If you are doing what you’ve always done, you will eventually start falling behind the curve. This year, make it a point to evolve your advertising. Start where you are, look at what’s working and what’s not, and take action! Did you know that the earliest known advertisers were the ancient Babylonians, who had the bright idea of creating signs for the sides of their stores? In 3000 B.C., having a sign on your building that listed your merchandise was a big deal. Fast-forward from there a bit, and we find that advertising got more “on-purpose.” For example, during the Roaring Twenties, advertising showed blatant consumerism.
By the mid-1950s, psychologists had gotten involved, and advertising messages aligned with the consumers’ psyche. Then, David Ogilvy ushered in the "modern age of advertising" by getting advertisers to recognize that "The consumer isn't a moron. She's your wife." And now, the industry is coming to terms with the fact that the consumer isn't even just the consumer; he or she is the brand-builder and advertiser as well. The evolution of advertising isn't just the story of media – it's the story of the relationship between advertisers and consumers.
Advertising used to be all about advertisers convincing people to buy things. Today, though, more and more advertisers are inspiring consumers to do much more than consume. This relationship between advertisers and consumers now can span a vast amount of platforms.
Online, or “new-media,” advertising sounds so simple. Yet it’s complicated and constantly evolving. A year from now, what you have figured out today will most likely be ineffective, outdated – or highly evolved.
Years ago, customers would come to your place and buy something from you. You would know what they bought, when they bought it and how much they paid. Today, by contrast, you determine what people are searching for with keywords, plus what they’re clicking on and/or viewing. This activity gives the advertiser valuable information about the buyer’s intent.
A lot of these interactions might be “noise,” but within that noise is information on those prospects’ needs and behavior. This information can be used to help you attract more customers (and not just any customers, but the ones who have a higher lifetime value). This information can help you to improve marketing strategies and campaigns, because it can help you predict what customers might do in the future. Analyzing this information – not just once, not just twice, but continuously – is also important. No, it is critical. Why? Because your customers will also evolve, so you need to stay in tune with their needs and behaviors in order to connect with them.
Again, I ask, “Are you evolving with advertising?” If you are doing what you’ve always done, you will eventually start falling behind the curve. In other words, when you’re running a campaign, don’t let it go on auto-pilot. Think about “What’s next?” based on what is working. Keep pace with changes by analyzing your results regularly so that you can get optimum return on investment from your marketing dollars.
The good news is twofold: 1) This information is already at your fingertips; and 2) The Palm Beach Post has digital specialists who can help you analyze and optimize your campaigns.
written by: Snow Cahill