Since the dawn of business, advertising has been part of the formula for success. Reaching new audiences through advertising and marketing initiatives ensures that businesses will grow. As with any aspect of the business world, advertising exists in a constant state of evolution; practices and strategies that used to produce results no longer have the desired effect, necessitating new methods of sharing your brand’s story and services. In simple terms, the rules of advertising have changed, and only the businesses that can adapt to the evolving nature of marketing will continue to achieve success.
Out With the Old, In With the New
Advertising began with the development of printing techniques. Businesses typically posted ads in newspapers and magazines, which were read by millions of people. The dawn of television created a seismic shift in the advertising world, supplementing or even replacing print-based marketing initiatives.
While print and television advertising still have their place, declines in audience habits have forced significant changes in marketing efforts. Fewer people read print newspapers and magazines, preferring digital content over paper-based news. Television has also seen a substantial decline; the share of media-watching time regarding TVs has shrunk over 10% in the past five years, and industry analysts indicate that similar declines will continue into the coming years.
Print and TV advertising aren’t going away anytime soon, but their position in marketing has certainly shifted over the past decade. Today, digital marketing occupies a dominant role in advertising. Streaming video/television services, online content platforms, and social media represent the “new” advances in marketing, and smart companies have been able to adapt to these new outlets to reach their target audiences.
Consumer Habits: Understanding Advertising in the Digital Age
Consumers now have more choices than ever before, allowing them to make critical decisions about the content they view and the digital platforms they use on a daily basis. Consumers also access content on their own schedules, which may differ from traditional peak television-watching times (“prime time” in marketing parlance). With so many choices and an around-the-clock schedule, how can advertisers adapt to these evolving user habits?
Advertising agencies and digital marketing firms now have to carefully identify target audiences, providing them with the information that resonates with consumers’ unique habits. In social media advertising, this new strategy is of the utmost importance; companies must now create compelling content that tells a story, giving it the ability to be shared with peers on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. This is sometimes referred to as “viral marketing”, and can be incredibly effective if done correctly. Brands must stand out, demonstrating their unique nature and their products’ or services’ ability to solve problems, in order to gain attention in a crowded marketplace.
Data: Harnessing New Tools for Marketing
Data plays a huge role in advertising in the modern era. Marketers have access to numerous data streams, giving them the knowledge to pinpoint unique user habits and preferences on a very personalized level. Identifying preferences, then creating content that satisfies those preferences, is the key to success in the digital age. Today, third-party sales providers can leverage data to an unrivaled degree, creating advertising content that engages, informs, and stimulates consumers. With these new tools, marketers have newfound abilities to reach audiences around the globe. If there’s one certainty in the advertising world, it is this: advertising will continue to evolve, necessitating the experience and understanding of marketing professionals to unlock opportunities well into the future.