Sunday, July 22, 2012

Online marketing trends in 2012

1. Three screen marketing
Online marketing

There was a time when companies used to focus only on one screen and that is television.  Companies were right in their decision as it is one of the most influential media. People used television to get information about NEWS, entertainment, sports and many more. However, the trend is changing in last few months wherein consumers have started using other Media. Now, that’s my point of discussion, the multi screen or the three different screens that are being used by the consumers to gain information about all the topics under the sun and even above it.
Screen 1: Television
Television, according to the Business Standard, India is the third largest television house hold market in the world.  It has always been a primary media for any company to contact the end user; especially in India where they can target the entire family with an emotional touch! Ads like Cadbury’s (is Diwali aap kise khush karenge..?) no matter how smarter and faster phone or tablet you build, television is here to stay in Indian household for a long long time. So, television should be the first priority for companies who are targeting the average Indian households.
Screen 2: Tablets
Tablets, an innovative product launched by the great Steve jobs from the house of Apple changed the way people used electronic device and the internet. “Use it as you go”, a product between smart phone and the laptops/desktops with all of their functionality in a compact form helped the people in many ways. In India, the tablet market is growing at a CAGR of 71%. Near about 13 brands have already made their presence in the country with 30 different models among which Apple is leading the market with 52% share followed by Samsung and Blackberry with 21% and 10% market share respectively.
Screen 3: Smartphone
Smartphone, companies are changing their online strategy with a rapid growth in the Smartphone market. People of all generations have started using Smartphone for better features and an amazing internet experience. If you have been to Mumbai then you’ll find a lot of people using Smartphone to play angry birds or watching latest movies or chatting on whatsapp or checking their facebook updates during their journey in local train while going to and fro office. People find it a lot useful and it’s also economical. Today you can get a Smartphone anywhere in the range INR5,000 to INR60,000.
2. Proximity Marketing: FOURSQUARE

Online marketing
Proximity Marketing: Foursquare

How do you feel when you enter a shopping mall and suddenly receive a SMS giving you the discount of 40% or discount on movie tickets? Well, this is possible with the help of proximity marketing. Proximity marketing means marketing activities that are carried out by maintaining closeness to your customer.
In proximity marketing, marketer can send SMS via Bluetooth or WIFI in a particular area say a radius of 40-80 meters. This allows the company to target a specific set of customers.
For example, when you are watching your favorite television show and you find a break time then your first reaction would be to change the channel and watch another show for those 5 minutes. So, consumer may not see your advertisement but, think of the impact of discussion about say, beauty or fashion product in a fashion show? You are bound to get maximum conversion rates!!!
Now, how foursquare is going to help in achieving the same?
For those who don’t know about foursquare, it’s a free application which helps you and your friends make the most of where you are. When you're out, use foursquare to share and save the places you visit. And, when you're out looking for suggestions in a city like Mumbai or Delhi or any city, it’ll give you personalized recommendations and deals based on where you, your friends, and people with similar tastes have been.
With the help of foursquare, brands like Cadbury or Pepsi can feel the pulse of their consumer anywhere in the world.  Venue owners like say, Hotel Taj in Mumbai can see the reaction, reviews and feedback of their consumers when they check in on foursquare.
It helps you to say whether the place touched your heart by clicking on the heart symbol, similar to facebook like button and google+1 button but here it also allows you to select broken heart symbol which means the place did not meet the expectation.
Foursquare has crossed billion checkins by their users globally and that too in a very short span of time.
 So, companies should brand themselves effectively on social media like Foursquare which would allow them to market their place or brand when consumer is physically present at those places and help them to get the maximum conversion rates. Because over here, consumer is coming to you rather then you going after the consumer!!!
3. Content Marketing
Online marketing
Content Marketing

Content marketing should be the first choice for every marketer who is planning to go online. Without content, it’s very hard to generate traffic on your site. Even if you are successful in generating the traffic then you will find your conversion rates far below than your expectation. In short, your ROI will be very less.
For example, for a company who is providing online consulting on B-Schools in India, should also provide information on various streams of MBA like marketing, HR, Finance, Operation, IT etc… apart from the information about streams, they should provide a brief idea about the possible set of companies in which they would get placed and the work profile in which they would see themselves at the end of the course.
If a user sees meaningful content on the site, he/she is bound to take guidelines from you to know more about what you have put on your website.
On the other hand if you have not put useful content on your site, you may generate traffic by using various ad campaign on search engines and other sites, you may even increase the page views and the unique visitors, but the average time spent on your site and bounce rate will keep increasing which is of no use as this will decrease your conversion rate even after spending a huge of amount.
 So, in my opinion companies should spend a little budget on the content of the site rather than spending a big amount on ad campaign. Content marketing will not only help in increasing conversion rates, but it will also help in increasing word of mouth marketing which is the best approach in marketing world.
I had never heard of Google back in my school, but my seniors used to say boss, internet pe kuchh bi information chahiye to google use karna, sab mil jayega”. Till today, I have never used any other search engine because; Google has helped me in giving me the content the best way I can imagine.

I will discuss about SEO, SMO and email marketing in my next post.