Advertising is a medium that constantly evolves. It changes with times. It adapts to new technologies. It is unrelenting in its desire to find new and better ways to reach an ever-growing consumer marketplace.
But its not simply advertising that evolves. Consumers and consumer behavior are changing too. As we look at future of advertising, it’s important to look at how two interact and change together over time.
Without a doubt, Internet has revolutionized industry. It has taken world - and advertising world by storm. And it has only just begun to make an impact. The Internet has become a global medium with massive potential. Forty years ago, television was considered new media. Fifteen years ago, it was cable. Today, people spend increasing amounts of time online at expense of other media. The first evidence of this audience migration appeared in 1998 in a Forrester Research report.
The researchers asked PC users which activities they were giving up to spend more time on their computers. 75% of respondents said they gave up television.
Interactive. That is real key behind power of Internet in advertising. The Internet is really only medium where we see true interactivity. In addition:
•It means greater viewer involvement. •It means users can access services according to their interests and their tastes. •They can request and receive specialized product information, make an instant purchase, all while saving time and expense. •The effectiveness of Web advertising appears to relate to fact that surfing web is an actively engaging experience, similar to reading magazines.
Consumers also have choice to “opt-in” to receiving additional information on a particular product or service. In Seth Godin’s groundbreaking book, Permission Marketing, he said, “By reaching out only to those individuals who have signaled an interest in learning more about a product, Permission Marketing enables companies to develop long-term relationships with customers, create trust, build brand awareness- and greatly improve chances of making a sale.”
All Rage: Pay Per Click and Natural Search Using SEO
It’s no secret what has taken over business world, in industry after industry. Pay Per Click and Natural Search Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Today, being on first page for your most popular keyword phrase is like having most memorable prime time television commercial in 1973.
Pay per click advertising on search engines allows you to choose keywords you would like your site to appear under when a potential customer engages in a search. You decide how much you are willing to pay each time a person clicks on search results. But it can be competitive – and expensive if you are trying to use keywords that are very popular. Natural Search or Organic Search is non-biased, non-paid results that come up when you do a search. This can be influenced heavily by what’s called “Search Engine Optimization” – complex and time consuming practice of ensuring that your website is doing all right things in order to rank high for certain search terms. In this arena, smaller companies can out maneuver large corporations, so there’s a lot of excitement generated because of this.
Essentially, that’s where power of advertising is going. It’s all about Search. And Search is only going to become more important over next ten years. If you can get on that coveted first page organically, well then, more power to you!
Web Sites, Banner Ads, etc..
The other forms of on-line advertising vehicles are of course, web sites, banner advertising placed on others sites, newsletters, ezines, and email. They are used in many different combinations, for different purposes at different times. But most savvy companies are using all of them. The value of banner ads has been hotly debated for a number of years. Opponents argue that click-through rates have gone down so much, that banner ads are nothing but wasted money. But research clearly shows that banners are very effective in building brand awareness. On-line users may not click on a banner, but if they see it enough times, company’s name is drilled into their head. When its time to shop, that product or service is first in their mind. Simply being exposed to brand as one surf’s web is enough to make a big impression.
The impact of banners on brand awareness was tested for first time in fall 1996 by Millward Brown International. Three brands were tested including a men's apparel brand, a telecommunications brand and a technology company. The findings were significant and conclusive for each brand. Awareness was significantly greater among banner-exposed (test) group than non-exposed (control) group. Specifically, exposure to ad banners alone increased brand awareness from 12% to 200% in a banner-exposed group.
The study also compared impact of banner ads in this test to television and magazine norms from prior Millward Brown studies. The findings were remarkable: Single exposure to a Web banner generated greater awareness than a single exposure to a television or print ad. Rather, effectiveness of Web advertising seems to stem from fact that Web usage is an actively engaging exercise.
Newsletters and Ezines
Most smart marketers out there have either a newsletter or ezine nowadays. These types of customer communication and advertising tools will only continue to grow in use and importance. It goes back to whole “what’s in it for me?” issue. The customer wants to be part of process. They want to learn something. Or keep themselves updated on latest news. Most of all, they want to get something out of relationship. They want to do more than buy something, they want to improve their lives in some small way – and they want you to help them do that.
Email is another of big three Internet advertising mediums. Companies like Got Marketing, OptinBig.com, and N5R are providing new and exciting email marketing solutions for thousands of progressive firms. Their results are impressive. Consider response rates that average 10 to 20 times those of traditional direct mail. Or campaign Network marketing referral rates as high as 40%. The bottom line is that programs they put together have produced millions of leads for clients. And it’s surprisingly affordable. This means that almost anyone can now utilize this advertising medium. But it has to be done smartly, because you don’t want your emails to end up in spam filters. That is one inherent problem with email advertising, especially in past two years.