Google (News - Alert)'s recent move to renovate its search algorithms to offer more of a connection to mobile was seen by some as a disaster in the making—some called it “mobilegeddon”—but one thing was quite clear: there was at least some reason for it. People are increasingly turning to mobile devices for the things once the province of desktops and laptops. Google's proving it, and increasingly, so too are online shoppers.
A recent report from Juniper Research (News - Alert), titled “Digital Retail Marketing: Loyalty, Promotions, Coupons & Advertising 2015–2019,” noted that digital marketing spending was on the rise going into the period in question, and that much of it—70 percent—would be skewed in favor of tablets and mobile devices. The total worldwide spend was expected to hit $200 billion just this year alone, and that's up 15 percent over last year's figures. One of the biggest pushes involved in this move is the growing push toward omnichannel service, as consumers clearly want access to such systems.
With the move to tablets and smartphones, businesses are discovering the kind of power that can be had in offering highly-targeted, deeply personalized campaigns that can strike with incredible timing. There are also increasing numbers of tools available to help after the campaign, gauging effectiveness and driving customer engagement with the campaign. Reports suggest that such tools are already in use and working; mobile coupons are proving more useful than direct mail and newspaper coupons.
However, mobile alone wasn't going to win the day, according to reports. One big move is so-called “media meshing”, in which users put multiple screens to work at the same time, for activities that are both related and unrelated. Bringing in predictive analytics tools to the online data being generated daily by users can also be a help. Perhaps the biggest point the study drove home, though, was the need for using digital media through the entire “retail lifecycle” rather than just focusing on product awareness or the like. That long-term strategy was likely to pay substantial dividends by boosting the likelihood of repeat business.
Though there's always a point for product awareness, it's not likely to return the maximum result by itself. The Juniper Research study underscores the importance of marketing at every stage of the game, and even showed this off with a recent whitepaper release titled “Digital Marketing – Don't Discount Loyalty”, which is a good general recommendation. One thing that's quite clear is that people are absolutely deluged with advertising these days, and with ways to get around it. Ad-blockers for websites, time skipping for television with digital video recorders, and a host of others all come into play. So connecting with users about products and services for offer can be a difficult process to say the least. Working at each stage of the process, meanwhile, improves the likelihood that some point will hit, and stick, so that represents the best chance of contact for advertisers.
Advertising is a rapidly changing field, and understanding the changes the best key to success. It's an inexact field—more an art than a science—but there's enough science under it to make it worth considering.
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino
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