What’s in this article:
- It’s essential to be on the lookout for emerging marketing channels to reach consumers
Start with a quick look at four marketing channels you should keep an eye on now
No matter how good a channel is when millions of marketers jump on it, saturation sets in and the channel becomes less efficient.
Remember when Banner ads were released? The first banner ad had a 44% click-through rate. Now, the average ad performance of banner ads is 0.05%. That’s why it’s essential to be on the lookout for emerging marketing channels to reach consumers. Let’s take a quick look at four marketing channels you should keep an eye on.
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From researching products to making purchases, voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant are fast becoming a part of consumers’ lives. More than 12,000 consumers have used and continue to use voice assistants.
Consumers’ increased use of voice commands makes voice assistants a valuable marketing platform and 88.5% of marketers believe voice assistants will be at least a somewhat significant marketing channel over the next 3-5 years.
Smart marketers like Nike are already leveraging voice assistants to market to consumers. Nike’s real-time voice assistant sale for its Adapt BB self-lacing shoes aired during an NBA basketball game and all viewers had to do was ask Google Assistant to reserve a pair for them. More than 15,000 viewers asked Nike for the shoes during the basketball game, and the shoes sold out in six minutes.
Before rushing into voice activations, make sure your customers are open to using voice technology, understand what voice assistants they use, why, and how they use it.
Also, have a voice strategy that is focused on solving customer pain points, and being contextually relevant. For instance, you can create skills or apps that provide services such as product information, store locations, and recommendations based upon previous customer profiles.
Increase customer loyalty and brand engagement by balancing human and robotic interactions. You can do this by using a human spokesperson in your voice app or allowing consumers to personalize their voice assistant. Also, enrich your conversational assistant experience with videos or images and connect customer voice experiences to other marketing channels.
Privacy remains a top concern for consumers who use voice assistants. So be transparent about what data is being used and how it’s being used.
Whether it’s listening to food podcasts or streaming music on Spotify, consumers are spending time on audio platforms. The average US adult will spend more time listening to digital audio than listening to radio in 2020 (a difference of 4.4 minutes).
Digital audio platforms are effective for advertising — especially podcast listeners. 1 in 4 podcast listeners say they bought something after hearing it advertised on a podcast. With digital audio’s ability to reach audiences of all ages and convert consumers, marketers are jumping on digital audio advertising. And 85% of brand advertisers will increase their investment in digital audio in the next 12 months.
To win with audio advertising, you need to understand audio platforms and their capabilities before you ideate. Have an expert company help you to develop an audio brand strategy that’ll express your brand audio DNA and ensure your audio brand guidelines support your overarching marketing strategy.
When considering your audio creative, don’t cut and paste from TV or video ads. Tailor creative to suit the different audio environments in which it appears in. For example, a different tone should be taken when advertising on a podcast compared to Spotify.
When planning digital audio campaigns, find out when peak listening occurs to ensure that campaigns are live when audiences peak, and decide what metrics will be used to determine the success of your campaign.
Consumers are gradually cutting cords with traditional TV and migrating to Connected TV (CTV). A Connected TV refers to a television connected to the internet. This includes devices such as Amazon Fire, Roku, and Apple TV, as well as gaming consoles like PlayStation and Xbox.
Due to CTV’s ability to reach targeted audiences with creative ads, savvy marketers are spending advertising dollars on CTV advertising. CTV ad spending in the US will reach $8.8 billion this year, and by 2021, it will total $10.81 billion.
Before jumping into CTV advertising, though, understand the differences between traditional linear and CTV and the value of CTV to your brand. Understand how CTV ads are bought, sold, and delivered. Also, note that connected TV has no universal “measurement currency”. So, it’s difficult to measure and plan. However, if you do decide to invest in CTV advertising, keep the following in mind:
- Take advantage of CTV advanced targeting capabilities to ensure your ads reach the right segments of your target audience, at the right time and in the right context.
- Personalize your ads using strategies such as geo-targeting, video optimization across devices, and sequential messaging.
- Use dynamic or interactive creative components and take advantage of technologies to switch creative quickly and get data-driven insight into how different messaging resonates with consumers.
- Work with partners that have IAB gold standard to reduce ad fraud, improve the digital advertising experience, and increase brand safety.
Rich Communication Service Messaging
SMS text messages are getting a makeover with Rich Communication Service (RCS). RCS is a next-generation SMS protocol that’s designed to one day replace SMS as a means of sending text messages.
Unlike traditional SMS, RCS allows businesses to deliver interactive app-like experiences to your customers’ SMS inboxes. This means you can have two-way communications with predefined replies and action buttons. For instance, customers can hit a button to confirm or cancel an appointment (rather than responding ‘yes’ or ‘no’ via text).
RCS also offers metrics and analytics data (including read receipts), verified sender information, and a way to send interactive content (e.g., images, and videos,) natively on mobile phones.
Though still in its early stages, RCS is gaining traction. The number of monthly users of RCS Messaging has surpassed 215 million and by 2021 RCS messaging services will reach a market value of $74 billion.
RCS is bringing with it a host of new opportunities to connect with consumers and brands are beginning to see the advantage of expanding on the SMS standard. Subway’s RCS campaign saw a 140% increase in redemption rate compared to the same promotion using SMS.
Likewise, a recent RCS campaign from Papa John’s in the UK achieved a 23% uplift compared to SMS.
Any opportunity comes with obstacles and roadblocks. Operators globally have to adopt RCS at a much faster pace and work together to ensure interoperability. And Apples’ hesitation to offer support for RCS standards may limit global adoption. However, with the backing of the GSMA, Samsung, and Google, it may not be long before RCS is universally available. Keep track of feature developments, and consumer usage trends to ensure you know when it’s time to move in on this platform.
Watching emerging marketing channels is key to gaining a first-mover advantage. While it’s easy to get carried away with expectations of new marketing channels, note that it can take years for them to build momentum. However, if there’s any marketing channel you feel holds some promise for your brand, carry out experiments to test their profitability.
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