We certainly are in the technology age; there’s no doubt about it. New technologies seem to emerge weekly, and as marketers, we not only have to jump on the bandwagon, but we have to stay ahead of the curve.
Consumers certainly are. As we’ve seen through social media, mobile, and other advents, you can no longer sell a product via a one-way line of communication. This relationship has shifted, where the consumer is now at the center of the process. They’ve told us where, why and how they prefer to purchase brands.
And as the new generations grow up with these technologies, the necessity to acclimate is even fiercer.
What, specifically, are some of these new technologies that are impacting marketing right now?
How about payment by SMS-text? Coca-Cola is running a test campaign where consumers can pay via their mobile phone at a vending machine. The Head of Global Brand Strategy – Global Connections for Coca-Cola, Doug Busk, has said the campaign has demonstrated, in various cases, increased purchasing frequency.
And QR, or Quick Response, codes? Place one of these nifty barcodes in your direct mailer or print ad, and readers can access product info, instantly online, by taking a picture of the printed code. Retailers such as Target, Sears, and Bergdorf Goodman’s have implemented this technology. The goal here is to broaden the point of purchase, and consequently increase sales. Now, this all sounds cool, right? But do these technologies provide new information to the consumer? Not particularly. After all, the smart move is brand consistency across these technologies. But it’s about a new form of interaction with a brand.
As aforementioned, the consumer becomes central to the communication process; he or she is engaged, and ready to participate in the dialogue around the brand. This scenario presents marketers with an opportunity to advance the message when the consumer is receptive, as opposed to just pushing it across to the masses, who may or may not be interested.
But as any smart marketer knows, while new technologies are exciting, they can result in failure if not used properly.
We say: trust the experts! Activate a non-traditional marketing campaign, in tandem with traditional strategy, and hire a resource that specializes in your area of interest. A Mobile agency to appropriately shrink your brand message to fit on that little iPhone screen, so that when the eyes are there, they prompt the person behind them, to act.
New technology leads to new media, which stimulates new ways to sell a product, defined as non-traditional marketing. And marketers need to adapt.