The year 2000 ushered in the new millenium. We breathed a collective sigh of relief with no major problems from the dreaded Y2K scare and the St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl. By years end, George W. Bush narrowly defeated Al Gore in a contested presidential election.
A lot has changed since then, especially in our business. HenkinSchultz takes an opportunity at the start of 2020 to look back on what has changed, and what remains timeless in marketing.
What’s Changed in Marketing and Technology
To really consider what’s changed for marketing agencies, we have to look at what’s changed in technology. Consider these fun facts:
- You no longer have to memorize phone numbers
- Wifi is an expected necessity
- Social media communication is the norm
- The expectation is that everyone is available all the time
- Our TVs, and frankly all our devices, have become smarter
This isn’t new information to anyone, especially the generation that grew up in the glow of a phone or tablet, playing a game or watching a video. However, even the technology itself has changed. Here’s how.
At the onset of Amazon, Ebay, and several dot.coms, the model was growth over profit. Back then, everyone was competing for the eyeballs, with hopes of converting that data to meaningful profit later. Of course, that dot.com bubble burst in 2000 and changed the playing field.
Today, we can execute the most basic of any services online: groceries, shopping, controlling our lights, music and car shopping. It’s second nature today to spend online. But we did it in record numbers in 2019. November and December ‘holiday’ spending was projected at nearly 144 billion dollars.
So what does all of that mean in marketing? With big spending comes big data, search engine optimization, evolving social networks and more.
The tracking of consumer spending, content consumption and browsing habits paints a very detailed picture. There’s a reason that ad about the Jamaica trip you’ve been considering seems to pop up at just the right time. Your devices know your behavior.
“When I graduated from college, it was mainly a print world,” says HS Senior Art Director Molly Kreutzfeldt. “Facebook was about 5 years old. I didn’t have the extra apps to take my mind off of what was important. I remember when ads started popping up and thinking “What the heck is this” on the right side of my Facebook Desktop screen?
“But I never realized how many jobs these ads would create and how it would also bring challenges as a designer having to learn a lot of digital whether you liked it or not! Now it’s the world we live in. There are few days that go by that I am not creating something for a screen.”
Marketing Agency Old Model and New Model
The old model of marketing was largely based upon awareness. Get in front of the consumer with a brand or benefit. And when they came around to making a purchase, your target would hopefully remember your product or business favorably. This traditional marketing model still exists in part, but the customer journey has changed dramatically.
Even in a time where companies have more data on us than ever, the customer is empowered with:
- Multiple comparison sites
- Online reviews
- YouTube product demonstrations
- Live online help and chat
- Quicker access to decision makers and influencers
All this adds up to companies striving to reach customers in all phases of their decision journey. The decision journey is basically the time between considering something and buying it. Think of all the stops we will make over the course of even just one day in this journey. We:
- Ask Alexa about our to-do list
- Turn on our smart TV to stream a show or watch a news recap
- Drive to work listening to Sirius XM, Spotify or Pandora
- Search a sports story or recipe online
- Share a photo on Instagram or Facebook
Marketers, especially digital marketers, are in a mad scramble to make sure they are present in every step of our day. Artificial intelligence and real-time analytics will continue to better track our behavior and find new ways to appeal to it.
So What’s Stayed the Same in Marketing?
There’s no denying that technology continues to change the game. But in spite of that, some very basic principles of marketing still exist:
- You must have a desired product or service
- It should be priced competitively and still yield you a profit
- It must be seen, heard or demoed by others
- You need to do your best to promote it
- Good word of mouth still matters
In a busy and complicated marketing world, most marketing challenges boil down to a couple simple facts. People either don’t know anything about your business or they may know the wrong thing about it.
For example, the wrong thing may be an older reputation for being a great place for an oil change. But today, you’re full service electronic diagnostics, specializing in foreign cars. The wrong thing may be, for example: “Amazon – that place I can buy books online,” Which of course, we know today to be so much more.
Secondly, a certain portion of people you would love to have as customers know nothing about you. Perhaps because they are inundated by other messages, already have a trusted source for your service, or just haven’t been in the market or the neighborhood lately.
“Research is now showing that the average person sees between 5,000 – 10,000 ads a day. That is a LOT,” says HS Partner and Director of Client Services Becka Burger. “How do we compete? How do we get seen? We have to step outside the clutter and deliver messages that are so on point with our targets that they see it and they react.”
So where does that leave us in 2020?
Things are always changing rapidly. That’s why it’s so important to be steady and committed to your messaging, your customer service and your understanding of digital trends and new platforms. HS can help with that.
Companies contact us all the time to be a partner in navigating all the tools at their disposal: search advertising, content marketing, Google ads, programmatic ads and more.
We view ourselves as your partner in managing all these moving pieces.
While we have traditional media planning and placement as well as digital media expertise, the two should never exist in a silo. Sound marketing strategy considers both and how they compliment each other in reaching your buyer.
Need a partner to juggle all of these factors? HS would love to talk. We’ll help you understand what’s changed with the times and what remains timeless. Contact HS today.