By Khushboo Solanki Sharma
Technology has revolutionized the digital advertising landscape, and the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitalization process. In an age of fierce brand competition and information-flooded social media, technology is the powerful tool to implement an out-of-the-box strategy to stand out from the clutter. Here are some of the ways in which technology is redefining the digital advertising landscape.
Increase efficiency: Automation has permeated all industries, and digital advertising is no exception. Harnessing emerging technologies to streamline digital advertising processes and improve operational efficiency is called marketing automation. Automated advertising platforms save time and resources and increase efficiency, freeing marketers from repetitive and mundane tasks. Marketing automation also provides strategic information to aid decision making. Marketing automation tools come in handy in today’s age of multi-channel, multi-device digital advertising because they allow for smooth and seamless management of the entire campaign.
Precise targeting: Identifying the target audience is a crucial step in the digital advertising strategy. Not all customers are your target audience. The technology helps to refine and filter the target audience and enable their segmentation on the basis of demographics, geographic region, interests and behavior. For example, the Facebook Ads Manager is a powerful tool that offers a plethora of options for profiling your target audience. The technology also helps identify the type of content that is likely to resonate with your potential customers. Tools like BuzzSumo and SEMrush are great tools for understanding your target audience’s psyche and behavior on the internet. Likewise, it also helps exclude a portion of the audience that may not be relevant to your brand.
Measure the return on investment: Digital advertising sets itself apart from conventional forms of advertising by tracking and measuring campaign ROI with high precision in real time. It also gives marketers the leeway to correct their trajectory and modify existing campaigns to improve results. Technologies like artificial intelligence have excellent tracking and analytics capabilities to make quick decisions and increase business sales. Likewise, Machine Learning has a unique ability to analyze infinite data points and facilitate an in-depth understanding of different customer touch points and the impact on brands. Marketers are increasingly relying on predictive analytics to identify patterns and influence customer behavior.
Customization: Personalization has become the centerpiece of brands’ digital advertising strategy to maintain a competitive advantage. A customer-centric approach is crucial in growing your business. Personalization is all about reaching and staying connected with your target audience and tailoring your branding strategy based on customer profiles. The Montate-Econsultancy study found that 94% of marketers see personalization of the web experience as critical to their business success. An Epsilon study found that 80% of customers indicated their intention to buy from brands that embody personalization. Email marketing tools like Mailchimp, Google Forms, among others, help you stay in touch with your target audience and integrate their suggestions to make them feel valued. For example, Amazon Assistant provides product recommendations beyond the Amazon website to provide them with a personalized browsing experience.
Maximize the customer experience: Emerging trends such as video marketing and voice search have redefined the customer experience and reinvented the relationship between brands and their customers. A study found that a video generates 50 times more engagement than plain text. Likewise, YouTube users are 1.4 times more likely to watch and share ads on mobile than non-video ads. The rise of virtual reality and augmented reality, wearable technologies among others, has opened up a plethora of opportunities to retain customers and offer them a superior experience. For example, Instagram Reels and Snapchat photo filters are finding more and more success due to their ability to attract and entertain audiences.
Promote customer loyalty: A corollary to personalization and a superior experience widens the customer base and improves retention. Digital advertising also incorporates a remarketing strategy to stay in touch with your customers, rekindle purchase intent, and trigger repeat purchases. In fact, remarketing is now a vital part of the conversion funnel. This helps cultivate a set of brand followers who recommend your brand through digital media or social media platforms. A luxury watch brand, Watchfinder achieved a return on investment of 1,300% and an increase in average order value (AOV) of 13% in 2014 thanks to remarketing.
Influence business results: The various benefits that technology brings to digital advertising, such as improving efficiency, increasing sales, expanding customer base, impact business results. Technology has helped brands take a “digital first approach and adopt an omnichannel marketing strategy to target diverse customer profiles.”
Foster innovation: Technology is also a catalyst to encourage creativity and promote innovation. Brands are increasingly designing disruptive campaigns that showcase creativity and innovation to stand out from the clutter. A Campbell’s Souptube ad that used Google’s Vogon technology to create a YouTube pre-roll campaign with over 1,700 highly targeted executions is the best example in this regard. The tool helped create personalized creations for different audiences which led to 1.5 million total views and a 55% increase in sales of Campbell’s Simply Soup between May and July 2016. Similarly, the ads on British Airways notice boards at Piccadilly Circus and Chiswick in London, equipped with surveillance technology, detect and activate notice boards when an airline flight passes overhead.
Technology has become a panacea for brands to influence business outcomes and maintain an edge over their peers. Still, it’s worth noting that storytelling and personalization are at the heart of every digital ad campaign, and technology is just one tool to facilitate both of these components. Technology also has a downside, such as user privacy issues, cybercrime risks, making specific roles redundant, among others. The key to leveraging technology is identifying the right mix, ensuring its wise use, and keeping abreast of the latest trends in the space.
The author is the founder of Zero Gravity Communications
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