The open marketplace is flooded with ad space. Billboards, print, google ads, social media ads, and yes even direct mail (#barfemoji). The all have strengths and weaknesses but let’s try and cut through them all and take a long hard look at what we have been doing, and more importantly… what we SHOULD be doing.
A billboard is as traditional as traditional can get. Throw your product up on a giant image in a high traffic area and you’re guaranteed to get eyeballs. Print is getting cheaper and cheaper but it’s kind of the same concept. Direct mail can be effective but really, it’s success is all dependent on the quality of the lead itself. But all of these things have one thing in common. They are the last remnant of a dying marketplace.
Let’s be honest. Most of us buy a lot of products on Amazon. I mean A LOT. This paradigm shift of consumer behavior has laid waste to the retail industry. Remember K-Mart? Like it or not people are just not getting out like they used to. A traditional billboard may have been a worthwhile investment a decade ago, but with less reliance on brick and mortar comes less eyeballs to even see your billboard in the first place.
Print ads while relatively cheap and are abundant in the current market but let be honest… when was the last time you actually bought a magazine? People have access to limitless, always fresh, always current content at the touch of a finger now. You’re also shoehorning yourself into one specific target market. What if your wrong? How do you pivot mid-campaign? And let’s not get started on direct mail. Could you feel any less personal? Stop giving me more things to recycle… in fact let’s just abolish traditional mail at this point, it’s 2018.
I literally struggle to breathe without my phone. Yes. That is a condemnation on myself and my inability to disconnect but honestly, we all know what that feels like. Facebook has changed the way we communicate our message. Instagram and Snapchat have changed the way we tell our stories. Twitter has changed how we converse with customers in real time. LinkedIn changed how we learn, collaborate, and connect with our peers. We can’t live without them and neither can our customers.
The ability to directly engage customers based on countless factors allows us to now target our customers down to the macro level. Big data is here, whether we like it or not, but running a business in 2018 and not taking advantage is just reckless.
Imagine the ability to target your customers on the macro by any of these 10 years ago…
- Shared connections
- Shared interests
- TV Shows
- Related ads and content
- Just to name a few…
That’s the world we live in today.
And no one is Nostradamus, we all make mistakes. What we think might be our target audience today can shift like the tides at any moment. But being able to pivot on a dime is what make digital ads so important. The internet is a scary place, but don’t let this new marketplace slip through your fingertips. There are SO many potential customers out there. Not sharing your story with them is not an option any more.
Try new things. Explore. Experiment. And most important. EXECUTE.