In the age of cut-throat competition among brands and social media flooding with information, technology is the potent tool to implement an out-of-the-box strategy to stand out from the clutter
By Khushboo Solanki Sharma
Technology has disrupted the digital advertising landscape, and the Covid-19 pandemic has hastened the process of digitisation. In the age of cut-throat competition among brands and social media flooding with information, technology is the potent tool to implement an out-of-the-box strategy to stand out from the clutter. Here are some of the ways how technology is redefining the digital advertising landscape.
Boosting efficiency: Automation has permeated every sector, and digital advertising is no exception. The leveraging of emerging technologies to streamline the digital advertising processes and improve operational efficiency is called marketing automation. Automated advertising platforms save time and resources and increase efficiency, thereby freeing marketers from repetitive, mundane tasks. Marketing automation also provides strategic insights to facilitate decision-making. The marketing automation tools are handy in today’s era of multi-channel cross-device digital advertising as they enable smooth and seamless management of the entire campaign.
Precise targeting: Identifying the target audience is a crucial step in the digital advertising strategy. Not every customer is your target audience. Technology helps to narrow down and filter the target audience and enable their segmentation on the basis of demography, geographical region, interests and behaviour. For instance, Facebook ads manager is a powerful tool that offers a plethora of options to build your target audience’s profile. Technology also helps in identifying what kind of content is likely to resonate with your potential customers. Tools such as BuzzSumo and SEMrush are great enablers in understanding your target audience’s psyche and their behaviour on the Internet. Similarly, it also allows the exclusion of a section of the audience that may not be relevant to your brand.
Measuring ROI: Digital advertising scores over conventional advertising forms by tracking and measuring the ROI from campaigns with great precision in real-time. It also provides the headroom to marketers to pursue course correction and modify the existing campaigns to improve outcomes. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence possess excellent tracking and analytics abilities to make quick decisions and increase sales from businesses. Similarly, Machine Learning has a unique ability to analyse infinite data points and facilitate an in-depth understanding of various customer touchpoints and the impact on brands. Marketers are increasingly leveraging Predictive analysis to identify patterns and influence customer behaviour.
Personalisation: Personalisation has become the centrepiece of brands’ digital advertising strategy to maintain a competitive edge. A customer-centric approach is crucial to growing your business. Personalisation refers to reaching out and staying connected with your target audience and tailoring your brand strategy according to customers’ profiles. Montate-Econsultancy research has highlighted that 94% of marketers regard personalisation of web experience as critical for the success of their business. An Epsilon study found that 80% of customers indicated their intent to purchase from brands embodying personalisation. Email marketing tools such as Mailchimp, Google forms, among others, help stay connected with your target audience and incorporate their suggestions to make them feel valued. For instance, Amazon Assistant provides product recommendations beyond the Amazon website to offer them a personalised browsing experience.
Maximising customer experience: Emerging trends such as video marketing and voice search have redefined customer experience and re-imagined the relationship between brands and their customers. A study has found that a video generates 50x more engagement than plain text. Similarly, YouTube viewers are 1.4 times more likely to watch and share ads on mobile than non-video ads. The boom of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, wearable technology among others, have unlocked a plethora of opportunities to keep customers engaged and provide them with a superior experience. For instance, Instagram Reels and Snapchat photo filters are increasingly finding traction owing to their ability to attract and entertain the audience.
Encouraging customer retention: An corollary to personalisation and superior experience is widening the customer base and improved retention. Digital advertising also incorporates remarketing strategy to stay connected with your customers, reignite their purchase intent and trigger repeat purchases. As a matter of fact, remarketing is now a critical part of the marketing funnel. It helps cultivate a set of brand loyalists who recommend your brand through digital media or social media platforms. A luxury watch brand, Watchfinder clocked 1300% ROI and an increase in Average Order Value(AOV) by 13% in 2014 through remarketing.
Influencing business outcomes: The various benefits technology confers on digital advertising, such as improved efficiency, increased sales, widening customer base, impact business outcomes. Technology has aided brands in adopting a ‘digital-first approach and embracing omnichannel marketing strategy to target various customer profiles.
Fostering innovation: Technology is also an enabler to encouraging creativity and promoting innovation. Brands are increasingly devising disruptive campaigns exemplifying creativity and innovation to stand out from the clutter. A Campbell’s Souptube ad that used Google’s Vogon technology to create a YouTube pre-roll campaign with over 1,700 highly targeted executions is the best example in this regard. The tool aided in customised creatives for different audiences that led to 1.5 million total views and a 55% increase in Campbell’s Simply Soup sales between May and July 2016. Similarly, British Airways billboard ads in Piccadilly Circus and Chiswick in London equipped with surveillance technology detect and activate billboards when an airline’s flight passes overhead.
Technology has emerged as a panacea for brands to influence business outcomes and maintain an edge over their peers. Nevertheless, it is to be noted that storytelling and personalisation are the heart of every digital advertising campaign, and technology is just a tool to facilitate these two components. Technology also has a flip side, such as user privacy concerns, cybercrime risks, making specific job roles redundant, among others. The key to leveraging technology lies in identifying the right mix, ensuring its judicious use and staying abreast of the latest trends in the space.
The author is founder, Zero Gravity Communications