Role of Technology in marketing --Gaurav Patra
Technology has transformed consumer expectations, thereby urging marketing to transform its mode of outreach as well as methods of influence and persuasion writes Gaurav Patra, Founder, Value360 Communications.
Opening of the digital world has led to never before possibilities and hence, transitions across domains, including communication. The consumption of news as well as information have undergone a sea change with the doors opened by online and digital sources of information. The availability of information is no longer restricted to a certain time (like news bulletin or newspapers) or limited to an overt exhibit of information (say through advertisement). A customer appreciation or complaint on a social media platform, or an aggregator website, or an online newsflash is enough to grab eyeballs and influence decision making customers, both in a positive and negative sense.
In the wake of this, when it comes to businesses, they have been impacted just as much, if not more, with the advent of technology. While some businesses that have ridden the wave of technology have flourished and reached newer heights, those which could not reinvent itself have bitten the dust. Of all the functions of a business to be impacted by technology, marketing has been one of the pioneering functions to be revolutionised by technology, given its dynamic nature. Technology has transformed consumer expectations, thereby urging marketing to transform its mode of outreach as well as methods of influence and persuasion. In today’s times, when data is available universally, the only way to gain edge is by processing it effectively and optimally to gain consumer trust. True to the popular adage, data is the new gold/ oil. It is the master-key for Marketing and Public Relations (PR) to distinguish and establish a brand in the minds of the consumer.
Role of technology in marketing
Technology has fuelled marketing and PR to transcend boundaries by reshaping its strategies to cater to the “new age” customers. The change in pattern of such consumers is due to the ‘problem of plenty’, they are spoilt for choices, and are open to experimenting unlike the brand loyalty exhibited by customers in the past. Hence, in the current scenario, marketing and PR landscape need to be reinvented through constant engagement and implementation of experiential marketing strategies. It is imperative to align reinvented business and brand needs to novel communication strategies.
In this ‘one-world’, represented by data, it is needless to say, that marketing, PR and overall communication can no longer exist in silos and instead, have to co-exist in an integrated manner. Shadowing this, the modes of showcasing brand messaging are no longer limited to traditional forms such as logos, TV advertisements etc. Today, brands have the ability to be omnipresent, given the increased number of showcasing platforms. This brings us to the power of integrated campaigns, executed through multimedia content. In all this, one must be mindful that content is truly the king because, on one hand, it needs to be customised to be delivered through multi channels, whereas on the other hand, it needs to be consistent to showcase the brand ethos.
Reinventing marketing and PR
One of the modern facets of integrated marketing campaign is leveraging social media, be it through laptops or mobiles. Given our dependence on smartphones, even sheer brand presence on relevant platforms would be considered as direct engagement with consumers and influencing their choices. Not only does it enable companies to increase its outreach and engagement, but also allows them to learn about consumer behaviour patterns and present to them more targeted and impactful content, thereby leading to an ongoing market research, and subsequently allowing companies to decrease their response time to consumer needs. It is also considered more credible by consumers due to the verification by third party consumers with relatable needs. Apart from this, advertising on popular social media platforms creates bridges between the brand and its potential consumer and increases the probability of successful engagement. Social media has also given rise to a very important pillar of marketing and PR i.e. influencer marketing. This form of marketing leverages “influencers” on social media platforms, defined through their number of followers and niche engagement patterns, to enable the inception of preference towards a specific product or service, particularly B2C (Business to Consumer) ones.
Social media engagement also enables a company to measure ROI (Return on Investments) through a mix of actionable metrics, such as share of voice, sentiment, pages per session, engagement rate, among others, which leads to direct business related decision making, as well as vanity metrics such as number of likes, page views, followers etc., which may not have a direct business impact, but does influence consumers to atleast know more about the company and increase brand recall for the future. Similarly, a more direct engagement for brands with its existing customers includes email marketing, which assists in increased consumer interest and brand recall, a must to declutter the information overloaded consumer’s mind!
Today business leaders are unequivocally relying on complex marketing strategies involving a mix of market research and targeted outreach through integrated marketing and PR campaigns. Not only are these campaigns collaborative, but they also serve the purpose of driving more impactful results and saving costs and resources by eliminating duplication. It is quite imperative that a brand which transcends boundaries of all functions of marketing by leveraging technology will hit the bull’s eye of successfully driving more impactful business outcomes, through integrated efforts across owned, earned and paid media.
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