Faiza Samad (November 27, 2014)
With the changing lifestyles of consumers, businesses are continuously on the lookout for new and innovative advertising techniques to increase their customer base. Although conventional advertising mediums such as television, newspapers and billboards are still relevant, businesses need to explore other channels to reach out to their target market and stay ahead of their competitors. Below are some ways through which companies may advertise their products to attract customers:
While advertising a new product or just marketing in general, it is always a good idea to form partnerships with other firms. The logic behind this is that two companies having a similar client base can come together to expand their respective businesses. This gives an added boost to both parties as their target markets would be influenced into buying both products, thus increasing revenues.
Companies should however carefully evaluate the prospective partners to ensure that their visions and business objectives align and co-branding can result in competitive market synergies.
An example of co-branding would be the Sports Kit introduced by Nike and Apple, called the Nike + iPod Sports Kit. It is an activity tracker that allows you to measure the distance you walk or run. Through the partnership by the two industry giants, Nike and Apple were both able to boost their sales and benefit from each other’s target markets.
What firms need to remember is that sponsorship and advertising are two very different concepts. According to IEG’s Complete Guide to Sponsorship, “Sponsorship should not be confused with advertising. Advertising is considered a quantitative medium, whereas sponsorship is considered a qualitative medium. It promotes a company in association with the sponsor.”
Sponsoring causes can help boost the image of the company and can lead to increase in revenues. It develops a positive image of a socially conscious business and helps shape the attitudes of customers. Firms can benefit from sponsorships by using this as a potential marketing and branding tool.
Small businesses are increasingly sponsoring local events such as sporting events, clean-up drives and charities to build good rapport for their business around the locality. Businesses which have a niche or locally distributed market can especially benefit by sponsoring events related to the target market.
Conventional marketing methods can be ineffective for B2B enterprises as well as companies selling more complex and technical products. Seminars and Webinars can provide an ideal platform to reach your clients and inform them about your products. Seminars can help provide customers detailed information on the product and its features and are a useful tool to communicate the company’s vision. The presentations provided by legendry Steve Jobs, to launch new Apple products has set a milestone for technology companies to launch their products. These presentations were broadcasted around the world and lead to the reemergence of Apple as one of the most renowned company’s in the world today.
With the boom in information technology, a cheaper alternative to a seminar is a webinar. A webinar can provide a more global attendance at much lower costs. In order to assure that a maximum number of people access that webinar, firms can use hashtags and invite prominent guest speakers in order to garner interest in the event. Social Media and networking websites are the most popular tool to attract people to join a webinar. Universities and colleges use this strategy to interact with prospective students. Similarly, Bayt.com holds a virtual job fair to attract potential employees towards different job opportunities in the Middle East.
Businesses are increasingly looking at digital avenues for their marketing as well as advertising strategies. With more and more people using the internet to communicate, engage, research and buy products, a company must build a strong online presence if it is to survive and grow. Online advertisement can be focused on a specific target market based on their online preferences and can be built in to target consumers browsing patterns. For example, many Hollywood studios now advertise their movie trailers at the beginning of online videos. Paid advertisements can however be expensive and internet provides a variety of ways to market your products. For example, viral videos can be an innovative way to gain consumer interest on a mass scale.
An important aspect of internet is knowledge and experience sharing. Internet is a popular forum for customers to share experiences and rate the companies they interact with. Providing quality customer service to your existing or new customers can lead to a positive feedback loop online providing free publicity. Customers who have had great experiences with your company can become your brand ambassadors. On the flip side, every bad experience is recorded and shared as well. Acknowledging the role of internet and using it for your benefit requires excellent customer care and service delivery beyond expectations. However, it is one of the most important aspects of marketing strategy in the new age of digital communication and information sharing.
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