In the 1950’s, business ads were direct, targeted, and, by current standards, sometimes offensive. In a television commercial, an actor might dialog for up to 30 minutes about the wonders of a non-stick skillet. Now, a small gecko talks in an ambiguous accent about car insurance, via streaming video, on a smart phone. Other guerilla advertising techniques, such as “viral videos” feature 15 second speed-ads. Viewers allow these advertisements on “webisodes” because of the enjoyment and convenience of watching the content.
Retro-style advertising is gaining momentum. Some marketing techniques are reminiscent of The Truman Show, a 1998 motion picture in which products were used to attract customers. Companies have reverted back to the same tactics used 60 years ago—strategically placing a can of soda pop, ketchup bottle, or automobile into a television show or movie. Why? One word: TiVo. Advertisers know many consumers “screen” their television programing now. New trends are developing. If you don’t follow the trends, you could be left with a warehouse full of inventory.
If you want to keep up with savvy advertisers, take your marketing strategy to new level. Find out what applications your customers are downloading and what type of “webisodes” they watch. Purchase web advertising on the most popular shopping, news, and entertainment websites in your demographic. We all know that our internet perusing habits are continuously being monitored. Take advantage of your target consumers’ interests by offering products they review or purchase in pop up or display ads. Note: there is current legislation which may crack down on the tracking of consumers’ on-line habits soon.
A great strategy to employ in the development of your advertising strategy is a “Marketing Funnel.” This tool helps to lead your customers into a wide funnel, which becomes more and more narrow, until a purchase is made. Some marketing funnels may consist of simple concepts, such as, collecting names and addresses from mailers or sign-in sheets. Others may employ strategies, such as pay-per-click ads, e-coupons, tagging your advertisement with search words, banner ads, pop-ups, and social media. For more information on starting your “marketing funnel” go online to find the right one for your business.
Watch the commercial for AT & T’s 4G LTE service, which comically illustrates how even the average Joe can use a smartphone with high-speed data to record and send videos in seconds, then post images and videos to Facebook, YouTube, and e-mail . Other commercials show people porting interactive television, movies, internet and e-mail with them while they participate in their daily activities. A recent study indicated that 43% of consumers use their computers or smartphones and tablets to make purchases. You can’t afford to miss out on this action.
Take advantage of cloud computing. Cloud computing is a way to store data via “virtual servers” on the internet. It is a way to save storage space, as well as allow others safe access to data. Cloud computing includes full applications, storage service and spam filtering. Research shows that the cost for cloud storage for one gigabyte is 3 cents, compared to 75 cents in-house. Look for businesses to invest 20% more into cloud computing by 2020. Coming soon: ratings for cloud computing services. These rating services will help identify security issues on servers hosted by third parties.
If you have not started using social media in your business, you are behind the times. Nearly all large companies, and many smalls offer social media sources to connect with their consumers. Ensure you have an interactive, user-friendly website, which allows access to a company representative via e-mail or telephone. If you employ the use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media, make sure you are responding to your users. Failure to respond to your customers in social media services will cost you credibility. Research data suggests that not only is web viewing increasing, but the time, per viewing, is increasing. If the people you are targeting are on the move, you’d better make sure they can take you with them. Look for online video ad revenues to increase by 25% this year.
If you advertise your business in Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles or Washington D.C. try advertising on electronic billboards in bus stops. These billboards have charging ports, where consumers will view your commercial while charging their devices. Look for expanded sites soon.
Finally, be ready to adapt to changes in your market environment. Diversify your business practice, and be prepared to modify your advertising strategy to mimic the changes in the market. If necessary, hire a marketing consultant to help devise a marketing strategy based on your particular needs.
Some new technology on the horizon:
Interested in the online coupon business? Try Loopt u-Deals –a San Francisco California based website, which offers consumers the opportunity to vote for the discounts they want. A merchant can join this service, and allow or disallow a consumer group discount on a product. Look for expansion of this service soon.
A new technology for smart phones and tablets is on the way. Qualcomm’s Mirasol display will supplant liquid crystal displays and organic light-emitting diodes, which, today, make up the majority of screens. These new screens will show 30 frames per second and smoother playback of streaming video, while using less energy.
Longer lasting batteries for smart phones and tablets on tap by 2015—a new lithium ion battery which will last 10 times longer.
“Augmented Reality” technology will be everywhere. This will allow smart phone cameras, automobile mechanics, mapping services and many other services to use technology which will provide the same effect as the imaginary lines you see on the football field in NFL broadcast games.
Phase-Change memory, currently being developed by IBM, will make computer memory 100 times as fast as flash memory.
Flexible smart phones which can be bent or twisted to complete commands. Users will engage pressure and screen flexing to convey commands, instead of tapping on a screen or keypad.
Eyeglasses that will be used as computer screens, similar to what pilots use in transparent screens so they do not have to shift their gaze.
Body Language (gesture) interfaces, similar to those used in Xbox games, will grow at places of business to help consumers, say, try on an outfit without getting undressed.
3-D printers will be everywhere soon. Also, 3-D moving images projected by lasers into the air or water.
IBM is researching a system which uses recycled heat from computers to heat office buildings, saving operation costs.
Rohm, a Japanese firm, will create a technology which will allow phones to send and receive data at least five times faster than today’s models.
A new camera that will put an end to blurry photos. The “Lytro” will reconstruct digital shots and bring into focus images which have already been taken.
Dependable wireless connections when Congress affirms a plan to auction off unused broadcast spectrum.
A new glass created by Corning called “Lotus” will allow crisper displays and faster response times on digital devices. The new glass replaces todays “Gorilla Glass” and will withstand much more heat.