Emerg­ing forms of mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion

Some strate­gies em­ployed by ad­ver­tis­ers to reach con­sumers in­clude in­flu­encer mar­ket­ing, branded con­tent mar­ket­ing, con­ver­sa­tion mar­ket­ing, among oth­ers.

Financial Nigeria Magazine - - Contents - By Akachi Ngwu

Ad­ver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion have con­tin­ued to evolve, es­pe­cially with ad­vance­ments in mo­bile and so­cial tech­nol­ogy. With the pro­lif­er­a­tion of so­cial me­dia plat­forms, the na­ture of con­tent con­sump­tion is shift­ing from tele­vi­sion, ra­dio and print to dig­i­tal. Busi­nesses and brands are, there­fore, able to lever­age the power of so­cial net­work­ing plat­forms to en­gage and build loy­alty with their cus­tomers. This has re­sulted in new forms of mar­ket­ing, which are de­fined by di­a­logue be­tween the sellers and buy­ers.

Busi­nesses are spend­ing more on ad­ver­tis­ing. MAGNA, a New York-based me­dia agency, said global spend on ad­ver­tis­ing in 2016 in­creased to nearly $500 bil­lion. eMar­keter fore­casts that brands will spend $34 bil­lion on Face­book alone in 2017.

De­spite the rise in ad­ver­tis­ing spend, ad­ver­tis­ing is de­liv­er­ing far less salu­tary ex­pe­ri­ence. For in­stance, ac­cord­ing to For­rester, an Amer­i­can mar­ket re­search com­pany, 38 per cent of U.S. adults us­ing the in­ter­net have in­stalled an ad blocker. The pro­por­tion of the Amer­i­can on­line pop­u­la­tion that claims to ac­tively avoid ads on web­sites is 50 per cent. A study by IAB/YouGov on the state of ad block­ing in the U.K. shows that 47 per cent of on­line con­sumers use ad block­ers.

In­deed, ad avoid­ance is also a grow­ing con­cern. It is quite com­mon for peo­ple to move away from watch­ing the tele­vi­sion, or change TV chan­nels or ra­dio sta­tions when an ad­vert is be­ing aired.

As the rate of ad block­ing in­creases and pat­terns of con­tent con­sump­tion change, big busi­nesses, most es­pe­cially, are be­com­ing con­cerned about the ef­fec­tive­ness of their mar­ket­ing cam­paign mes­sages. Old one-way mar­ket­ing strate­gies are no longer ef­fec­tive at a time when col­lab­o­ra­tive mar­ket­ing has been made pos­si­ble. Busi­nesses that must re­main com­pet­i­tive are evolv­ing new

Fi­nan­cial Nige­ria has at­tracted Nige­rian banks and fin­tech or­gan­i­sa­tions to de­liver branded con­tent mar­ket­ing in its print and on­line pub­li­ca­tions.

strate­gies and de­vel­op­ing ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns that are quite com­pelling and at­ten­tion-grab­bing. Some strate­gies em­ployed by ad­ver­tis­ers to reach con­sumers in­clude in­flu­encer mar­ket­ing, branded con­tent mar­ket­ing, con­ver­sa­tion mar­ket­ing, among oth­ers.

In­flu­encer mar­ket­ing In­flu­encers, in so­cial me­dia par­lance, are in­di­vid­u­als who have mam­moth fol­low­ing across Face­book, Twit­ter, LinkedIn, In­sta­gram, Snapchat and other in­ter­net blogs. Such in­di­vid­u­als could be celebri­ties, thought lead­ers or pop­u­lar blog­gers. Al­though in­flu­encer mar­ket­ing used to be more preva­lent in the fash­ion, sports and en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­tries, its rate of adop­tion across other mar­ket seg­ments has in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly.

A sur­vey by Sch­lesinger As­so­ciates showed that 84 per cent of mar­keters planned to ex­e­cute at least one in­flu­encer mar­ket­ing cam­paign in 2017. A rel­e­vant in­flu­encer to an in­dus­try ex­poses a brand to the right con­sumers. In­flu­encers al­ready have a per­sonal brand and they are able to lever­age it to pro­vide the tar­get ex­po­sure for brands to their au­di­ence whose at­ten­tion they al­ready have. A Forbes con­trib­u­tor, AJ Agrawal, wrote: "The best in­flu­encers work to in­te­grate their branded cam­paigns into their unique sto­ries with­out skip­ping a beat."

Soc­cer su­per­star, Cris­tiano Rolando, con­sid­ered as one of the world's top in­flu­encers, lever­ages his so­cial me­dia fol­low­ing to drive tremen­dous value for his spon­sors. An in­flu­encer and brand am­bas­sador for Nike, Ron­aldo re­port­edly gen­er­ated $500 mil­lion for Nike in me­dia value through his posts last year, ac­cord­ing to Hookit, a com­pany that mea­sures the so­cial and dig­i­tal me­dia value for brands.

Branded con­tent mar­ket­ing Branded con­tent is a form of ad­ver­tis­ing de­signed to en­gage the con­sumer. As a sub­set of con­tent mar­ket­ing, the con­tent gen­er­ated does not ex­plic­itly pro­mote a par­tic­u­lar brand but it aims to stim­u­late in­ter­est in the prod­ucts and ser­vices of the brand. Where the ad­ver­tise­ment of the brand could have been avoided or blocked by po­ten­tial con­sumers, an in­ter­est­ing event, video or ed­i­to­rial piece is used to get the at­ten­tion of the same con­sumers.

Branded con­tents can elicit on­line com­ments from brand users and po­ten­tial

users. The gen­er­ated com­ments will en­able brand own­ers to build strong brand eq­uity. Fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pa­nies and tech­nol­ogy start-ups are in­creas­ingly de­ploy­ing branded con­tent mar­ket­ing in both on­line and off­line plat­forms. Blog­gers and pub­lish­ers are part­ner­ing with these brands to de­velop and de­ploy branded con­tent mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. Fi­nan­cial Nige­ria has at­tracted Nige­rian banks and fin­tech or­gan­i­sa­tions to de­liver branded con­tent mar­ket­ing in its print and on­line pub­li­ca­tions.

Con­ver­sa­tion mar­ket­ing

Ian Lurie, au­thor of Con­ver­sa­tion Mar­ket­ing: Com­mon Sense In­ter­net

Strate­gies, said: "Con­ver­sa­tion Mar­ket­ing en­sures that you know your au­di­ence, tar­get them with an ap­pro­pri­ate mes­sage, and then ob­serve their re­sponse and ad­just that mes­sage ac­cord­ingly. It can do this be­cause of the two-way na­ture of the in­ter­net."

Be­cause of me­dia frag­men­ta­tion, the typ­i­cal 21st cen­tury con­sumer has a lim­ited at­ten­tion span. There­fore, brand own­ers and their me­dia agen­cies have found the need to cre­ate ef­fec­tive ad­ver­tis­ing mes­sages that can grab the con­sumer's at­ten­tion. Some brands have cre­ated on­line chat fo­rums to en­gage their cus­tomers on is­sues per­tain­ing to their brands and ex­e­cute call-to-ac­tion.

In 2016, Twit­ter in­tro­duced con­ver­sa­tional ads, which make it even eas­ier for con­sumers to en­gage with and also spread a brand's cam­paign mes­sage. When a call-to-ac­tion but­ton is tapped, a pre-com­posed tweet with a brand mes­sage pops up. Users who want to tweet it can then per­son­alise the mes­sage be­fore shar­ing it with their fol­low­ers. An­other ex­am­ple of con­ver­sa­tional mar­ket­ing is Heineken's new Open Your World Cam­paign, which is de­signed to bridge po­lit­i­cal di­vides be­tween in­di­vid­u­als over a bot­tle of beer.

Brands are also us­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive mar­ket­ing strate­gies to im­prove their prod­ucts and con­tin­u­ally en­gage with their con­sumers. In an ar­ti­cle, "Cus­tomers Don't Want Ads, They Want a Con­ver­sa­tion," pub­lished in Fast Com­pany, CEO and Founder of Crowd­tap, Bran­don Evans, said "The col­lab­o­ra­tive mar­ket­ing fu­ture has ar­rived, and it's go­ing to be a fun ride." Both the brand own­ers and con­sumers are the win­ners in the evolv­ing trends that will un­der­pin mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Akachi Ngwu

Foot­ball su­per­star Cris­tiano Ron­aldo, brand am­bas­sador for Nike

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