Written by: Kaelyn Binder
Remember the days where marketing appeared to be simple? Years ago, a marketers job used to entail promoting a product or service through commercial advertisements, radio station ads, along with advertising through a handful of top magazines and newspapers. Grasping the attention of consumers used to be almost easy; if you were able to create a persuasive message, you were guaranteed to move products. However, in the 1990’s and early 2000’s society was faced with a major state of transition. The entire social, economic, and political landscape of the world was quickly evolving, which led organizations to realize that marketing would never be the same. In today’s day and age, a marketers job is no longer that simple. Through the advancement of technology, marketers are now being introduced to a plethora of marketing strategies that have become highly dynamic over time. In order for an organization to become and/or remain relevant, marketing teams are now held liable to further integrate and withhold their knowledge on the most current and up-and-coming marketing trends.
However, what does it mean to remain relevant? When considering the marketing tactics that used to be suitable in gaining enough consumer traction, it is hard to believe the circumstances that marketers must now overcome. Prior to the advancement of technology, marketing strategies consisted of showing consumers new products, telling consumers how it worked and proving to them how these specific products were better than its competition on the market. What used to be a matter of identifying consumer needs and wants, on top of communicating the benefits of a product, now requires a deeper level of engagement for consumers to be captivated. This concept has evolved through the advancement of technology. Today, marketers are faced with defining ways to plan and create eye-catching advertisements, as well as how they plan to distribute them to a great enough impact on consumers. It is a marketers job to continuously implement new movements into their current marketing strategies to make people feel as if they mentally and physically need their products. How do they do this, you may ask? Through the use of digital marketing, along with creating meaningful, relatable, and story like advertisements.
Over the past few years, marketers have begun to see the benefits behind a genuine marketing campaign. Values-based branding, along with B2C marketing strategies, presents an opportunity for an organization to convey it’s brands personality. As businesses begin to find their brand personality, they are able to exemplify a sense of confidence and commitment to the products they are selling. Values-based marketing triggers a response from consumers who personally feel that they have a connection with a particular brand’s image. As a consumer, the ability to relate to genuine and honest advertisements is engaging because it allows us to feel a sense of belonging. Businesses that engage in developing a strong brand image are more susceptible to creating an opportunity to form a community of consumers that feel like they have a sense of longing and loyalty to that particular brand. One of the concepts that I have recently learned, is that it does not take an abundance of people to make a company successful. What businesses should focus on, is finding consumers who are dependable, and who want to be a part of their organizational success. Starting out small, and further building a loyal consumer base will assist in pushing a business farther up the long tail.
When considering the future of marketing, an additional measure to assist in increasing consumer engagement would be through the utilization of influencer marketing. Throughout the years social media has become prevalent within our society. Media platforms have presented us with the opportunity to connect with people all over the world. Whether you are catching up with loved ones, interacting with friends, engaging in an interview, or doing business, we are now able to globally network through the click of a button. In the article titled ‘How Social Media Can Move Your Business Forward’, written by Atanu Shaw, studies have shown that “active social media users make up 3.2 billion, or 42%” of the worlds population. These numbers go to show that technology and social media are here to stay. The world is more connected than ever before.
Blending the reach that social media presents, in combination with influencer marketing strategies may just be the ultimate marketing force. Generally, an influencer is a well-known public figure that partners with an organization to assist in promoting and their brand via social media. You will see the popularity of this marketing strategy being utilized on social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. This form of marketing has recently become a popular strategy because consumers like to live vicariously through the public figures who they enjoy following, look up to, or who they may aspire to be. A handful of these influencers include fitness enthusiast Kayla Itsines, gymnast Angel Rice, as well as the iconic Kardashian/Jenner family. An organizations success through their partnerships with world class influencers weighs heavily on the amount of personal followers that those individuals have accumulated. Generally, there are four specific things to keep in mind when a company is deciding who they want to help represent their brand:
1. Expertise — Do your products and brand personality match with the career that he or she is famous for? Do you think said influencer would match your organizations interests?
2. Reach — Does this influencer have the ability to engage with your desired target audience?
3. Demographic — Is this person able to connect with the company’s target audience/buyer persona? Would they be able to personally affect/move those consumers?
4. Notoriety — Is this influencer well liked in society? If so, what for? Do their business practices and beliefs match the overall mission of the company?
When organizations leverage the power of influencers, not only does it assist in increasing a brands image, it will also produce a powerful message for its community following. To provide an example of a successful influencing campaign, I have attached a link that demonstrates a powerful message through the joining of two well-known organizations.
The short video above demonstrates the social power that the conjunction of two well know companies can bring. In this example, the decision for Gap to partner with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America established a healthy and meaningful marketing campaign for both businesses. Since 1994, when Old Navy was acquired by Gap their mission was to make fashion apparel accessible for all families. The incentive that this influencer marketing campaign presents is that not all children and young adults are raised in families that can appropriately care for them. Through the partnership with Gap and Boys and Girls Clubs of America, each company is demonstrating that they are able to further assist the growth of each business through the use of a meaningful message. A few of the benefits that each of these organizations came across after the #UNLIMITED marketing campaign was established are as follows:
- Both organizations developed an increase in brand exposure
- Increase in sales derived from a meaningful message
- Increase in consumer following
- Guaranteed donation from Old Navy to the Boys and Girls Club of America based off the revenues received; Illustrating that anything is truly #UNLIMITED
All of the success that was formed from this positive influencer marketing campaign was created through a simple video that captured children and young adults answering the question “What does it mean to be Unlimited?”
The influencer marketing campaign above goes to show that consumers are drawn to a compelling message implemented within marking and advertising strategies. In the article titled “A Marketers Guide to Crafting a Powerful Marketing message”, written by Vanessa Rodriguez, a statistic stated that “63% of consumers reported that they connect better with brands who provide content that is personally valuable, interesting or relevant”. In order for businesses around the world to remain relevant in the eyes of consumers, a marketers success will be acquired through the use of social media advertising, along with the creation of a truly meaningful, honest, and unforgettable advertisement.