Gayathri Vaidyanathan

Gayathri Vaidyanathan

AdvertisingBrandingDigital MarketingMarketing

Digital Marketing Strategy: RACE it to ace it!

PL Blog- Digital Marketing Strategy - RACE _Artboard 1

If you aren’t planning to succeed, you are planning to fail, especially in digital marketing. While it might seem common to have a game plan to Reach, Act, Convert, and Engage (RACE), statistics show that a good 49% still lack a well-formed strategy for acquiring and retaining customers.

The RACE mnemonic, in a nutshell, covers the key activities in the process of winning and delighting a customer:

We gave you a quick insight into the role of content marketing in brand building and lead generation.  Here we introduce you to a simple framework to chart out the marketing efforts, execute against the plan, and measure success of your digital content marketing activities.

Need for a digital marketing framework

Having a strategic plan for customer engagement works wonders in an age where digital disruption happens every few years. A sure shot way to lose the lead to a competitor is to work with an adhoc marketing plan. Since digital platforms have made marketing activities more quantifiable, key performance indicators help drive profitability. A well-thought-out plan serves like a rudder to steer the digital marketing efforts in an integrated manner as opposed to working in silos. It basically translates to better ROI for the resource, time, and money spent on digital marketing activities.

Get, set, go with a RACE strategy

All it takes is a simple four-step process to come up with a scheme using the RACE framework:

Remember to revisit and fine-tune on a continuous basis to make course corrections for your approach. After all, such marketing activity for your brand is a marathon, and not a sprint!

Metrics to measure effectiveness of the plan

If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Which is why it’s critical to set the Key Process Indicators (KPIs) for each stage to measure the execution against the objectives. It is mandatory to involve all stakeholders when defining the metrics to ensure complete understanding and consistency across the organization. Some of the typical measures used are:

KPIs are useful only when they have a target beyond revenue or sales. These bring some method to the madness. The marketing activities should be able to measure the sum total of the experiences a customer goes through when interacting with your company and brand. In addition, it is critical to know how effective the digital marketing activities are in impacting the business’ bottom line.

In short, using a RACE framework for your marketing strategy ensures that you are not just ‘doing the good things’, but ‘doing it good’!

Digital MarketingIn the NewsIndustry RelatedMarketing

Blockchain Marketing: Key to Trust and Transparency

Blockchain Blog-01

‘’The interesting thing about blockchain is that it has made it possible for humanity to reach a consensus about a piece of data without having any authority to dictate it.’’ – Jaan Tallinn

The meteoric rise of bitcoin valuations and other cryptocurrencies have put blockchain technology  the force behind these digital currencies — on the center stage. For the uninitiated, blockchain technology might look daunting; but for starters, we can compare it to a public decentralized ledger. Without boring you with the technical details, let’s dive straight into how it is set to disrupt the digital marketing ecosystem. While it is a no-brainer that the finance industry is the first adopter of blockchain, its possibilities are endless for innovative marketers.

50% of every dollar spent in advertising is lost to either fraud or intermediaries, and blockchain can address both these concerns. That directly and positively impacts the bottom line! No wonder there has been a 400% increase in adoption in the last two quarters.

A simple illustration below shows how the block of digital transaction is secured and added to the chain:

The north stars of Blockchain are:

  • Consensus is achieved among peers rather than at a centralized location
  • Everything is documented and verified

And here is why we foresee this to disrupt marketing in the coming years.

Almost two dozen top brands across industries have made heavy bets on transforming their businesses with blockchain. A few early adopters being IBM, Amazon, Cisco, Air France, De Beers, and Western Union.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM):

In the SEM world, Google and the like, act as middlemen between website owners and advertisers. They provide a vetting platform that acts as a medium of trust, and is a paid service. Imagine the same with blockchain, where website owners would not have to go through an intermediary to find advertisers — the credibility of each user would already be validated and verified. This makes the monetary aspects transparent as well. Eliminating the digital middlemen results in a decrease in extra costs and an increase in profit margin.

Ad fraud is another problem that costs the industry billions every year. The distributed ledger is a cornerstone of blockchain which helps reduce online fraud, and provides a way to authenticate an online user while protecting their privacy. Microsoft, IAB, and DMA are pioneers in this area of identification systems.

Consumer Privacy:

With growing concerns about end-user privacy, blockchain can be a game-changer in this regard. Giving the end-user complete control over their privacy and contact information lets them dictate the when, what, and how they see an ad. This puts the consumer in the driver’s seat, and a user can even charge a price for consuming the advertising material. This will challenge a marketer to improve their quality of content and interaction.

Traceability and Trust:

The web has made the boundaries of the supply chain network almost seamless. More often than not, the consumer wants to track and trace the authenticity of the products purchased. The most crucial yet intangible resource is customer trust, which is hard to win and easy to lose. Transparency makes way for this trust, and blockchain marketing is the linchpin for ushering in the much sought-after transparency. A case in point is Walmart who partnered with IBM to make their supply chain process more open. Customers could see behind the scenes — starting from the stock procurement to the point of sale. Needless to say, their brand image and customer loyalty has soared since.

While all these are nice to have, with the promise of the golden pot at the end of the rainbow, getting there for most companies is not easy. Firstly, there are both hard and soft skills that need to be unlearned and relearned to harness the technology. The top management needs a paradigm shift on where to start and how to transform digitally, without missing the big picture. Lastly, for blockchain to be pronounced a success in marketing and advertising, it needs that one big success story for others to quickly follow suit — and yours could be the one!

AdvertisingIndustry RelatedMarketing

A Whistle-stop Tour of Programmatic Advertising

PL Blog Programmatic.docx-01

“Programmatic is advertising’s newer, better mousetrap.” –  Peter Naylor

One of the fastest growing trends in digital ad space, programmatic advertising uses sophisticated algorithms to buy ads online. It effectively means leveraging audience data and technology to purchase ads that target your communication to the right audience, at the right moment, in the right context. When done well, it ensures brands delight customers with content that hits the bull’s eye. The flipside — if done badly — this can lead to a nasty surprise!

 

How Does Programmatic Advertising Differ from Direct Ad Sales?

For the uninitiated, here is a quick overview of how programmatic advertising differs from its manual counterpart:

A few stand out examples of campaigns that leveraged programmatic advertising are briefly captured here:

1. Optimizing Ad Spends 

Missing People is a UK-based non-profit organization that helps to find missing children and adults by partnering with the Out-Of-Home industry. Running on a £10m budget, their advertising could support only one missing-person ad per week across the country. Now, with their move to programmatic advertising, their ads are more location-specific and targeted. As soon as a child is found, the ad gets replaced with that of new missing child. The most heartening outcome was their response rate for their ads — it went up from 50 to 70% which translated to save more lives on a shoestring budget.

2. Using Programmatic Creatively

The holy grail of any targeted marketing is to reach the right customer at the right place and at the right time, even better if done creatively. Topman, a UK men’s clothing brand, has been acing this with their ads for their Khaki line. According to Lancaster, senior creative manager at Topman, “Programmatic allows you to run segmented work that will appeal to all of your audiences. It then optimizes the creative to the version that best suits a media channel’s audience”. They promoted their Khaki line by creating five different personas to match their different customer segments. Lancaster looks at creative programmatic advertising as a goldmine with untapped potential, but cautions on the expense incurred on these.

3. Enabling Disruptive Marketing

Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), which owns Holiday Inn and Intercontinental chains, is trying to transform the travel industry and move away from middle men and the price-comparison sites.In IHG’s words, their campaign has helped “tidy up” the hotel industry. They have used programmatic advertising to target the audience who are searching for hotels with a banner ad to book directly with the guaranteed cheapest price details. This has helped bust the myth that price comparison sites offer the cheapest rates while in reality it is about 15-30% more than direct booking! Hilton and Marriott have taken a page out of the IHG book to copy their strategy — after all copying is the best form of flattery.

4. Reposing Customer Confidence

AirAsia is a shining example of prudent use of programmatic advertising with CRM data. Customer confidence was at its lowest post the airlines’ Indonesia mishap in 2014. AirAsia employed technology by intelligently using their CRM data along with programmatic advertising to segment their customers and target them differently using Facebook-based creatives to rebuild their customer base. The three identified customer segments were — those who shied away from booking the airline post the crash, those who flew AirAsia post the crash, and lastly the loyal customers who stood by the brand. Frequent flyers ended up with ads on rates for their most traveled routes. Website visitors who searched but did not book were re-targeted on Facebook. Lastly, high-value customers were candidates for brand advertising, including video. Results —  30x returns on ad spend, 20% improved video viewership, and a steadily increasing customer confidence!

While all these stories might want you to take the plunge right away, look before you leap. Programmatic advertising isn’t magic – skill and expertise are still critical.It is only as good as the creative — creative with strategy is called ‘advertising’, just a strategy with no creative means dollars down the drain! Most successful campaigns look at programmatic advertising as a complementary tool rather than a cannibalizing strategy to the direct sales method to redefine their dialogue with the customer. Staying abreast of the best practices in digital ad ecosystem is a must for any successful marketer and programmatic advertising is definitely one of them!

BrandingDigital Marketing

Socially Branded for Success

PL Blog- Social Media Choice-02

‘‘If you try and connect with everyone through everything, everywhere then you dilute the sense of your brand on social media’’ – Anna Farmery

The global digital snapshot and mobile subscription clearly indicate why businesses find it imperative to be on social media platforms. In the digital age of marketing, a brand is not what we tell the consumer; it is what consumers tell each other! Over 78% of consumers trust social peer recommendation versus a poor 14% who trust advertisements. This is one of the biggest reasons why businesses are clamoring for social media presence to build a better brand awareness.

Choosing the right channels and deciding what to say on these and how often, form the core of an effective digital marketing strategy. Now, the million dollar question – how do you select the right mix of channels for your business? Answering the below can help simplify the decision:

  • What is the motive for getting social?
  • What is the message you want to get across?
  • What are the demographics of the customer persona to whom you plan to deliver a value proposition?
  • How frequently and in what way do you engage with the audience?

Every social platform comes with its USPs and a dedicated set of audience. Despite an overlap of demographics, there is a core audience that is hooked to a platform for a reason. Understanding their engagement allows businesses to position their pitch accordingly. Finally, one should also estimate the money and manpower needed for intensive social marketing activity.

The most popular platforms that are being used for brand building are quite obvious – Facebook leads the race by a mile, followed by the rest of the pack, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and others. We plan to capture the essence of each platform and mention a few brands that have made the best use of the channels.

The choice of platform for a Business to Customer (B2C) versus a Business to Business (B2B) is captured below:

We have summarized the key aspects of the most commonly used channels for brand building by most businesses:

Irrespective of which platform you are on, the right mix of entertainment and information with a deep understanding of the audience psyche always hits the sweet spot.

Social media is just not technology; it is an investment of time and effort in understanding customer sociology and psychology to have a crackerjack online presence! Just content does not win – content optimized for the audience wins. To sum it up, as Matt Goulart rightly said – “Social media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide you.”

Digital MarketingMarketing

Think Global, Act Local with Geo-targeting

PL Blog Geo Targeting-01

The core objective of any marketing initiative is conversion, and geo-targeting is the go-to tool to achieve this.

As the name signifies, geo-marketing is the integration of real-time geographical intelligence about a customer into all aspects of marketing. It makes one of the most difficult tasks of marketers — ‘customer segmentation’ — a wee bit easier. Because, when you deliver personalized content, you are one step closer to conversion.

Its rise in recent years can be attributed to the heavy use of location-aware devices and apps. However, real-time location need not be the lone criterion for serving modified content to the end user; even historical location can aid in delivering a captivating, relevant ad. An end-user’s behavioral data, such as locations or businesses a customer has visited recently, can also be used to predict interests and intent. Of the many parameters that are needed to be considered to optimize the website like end-user browser or screen resolution, user location is by far the most important.

Types of location-based marketing

Location targeting can be based on the Internet Protocol (IP) address or the physical coordinates. The granularity could be as large as a country, or as small as a radius around the business. While geo-targeting identifies users based on their IP, geo-fencing is the mobile generation’s answer to traditional web-based geo-targeting. Geo-fencing uses either the precise GPS location or the approximate triangulation method of a mobile device. A more granular targeting approach is the usage of Beacon — a small device that receives location data via a smartphone’s bluetooth signal from nearby devices. It is an indoor mapping system that helps track behavioral data of customers.

Each method of location-based targeting has its own advantages and pitfalls. In general, the techniques can be used in a few different ways, such as:

The resounding success of Pokemon Go gives us enough evidence to show how mobile location data can be disruptive.

Spotting the opportunity

A typical application of geo-marketing would be online retail stores where customers look forward to a personalized shopping experience. Providing offers and displaying localized shipping notifications incentivize customers to make purchases, resulting in reduced cart abandonment. In fact, online targeted ads can help bolster in-store marketing activities as well! A case in point is True Religion, a jeans company that needed to promote their retail stores. They chose to send 65,000 geo-targeted emails, personalized for customers living in the neighborhood of their stores. The campaign resulted in a 2.5% CTR and a 1% in-store conversion — quite successful for an effort of this magnitude.

Imagine running a retail store across the United States, a country so wide that it can experience different types of climates, all at once. Showing choices based on the local weather of the customer, like sweaters for northerners and beachwear for southerners, is a fine example of location-based targeting.

In future, it would not be surprising if the geo-fencing and indoor Beacons are used by stores to provide discounts to users entering their stores as store credit automatically.

Geomarketing by numbers

Some compelling stats for location-based targeting are captured below:

In short, this tool helps make the best use of the advertising spend, apart from offering marketers with incredible insights into consumer behavior. However, an important downside to geo-marketing is also the fact that it is easily blocked by mobile users. While advertisers evolve their targeting techniques, companies like Apple are coming up with new and innovative way to block location-based ads.

The coming days might see more information being passed on to marketers along with location data like speed and altitude from the accelerometers and barometers that are now standard features within new smartphones. As the world increasingly becomes home to high-rise, high-density cities, the coordinate data needs to evolve for brands to target consumers. Using presence technology or location awareness is incontestably an effective tool a  marketer can use to create hyper-targeted, location-based ads. Acting local and thinking global is the new way to be as the web gets saturated. So, get started today!

Digital MarketingMarketing

Video Marketing: Playing your way to success

video marketing blog-01

“Video is like Pizza – when it’s bad it’s still pretty good” – Unknown

If a picture speaks a thousand words, imagine what a video can do! We, as visual beings, learn more by the sense of sight and video as it helps us contextualize and understand information by putting it in a time capsule. With YouTube as the second-largest search engine just behind Google, it’s not hard to drive home the point that video marketing should be the new apple of the marketer’s eye!

facts about video marketing

Now, let’s get to the nuts and bolts of Video Marketing, and why it deserves the pride of place in a marketing campaign.

Importance of video marketing

As simple as it sounds, it is using video to promote your business. If good content engages, educates, and incentivizes a user to linger longer on the site, a video does all this and more to help your brand stand out from the pile. Which is why it is no longer optional for brands, but highly essential for its online presence – from generating leads and educating them to converting prospects and retaining them through constant engagement.

Why Video Marketing?

Google loves videos, and the page rank of your site will shoot up by several notches (a whopping 53 times) if you have a video embedded. A video-rich site implicitly means users spend more time on your website. Emails with videos stand a better chance at getting a recipient’s attention than a plain text mail – add in the subject line and watch it boost your email open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65%, and a reduction in unsubscribes by 26%!

Handheld devices have become the de-facto computing tool for a majority of people, and more than 33% of them watch about an hour of video on them. No wonder mobile video engagement has emerged to be the preferred strategy for grabbing eyeballs for your business. As a viewer, we prefer a video infographic to a data-laden report, a video testimonial over a customer case study. A huge number of marketers are already using video as a powerful medium to communicate and promote their business, and here’s how.

video marketing for the conversion funnel

Video Marketing for the conversion funnel

A Top of the Funnel (TOFU) video could be a Vlog, brand films, snackable social videos, or even a DIY video. The intent is to target audience, make potential customers out of strangers, expand reach, and build trust. Like Joe Chernov rightly say – “Your top of the funnel content must be intellectually divorced from your product but emotionally wed to it.” The perfect recipe for a good TOFU video is to weave a story that helps your audience connect with the brand and its promise. If trust is the foundation of conversions and sales, a carefully thought-out video can do the trick for your business!

Once you have captured the imagination of your audience, the next step is to convert them into customers by nurturing the lead in the Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) stage. Webinars, landing page promos, tutorial content, and product demos are hugely employed to educate and persuade. What better way to differentiate your offering from your competitor’s than a video! A well-created content is evergreen – it goes beyond facts and figures and builds a digital relationship with the viewer.

The must-have for a Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) stage is compelling content that will convince the client to seal the deal. Deep-dive product videos, on-demand webinars, customer testimonials that build confidence in first-time purchasers, and customized videos for the targeted audience with special promos or previews are all powerful BOFU candidates.

A repeat customer provides more business compared to a new customer by over 33%. Which is why customer retention is more critical than customer acquisition. However, most marketers ignore customer engagement to post sales. A solid retention strategy would ensure you do not burn your bridges with a customer. A thoughtful ‘Thank you’ video, onboarding videos, and product-usage guide can help transform a customer to a brand advocate or loyalist. A case in point is how Facebook innovates from time to time with their personalized video recaps.

video marketing success

Storyboarding for success

As easy as it may sound, coming up with a video content to bolster the marketing strategy involves a lot of groundwork. One-fifth of your viewers will click away from a video within 10 seconds or less. Storyboarding your campaign to tell a good story is important, but telling it well is even more. Before embarking on your campaign, do have clear answers to the two key questions:

  • How do you want your audience to hear, see, and feel?
  • What is the North Star of your campaign?

tips to ace your video campaign

And while you are at it, do not forget to add a dash of humor to your content – fun entertaining videos stoke the viewer’s interest and encourage social shares.

ContentCopywritingMarketing

Content Marketing: The fuel to rocket your product to success

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“Content is the atomic particle of all marketing.” ~ Rebecca Lieb

The importance of content as a marketing tool in a competitive market cannot be emphasized enough. Every brand in the world is trying to tell a compelling story to get a slice of the user’s attention. The adage ‘If you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail’ is most appropriate if you are attempting to launch a new product independent of a concrete content marketing plan. According to an AcuPoll study 80-95% of new product launches bite the dust! In a majority of cases, the single most striking reason for failure is the lack of a thorough content marketing strategy.

Content marketing is not shouting from the rooftop to trade your wares to every passer by. It is not about creating a deluge of information on all available media at frequent intervals. Content marketing is about using clear, concise, and compelling content judiciously to engage your audience all through the journey of your business and humanize your product to create an experience. A good content strategy will weave a story around the product and build a relationship of trust with the target audience. It will compel the customer to make a purchase decision that favors you over your competitor and builds allegiance to your brand.

The role of content marketing throughout a product life cycle is illustrated below:

content marketing

Content has always been the king, irrespective of the medium of marketing. A pre-internet era product launch that leveraged content to its benefit is best illustrated by G.I. Joe toys of the 80s. In 1982, Hasbro and Marvel came out with their comic book series, G.I. Joe – A Real American Hero. In a span of two months of releasing the first comic book, they had captured the imagination of five to 12 year old boys, and one in every five owned two or more G.I. Joe toys. And, the comic book only had 2 stories. Within a decade, the series emerged to be one of Marvel’s strongest titles and two out of three boys in the same age category owned at least one G.I. Joe action figure.

Here’s a look at some of the most successful product launches in the digital era that got the content game right:

content marketing strategies

ADP, a leading business outsourcing solution provider, has cashed in on their expertise in human resource management to create numerous white papers on the topic. The icing on the cake was their white paper-centric search engine they developed to help their customers sift through the available material to gain invaluable information. This effort alone garnered them business leads to the tune of one million USD within three months of the launch. A fine example of ‘what helps people, helps business’.

content marketing trends

Virgin Mobile has always been leading the pack of wireless and VoIP providers in using social media and content marketing for its campaigns. Their motto which has kept them ahead of their competitors, is the emphasis on the depth of engagement over extent of reach on digital media campaigns. Virgin Mobile Live — a social newsroom that the company uses to promote apps, music, and other digital content throughout the day — has created a strong brand presence and helped generate new leads.

content analysis

In 2013, Crowe Horwath, a leading accounting and consulting firm, launched a content marketing drive for reaching out to financial institutions with $1 billion or more in assets. They reached out to their customers with 50 (yes you read it right) different topics of interest for their target audience in all formats like case studies, infographics, videos, and executive briefs. And the result? One infographic alone generated 800 new leads with two of the leads hiring their services for $250,000 each.

content building

Glossier, started by beauty blogger Emily Weiss, took the leap from content to commerce in 2014. Her cosmetics line was built from the feedback she received via her much followed blog ‘Into the Gloss’ (started in 2010), Instagram, emails, and surveys. Emily describes content as the “heart and soul” of the brand.​ Glossier teased its Instagram audience with behind-the-scenes photos for a month prior to the launch. And, their account grew to 15,000 followers without people knowing what Glossier was! Emily still relies heavily on her customers to crowdsource her products. Glossier’s content marketing is all about – ‘Do not sell. Instead make your customers the hero of your stories’.

The key takeaways from the success stories are:

content development

With a plethora of digital and non-digital platforms to develop content for, the campaign space is getting noisier. A smart marketer will not only yell louder, but will yell a better story louder! Make sure your content marketing has the right answer for the million dollar question – what makes a better story?

MarketingWebsites

You are 10 step away from a faster website

top

Only in stories does the tortoise finish first, in reality everyone wants their website to be a Duracell bunny!  Why should a marketer understand the nitty-gritties of website performance? Simple, the KPIs for a good digital marketing strategy are directly or indirectly dependent on the business web page. It’s no rocket science to infer that faster websites mean better conversions and more revenue. Google’s love for your web page is directly proportional to your page-load speed because:

website speed optimization

 

During peak traffic, more than 75% of online consumers move on to a competitor’s site rather than suffer delays. Half of them never return, and a good percentage of them go on to negatively review the website.

While it’s critical to rank well in the Google SRPs, it is also essential to retain the viewer with a highly responsive page. Now that we have highlighted the issue, it’s only fair to give you some easy tips to make improvements to your website’s performance:

 

 how to optimize website speed

The list is never-ending and with the availability of new tools and analytics with every passing day, there is no end to tweaking performance for better results. Case studies by Amazon and Walmart have reported an increase in conversions for every second of improvement to their business.

In an ‘instant world’ where people are perpetually impatient, improving site speed is one of the easiest things to do to see rapid improvement in revenue and customer gratification!

Digital MarketingIndustry RelatedMarketing

AI For Marketing: From “Almost implemented” to “Absolutely imperative”

Blog_AI-01

“By far, the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it.” — Eliezer Yudkowsky

Picture yourself picking up your favorite chocolate bar from a retail store and in real time the marketer gets to know the demographics of who is standing in front of their store display and whether you liked the offering or not from your facial expressions. That is AI powered ‘ShelfPoint’ from tech vendor Cloverleaf for you and this is just the tip of the iceberg! Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have been the buzzwords for the last couple of years thanks to Google throwing its weight behind these new game changers – especially for every industry that has gone digital. Can marketing and advertising be far behind ?

Like they say – Forewarned is forearmed. Understanding what AI technology means for the industry with its promise and perils helps ride the wave and reap results. Read on for some suggestions on how AI can make a marketer/advertiser’s life easy.

Let’s begin with a look at the cornerstones of an AI system: Data and Algorithms.

Data  AI trains its algorithms based on data, naturally then the quality of the output depends on the accuracy of data – Garbage In, Garbage out (GIGO). A case in point – Microsoft’s Chatbot – Tay which had to be pulled down for learning from and mirroring racist conversations! Big data analytics is now de facto in most businesses and has been a catalyst in the AI revolution. A shocking 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are being created worldwide with 90% of existing data created only in the last two years.

Algorithms  This is the crux that churns insights from all the data, and the algorithm is as good as the brain behind it. This piece of black box, which is far from transparent, decides the ‘intelligence’ of the system.

Where can AI be used in Marketing and Advertising

ai in marketing

 1. Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) is an important application of AI in display advertising.  Reaching the right audience with the right creative is a marketers dream. The myriad inputs for arriving at the perfect creative that is customer specific is the result of a long, tedious, and hitherto manual process. DCO helps churn out ads on the fly based on behavior and purchase data, machine-learning algorithms, and also automates the testing of various permutations and combinations of creatives before arriving at the ‘right’ solution.

artificial intelligence and marketing

2. Smart Content – Content has always been king, and will remain so! Customers are increasingly looking for meaningful online experiences and most effective content management systems use content that is right for the customer at the right time. The power of AI is to deliver personalized content to every user across various digital media based on deep learning from his/her interaction with a business. Some examples include –

  • Presado, a cognitive content marketing tool that can generate smart personalised content
  • Narrative Science to generate ideas in natural language from data
  • BoomTrain for a unified view of customers with predictive intelligence

3. Chatbots – AI-powered Chatbots are passé, at times it’s hard for customers to identify if they are communicating with a human or a Chatbot. The advantages of Chatbots are that they are always online, with almost no wait time, and more importantly offer a frictionless human experience. Surprisingly these bots help businesses build a relationship with the customer.  Beauty retailer Sephora has taken the AI agent a step further by using them as advisors for end users to help them choose cosmetic products and get a look and feel of the product before making a purchase. Just upload your pic and the AI-powered Virtual artist will handhold you through a makeup session, and help you with choice of shades and makeup techniques.

While there are other areas like automated image recognition, AI-powered customer behavioral insights, predicting customer disengagement, and website personalizations where AI can be used we’ll save these for another day!

Our closing thoughts – AI might not be the elixir to every marketing woe, but it definitely can be a magic wand in the hands of an insightful strategist who carefully uses it to augment the human touch of an online business! Just like any technology AI has its pitfalls. Deploying it for marketing and advertising calls for careful evaluation of the technology stack to suit specific needs and investments in hardware, software, and talent to use these systems effectively. However AI holds a lot of promise in the marketing world and we’re on the cusp of quantum leap!

AdvertisingMarketing

Can Radio Marketing be the future of marketing?

Tuning in for impact: Marketing on the Air!

‘Radio is truly the theater of the mind. The listener constructs the sets, colors them from his own palette, and sculpts and costumes the characters who perform in them’ – Mercedes McCambridge.

‘Radio is truly the theater of the mind. The listener constructs the sets, colors them from his own palette, and sculpts and costumes the characters who perform in them’

– Mercedes McCambridge.

Marconi would not have imagined a century back that his invention would come such a long way since it first began crackling. It is surprising that Radio continues to thrive and flourish with its loyal set of listeners, despite the onslaught of gizmos, gadgets, and the Internet! It is probably the only medium which has evolved and still stays relevant, accessible, affordable, and mobile! In today’s heavy digital landscape does Radio figure at all in marketing strategies and media plans? Surprisingly yes, and let’s see why.

Basics of On-Air Marketing

The basic premise of Radio marketing is that advertisers can either buy ‘spots’ to air their recorded advertisement or have their business mentioned on air by ‘live reads’.What does Radio offer to the new age advertiser? Reach and frequency!

The key ingredients of a good ad on Radio are:

  • Great content that connects with your audience
  • Right audience reach
  • Frequency or the repetition rate of the message

Maintaining a fine balance between reach and frequency, along-with content that delights, forms the pillars of a good on-air marketing strategy.The ease and speed with which a Radio ad can be created gives it an advantage over ads for visual medium. This makes it easy for marketers to kick-start a campaign and build engagement in a short span of time.

Marketing & Advertising on Radio

Capitalize on the Power of the Spoken Word

The spoken word offers emotion and stokes the listener’s imagination to make up their own version of the products or services being advertised. Jingles and catchy words create a recall value unmatched by digital ads. In fact, there is evidence that investing in Radio marketing is indeed a wise decision. In a major Radio effectiveness study conducted in 2014, the research found that each dollar of ad spend generated an average sales return of $6 from the listeners within 28 days of airing the ads.

radio marketing strategies

Understand Your Target Audience

Radio is probably the first thing most drivers turn on after the ignition! Unlike other advertising platforms, it boasts of the exclusive advantage of being accessible while steering one’s way through the traffic!  In contrary to social networks or search engines that target the cyber literate crowd, this medium’s boasts of an unparalleled appeal across the economic strata. What is ironic about this broadcast medium is that a listener gets a ‘one-on-one’ feeling which in turns fosters a direct connect. Each Radio station has its own segment of patrons and specific audience it targets. It is one thing to understand the listener demographics, it’s totally another to know and relate to them and have their attention for the 30 secs of your ‘spot’ time!

advertising on radio

Explore Associated Avenues to Increase Customer Base

Mobile devices alone account for 73% of the 143-million people listening to online Radio each month. Online Radio platforms offer another viable avenue to ad campaigner.

Marketing on Radio can also take the following routes:

  • Events Sponsorships: Most Radio stations run events and promotions for their own popularity. Strategic tie up for events that resonate with your company can definitely be an eyeball grabber.
  • On-Air Endorsements by celebrities: Choosing the right people to showcase your ad, especially someone a listener idolizes assures a good ROI. In fact, Radio testimonials have shown to increase customer trust by at least 50%.
  • Social Networks: The Radio partner or the RJ might have a strong social media presence. A favorable mention could garner more support and build brand awareness.
  • Radio Distribution Platforms: Besides regular Radio feeds, leveraging additional Radio distribution platforms, such as the station’s email list, website traffic, digital streams, and podcast content feeds can amplify the impact.

As technology continues to evolve and boundaries between media blur, a prudent marketer would view broadcast media as complementary to the their digital counterparts rather than competitors. A final word for all the new-age marketers – Radio is not yet going the dinosaur way, so make the most of it!