Major Trends in Modern Internet Marketing
Advertising icon Maurice Saatchi of Saatchi and Saatchi once stated that “there is no rivalry between Google and traditional advertising.” There is great truth in that simple statement. Digital and traditional – or analog – marketing and advertising have a symbiotic relationship, co-existing in a world that will continue to evolve along with each new technology.
Word-of-Mouth and Social Networks
The most powerful form of marketing is – and always has been – word of mouth. From the days of the ancient outdoor bazaars, buyers could always trust those they knew or about which they had heard positive reviews. Next, fast-forward to small-town America where word of mouth helped to grow family businesses into retail and industry behemoths. Think Walmart.
Today, word of mouth marketing has taken on a life of its own. Social media allows us to pass judgment on anyone and anything that crosses our radar. The viral nature of social networks has given consumers the power to control the message about the companies they love and others that have not performed up to snuff. Imagine a large floral outlet getting negative posts during Valentine’s Day. They will be fast to make good on discounts, refunds and redeliveries.
This is just one example of where digital marketing has its roots in traditional forms of communications. Let’s consider billboards as another.
Billboards and Web Banner Ads
When billboards first came into being, it was all the rage to have a series of boards displaying the message. Burma Shave ads were the most memorable of this style of marketing, sometimes showing up to six boards in sequence, .o Often with a rhyming pattern. The industry moved to much more sophisticated boards over the years, including some that could flip panels to show different ads or display changing messages in lights.
Now, we have Internet banner ads as the digital equivalent of the Burma Shave signs. Rotating frames give us two and three-part messages. Unlike traditional media however, we can act immediately instead of having to wait until the next exit or nearest store.
Large banner ad sizes that run across the top of a site are frequently called billboards. They catch us as we’re navigating the Internet, just like traditional billboards get our attention while we’re travelling the roads.
Billboards and their outdoor advertising brethren are bound to remain as part of our landscape for years to come.
Direct Mail and E-Blasts
Print is not dead yet either, especially when it comes to direct mail marketing. In fact, studies show that younger demographics (18-34) prefer direct mail. This seems surprising on the surface, but it makes perfect sense. The Internet generation is saturated with online communication. Direct mail is something they can touch and feel. They can’t just click and delete.
Many of us are now receiving the same offers via direct mail and e-mail. If you’re on a retailer’s preferred customer list, chances are you are receiving the same coupons in different formats. Electronic media has replaced many of our traditional forms of personal communication – letters, cards and bill payments. Yet, it only plays a partial role in our consumer habits.
Once you take a deeper look, it’s easy to understand that digital marketing has its seeds in the analog world. Digital simply brings analog strategies to life via Internet-driven technology. In theory, there is not a lot of difference between the purpose of product infomercial and a company-managed YouTube channel. They are both means to an end.