Acquiring new customers have never been easy, especially when you are new brand in market. Further, with the help of technology and spreading of awareness among customers, selling a product required a lot of research and promotional creativity. Even a few decades ago, marketing was all about printing a few ads and banners for the local streets. But with the present surge of internet and social networking platforms, marketing strategies had a major makeover. To understand the changing trends, it would be a great idea to look back at marketing leaders over the ages.
In the 1960s, the ways of promotion were a lot different than it is today. The mediums of spreading the word was largely limited to the three networks; television channels, radio & newspaper. Further, the messages were largely literal and were crafted mostly for the female consumers. In those days, styling was all about suits and cigarettes. A fountain pen and a martini would symbolize status. The consumer on the other side had little purchasing information and accepted anything that was put through.
It was in the 1970s that the first hint of creative marketing was seen. Though most nations were fighting political unrest and economic pressures, the expenditure of consumers too were an all time high, propelled by inflation and hoarding behavior. During this decade, “Positioning”was the most popular advertising strategy and considered as the effective way of placing the ads of your product in the mind of target persona. 1990s brought forward several new brands and we see a boom in marketing management. Door-to-door selling was replaced by electronic marketing and we started using digital media and accompanying technologies for product promotion.
In this ever growing industry, the core marketing concepts are still same and works today. In this article, I will be sharing my views on those old marketing ideas and will compare the same with current marketing strategy. Here we go:
#1 Influencers are important:
The idea of brand ambassadors and celebrities was introduced in the 80s, largely by few big brands. But looking forward, it has been a distinguishing aspect of brand identity today.
It was in the 1980s that marketing became more intense and consumers got more demanding. This is also the period when we saw a boom in the fashion industry. Designer labels like Calvin Klein were introduced new range of products and employed celebrities like Kate Moss during the start of her career in early 90s. Campaigns became more seductive and promotion needed some ambassadors that the end user segment related to. In this light, we also see the widespread popularity of jeans in the fashion industry. Currently we have seen such influencers as well in fashion industry like Kim Kardashian and Kendal Jenner. In today’s world celebrities have huge followers on various social media channels and they charge around $10K for per tweet or Instagram post.
#2 Believe on Visuals
Though the world largely buys from the internet portals, visual advertisement still plays a prominent role in choice making. With so many competitors for every single product, it is through creative visuals that marketers can appeal to the senses.
Multiple advertisement mediums have been introduced including TV, radio, billboards, magazines, Internet, direct mail and newspapers. Advertising became an integral part of the life of an average users since the 1970s and this was well supported by growth in TV usage. Advertisement placing was well researched and more scientific and more emphasis was laid upon fact-based marketing. Music was introduced with advertisement for better brand recall.
Currently there are plenty of online advertising platforms available in market like Googld AdWords, Media.net, Criteo & AdRoll on which merchant used to show their ads and it directly reaches the target audiences. These platforms defined the huge success because it benefits consumers, advertisers and companies as well. On other hand social media marketing is also plus point for the companies to reach out targeted audience. Companies loves to promote their Advertisement banners on platforms like Facebook ads, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram Ads which gives great ROI in terms of branding and sales.
#3 Reaching out to customers
It was due to limitations in technology that our previous generations weren’t able to pass on the information effectively. In old times businesses reaches out customers via newspaper advertisements, Radio, Banners, Tv’s & etc. But today, social media platforms present a solid stage for reaching out individually to customers and groups. Every major brand has a vast social media presence today and has been investing more into social campaigns.
Here I would like to give small example of how social media marketing helps companies at branding level. Coca-cola is one of the top soft drink companies founded in 1886. As per reports it has only served around 9 bottles per day in first year and today it sells around 1.9 billion bottles daily globally. Coca-cola changed it’s marketing strategies frequently over time based on the market trends, brand ambassadors and competition. Today Coca-cola has around 99 million likes on Facebook and around 4 million followers Twitter which shows that consumers still have faith in this brand. Coca-cola runs impressive online & offline marketing campaigns and tries to reach out maximum audiences they can.
#4 Branding is pure business
Again, visual impact seems to be the competitive advantage of a brand. One can easily associate with the Nike or Adidas logo but there are thousands of sports good manufacturing companies. Creative designing and Infographics have certainly taken an authoritative ground. Logo is one of the most important factor when it comes to branding. If you see closely the branding campaigns of famous companies then you will find most of the companies use red color in their logo as it is bold primary color and consumers can easily remember the logo for long time. Most of the companies like Coca-Cola, Puma, Virgin, Toyota, Canon and Netflix uses the red color in their logo.
#5 Trends are always on the high
Trends seem to be fleeting, changing with every new introduction. As such, marketers and brands at large should be the carriers of changing trends and just not follow them. Here one need to understand the trends and predict the marketing strategies in advance to meet the expectations of the changing human behavior. If the brand doesn’t change with the trend, they will have to loose large market share like Nokia.
#6 Discounts and offers still work
While the modern consumer always makes an informed decision, discounts and fair price has always been a welcome move. Discounts and offers have also been a major element to gain competitive advantage. In this era this discount and offers mainly known as Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals. In November & December month which is mainly known for holiday sales, All local & online stores provides huge discounts & deals for consumers. As per fortune report in 2015 online shoppers spent around $4.45 Billion on Black Friday & Thanks Giving day.
The way a consumer thinks will keep on changing but marketing needs to be a step ahead and be able to anticipate the change. The modern consumers have been taught to be completely aware of what he/she is buying and weather there is a better alternative. The challenges for the marketer are thus enormous and it is with creative abilities and wider research that a successful brand identity can be established. However, there are still many things from the early ages of marketing that stick to the core of the process. Marketing strategies have always been about research and understanding our customer. The same will continue to apply.