How digital marketing effects consumers

Many companies make digital campaigns in hope that they go viral and have a lasting effect on consumers’ thoughts, so they always have a brand at the top of their mind. However, to create a successful digital ad or campaign, it is essential to choose an appropriate platform to advertise on to most effectively reach consumers.

As Keith Coulter and Joseph Sarkis identified in their article “Development of a media selection using the analytic network process”, the internet has “emerged” as a new advertising platform that is competing with more traditional forms of media. Social media, more specifically, has proven to be a great tool to help create digital campaigns. In 2014, Calvin Klein created their #mycalvins campaign to promote their infamous underwear. The hashtag on Instagram alone has over 700k posts and that number is still growing. As well as social media influencers, the general public also use the hashtag and created endless user-generated content for Calvin Klein. Kevin Allocca stated in his Ted Talk: ‘Why videos go viral’ that “participation” is how we become included in campaigns. And because the mycalvins hashtag is so popular and easy to be a part of, more consumers will purchase Calvin Klein underwear.

TAC’s road safety advertisements have shown countless scenarios of the possible outcomes of driving while speeding or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These advertisements were created to persuade drivers who consume alcohol and/or drugs to not drive while intoxicated. The advertisements were primarily shown as television ads which was an excellent media channel for it to gain recognition, as many females and males aged between 25-49 were watching television for about 1.5-2 hours a day (from 2008-2012) which garnered the advertisements millions of viewers. These advertisements, coupled with other campaigns enforced in Australia, have assisted greatly in reducing the number of deaths on our roads by getting people to think twice before driving in a dangerous situation. In Western Australia, deaths from speeding dropped from 479 to 134 (between 2008-2015), and deaths from alcohol dropped from 30% of road deaths to 21%.

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TAC’s drunk driving advertisement

Digital media channels can also be used inappropriately for marketing a product if a channel is wrongly chosen. In 2016, Kim Kardashian was paid by ‘Diclegis’ to promote their pills to help morning sickness, however, the post violated FDA rules because the side effects of the pill were not mentioned. The post therefore had to be deleted immediately.
This is a prime example of a company failing to give their product the acknowledgement they wanted because they did not execute the advertisement correctly. Digital ads and campaigns are not a one size fits all, correct market research must take place for them to run successfully.

What do you think makes a successful campaign?

Why SEO is important for businesses

As technology is developing and becoming more popular, companies must also adapt their means of reaching consumers. As well as advertising online, companies now also need to ensure their website pops up first in search results, so consumers go to their website before any others. To assist in a website appearing as a top search result, companies must utilise Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

SEO is improving upon the “quality and quantity of website traffic”, and may help a brand become known through non-paid search engine results. SEO is also about understanding what consumers are looking for based on the words they search, so a company can provide them with content consumers are after. Rand Fishkin, founder of ‘Moz’, a company that helps others with SEO, created a pyramid of needs (similar to Maslow’s hierarchy) which explains what must be considered for websites to have them rank higher than others through search engine results; it begins from the bottom, with the more essential strategies and works its way up to what is most effective with SEO. These tactics could immensely aid a website reach page one of search results.

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‘Mozlow’s hierachy of SEO needs’

Furthermore, Neil Patel, in his video ‘SEO For Beginners’, mentions that as well as focusing on content, and titles and URLs, Google search console should also be used to provide information on what key words give a website viewers, how many people see a website, and how many people actually click on that website. This can help a company determine what they need to focus on to reach a larger audience.

“93% of online experiences begin with a search engine”. This means that companies who are not using SEO are missing out on a huge chance to be visible to more consumers. Moreover, 75% of people will not scroll past the first page on Google, thus, if a company’s website is not reaching its full potential, millions of people are not going to see it at all. Ultimately, search engines reward websites for fitting into a certain algorithm, and if they do not fit the standards by correctly utilising SEO, a business will not be visible to an extremely large number of potential customers. Correctly employing SEO could mean the difference for a company being well-known or unknown, therefore, it is extremely important to invest in SEO.

What else could companies invest in to gain more recognition?

Data collection from our smart devices

I can’t remember the last time I used a physical card in-store. All my bank cards and loyalty cards are linked up with my phone, so I don’t have to carry around a wallet anymore. This and other day to day functions have really made me appreciate just how far technology has come. But smart devices are so much more than just our phones, they help make our lives immensely easier and offer many other benefits to our daily lives.

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New payment methods in the digital age

With the advancement of AI systems such as Amazon’s ‘Echo’ or ‘Google home’, they not only make our lives greatly convenient by allowing us to control the lights, temperature, television etc., they are also assisting with our energy bills and are attempting to provide us “foresight over [our] energy profile” from our homes and buildings. The AI company ‘Grid Edge’ have manufactured technology which allows companies to “control energy use in… buildings” and take advantage of time periods when electricity is cheaper. Similarly, with systems such as Echo or Google home, instead of using your washing machine as usual, we could “schedule” to use it when electricity prices are lower. This feature is amazing as it provides real value to our lives, not just allowing us to multitask.

Smart devices have also expanded to improved home security. Where sensors and cameras monitor every aspect of the house and alert you when people arrive, a door/window is left open, or if there is an intruder. Smart devices have come far from originally enabling us to do more in less time, but to now helping us live a less stressful life. However, by intergrating smart devices in our daily lives, they continuously gather data from us.

It is a growing concern that smart devices gather too much data from us, as they constantly track what we say, search, text, and record on our smart devices. Amir Gandomi and Murtaza Haider explain how ‘Big data’ is analyzed and extracted to become meaningful data for companies. Their paper reveals just how much work is put into extracting data and how it becomes useful. A TED Talk from Yuval Elovici communicates that smart devices could “violate our privacy” if the data is used inappropriately.

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While I do believe that the collection of our data is a serious concern, if we are using the products, we are agreeing to have our data collected and people who strongly disagree with it should perhaps opt for other products that keep their data safe and private. I believe that if smart devices become this advanced, it is hard for companies to not store the information and try to provide us with better experiences with products.

Are our smart devices worth the lack of privacy?

Mobile marketing affecting our attention span

Mobile phone usage has been skyrocketing since smartphones have been getting updated and there is more to do on them. I always catch myself playing a game or scrolling through social media while I’m sitting down watching a movie. And I’m sure everyone else has the same or similar habits with their phone.

Companies have of course picked up on this increase in mobile phone usage time and have begun to shift from more traditional advertisements such as print, radio, and television, to internet marketing. No matter what we do on our phones, whether we’re playing games, shopping, or texting/calling, there are always ads and notifications popping up on our screen begging us to click them.

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Average time spent per day on mobile phones and other devices

It is believed that our attention span has decreased from 12 seconds to 8 seconds in a matter of 13 years (2000-2013). Mobile phone usage and social media has played a huge role in this as everything is becoming more instant and to the point with advertisements and content. This is troubling to me as we are all essentially making things worse for ourselves because we click much of what is advertised to us and which notifications appear which provides stimulation to our brains for a moment and then we are suddenly bored again looking for the next source of entertainment.
In 2016, US companies spent $10.9 billion on mobile ads and social media advertisement (combined) and in 2019, that number is predicted to increase to $55 billion. Companies investing more will mean more advertisements and updated social media sites which will drag us deeper into this loop.

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Money spent on various platforms for advertising

 

Andreas M. Kaplan researched ‘mobile marketing’ and wrote a paper about what it is made up of and how it can be used for research, communication, sales, and relationships with consumers. Kaplan identified four “types of mobile marketing” based on ‘consumer knowledge’ and ‘trigger of communication’. These types are so companies may decide how they can target certain consumers with what they want to advertise. Although these are different methods of advertising to the public, it all feeds into us being stimulated by ads and what is happening for a short while but ultimately leaves us looking for what the next ad and next stimulation is.

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Classification of mobile marketing applications

 

While mobile marketing cannot be avoided nowadays, and it is not cause any direct harm, I do feel as though we should be more mindful about what we click on and choose to spend our time interacting with, and overall be more present sometimes. Do you think it’s time to put our phones down?

Should we purchase from social media influencers?

If you scroll through your Instagram feed, you’re bound to see a few influencers promoting products such as weight loss teas, waist trainers, clothing brands, teeth whitening products, makeup brands, the list goes on. Social media influencers are those people who have “large audiences of followers” on their social media accounts. They used to only include celebrities but now they can be “everyday people” who have garnered success from their posts.

These paid endorsements can earn influencers quite a bit of money just for one post; in an interview, Joe Gagliese, co-founder of ‘Viral Nation’ (an influencer agency) revealed that influencers can earn upwards of $10,000 for one post “depending on the platform” it is posted on. Influencers with over 1 million followers, can receive $100,000, others can charge $250,000.

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Selena Gomez promoting Coca-Cola

Jonah Berger identified ‘6 STEPPS’ to include in messages for more successful email marketing: Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical value, and Stories. These steps can also be translated into social media marketing. When influencers advertise a product on any platform, there is ‘Social Currency’ attached to the product because we as consumers think that if we buy whatever they are selling, we will receive validation from our peers and will look as good as the influencer we admire. ‘Triggers’ and ‘Emotion’ come in the form of our personal desire for the product which will make it stay at the “top of mind” e.g. if you are trying to lose weight, you will think of the weight loss tea being advertised by your favourite celebrity. ‘Public’ of course refers to the large following influencers are sharing their posts with. Influencers also provide ‘Practical Value’ and ‘Stories’ by sharing their own experiences with products claiming that they work and providing their journey of how the product helped them. These “stepps” help companies and influencers push products onto consumers by knowing what will promopt certain feelings for consumers to purchase promoted products.

I think it would serve us well to remember that influencers are getting paid to endorse products, and they are not a trusted friend recommending a product to us. Although some of us may feel a connection through social media with some influencers, at the end of the day, they are getting paid to promote a product. We as consumers should try and look past who is advertising products to us and ask ourselves “do I really need this?” instead of blindly trusting strangers.
Do you trust what is being advertised?