By: Emma Miller
Technology continues to evolve at a steady pace. It’s no secret that modern technology has, in many ways, shaped how businesses and companies promote themselves, as well as their products or services to their target audience.
Today’s promotions are nothing like promotions used to look like a decade ago. The fact of the matter is that the online market has grown to be oversaturated and highly competitive. This has resulted in ads becoming faster, smarter, creative and innovative so that companies can capture and hold consumer interest before their competitors manage to do the same.
What’s more, promotions have become more personalized and customized, in order to appeal directly to consumer preferences. However, every new technology is disruptive at first. Businesses require time and effort to adopt and adjust to new methods while leaving behind old practices. With that in mind, here are a few ways technology is changing the promotional landscape.
Social media platforms
There was a time when public relations (PR) used to rely on extensive journalism and printed media. All of that has gone online nowadays. Social media platforms are a prime example of how companies go about their PR efforts in the digital world. Whether it’s a product launch, public statement or a networking event promotion, social media is the place to be and tailor your messages. The main reason is that social media puts companies in direct contact with their global audience.
Everyone is present at a single or multiple online platforms, so you can reach out to them with a single and well-designed promotional campaign. Today, PR efforts on social media are seamless. You can develop content, design stunning visuals and even handout promotional merchandise with a single campaign, in order to engage consumers and encourage them to take the desired action, such as subscribe, attend, purchase, download and so on.
The concept of influencer marketing originated on social media platforms. Individuals became popular enough by creating content that has captivating influence over their peers. Companies saw an opportunity to promote their products or services through someone who holds sway over the audience. That’s when influencers began to endorse various products and services for a compensation, of course. Today, influencer marketing is one of the most efficient forms of promotions.
The main reason is that someone who the audiences trusts and are familiar with is promoting stuff instead of companies themselves. This makes consumers more willing to convert because someone they know endorsees it. As a matter of fact, these types of promotions can influence between 20% and 50% of purchases. 49% of Twitter users, for instance, are looking for influencer reviews before they opt for a product while nearly 40% of them state that they made a purchase because of an influencer’s tweet.
Mixing traditional and digital
It’s common knowledge that promotions were mostly based on traditional forms of marketing. TV ads, billboards, direct mail and other strategies were ideal for promoting almost anything to a broader audience. However, modern technology and online connectivity seemed like they’re about to replace traditional methods and make them obsolete. As a matter of fact, experts argue over the death of traditional marketing since 1994. Still, traditional marketing is still omnipresent and is as effective as it used to be in its prime years, especially when trying to reach out to offline consumers.
Companies that think and act smart have embraced both the digital and the traditional approaches in order to make their promotions wholesome. That way, you get exposure in both the online and offline world, thus being able to engage consumers wherever they may be at any given time. That’s why promotional printing and branded merchandise are still effective strategies to consider. A good example is printing QR codes on T-shirts to encourage offline consumers to browse offers in the online world.
What better way is to improve promotional efforts with the help from technology than to use the technology itself? Nowadays, new generations of consumers are tech-savvy and prefer innovative technological approaches regarding their purchasing decisions, as well as their interactions with brands. Many companies have taken an advantage of this trend and have embraced technology to its fullest potential.
Even technologies that are still in early stages of development, such as artificial intelligence (AI), have made their way into promotions and any other marketing efforts originating from big brands and well-developed companies. As an example, many companies have developed AI-powered chatbots that will interact with consumers in the digital world.
Since the majority of modern consumers leverage instant messaging apps, companies made these apps a home for chatbots. These computer programs that leverage AI machine learning, deep learning and natural language capabilities can actively interact with consumers 24/7, providing them with exceptional customer service and support while promoting products or services based on consumer preferences that chatbots previously gathered about each individual user.
The promotional landscape is nothing as it used to be before. Technology and its advancements are encouraging changes in not just the promotional landscape but in any other marketing environment, too. The way companies interact with consumers and vice versa has changed forever and it will only get more interesting and more personal from now on.
About the author
Emma Miller is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends.