a competition on Facebook.
Another advantage of using social media for a promotional campaign is that that any business can do it, as the costs to set up and manage a social media account are practically zero. It doesn’t matter if you have only the fraction of the marketing budget of a huge corporation; you can still reach your audience with equal or more effect if your social media promotional messages hit the right note.
Smartphone campaigns are also popular; with no physical materials needed to get a message out, overheads can be greatly reduced with the added bonus of directly interacting with an audience through a medium that they are always likely to have on their person. Companies need to be careful here as people do not like to be spammed, especially on such a personal level; if you are going to run a mobile campaign, make sure you are offering real value and not just a standard marketing messages.
Ofcom’s 2011 Communications Market report outlined the importance of social networking sites when it comes to getting a message out and ensuring a project goes viral. Successfully promoting a campaign through social media will have a greater impact due to the ‘word of mouse’ effect where people will see that their friends have taken part in a particular campaign, greatly increasing the credibility of the message. All it takes is a ‘like’ or a ’retweet’ and a promotion can organically spread throughout individual friend networks with more impact than some of the larger advertising campaigns. An example of this can be Old Spice; following an immensely popular television advertisement, social media followers could pitch ideas for the actor to carry out; total views reached 40,000,000 in just a week and a 107% increase in short-term sales.
Henry Walker of NDL Group, a promotional marketing agency in London said “This does not mean that traditional media such as print and television are redundant; far from it. As part of a wider promotional campaign digital media fits in perfectly alongside other methods as part of an overall integrated campaign as seen with Old Spice. A television advert can show the product with an invitation to follow a specific Twitter or Facebook account in exchange for a chance to win exclusive deals. Print advertisements in a paper can have QR codes for people to scan in with their smartphones. One thing for sure is that as the Internet and smartphones continue their development into smaller, faster and more capable communications vehicles, prize promotions will always be there to use them to their fullest.”