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We have to go…smaller?

We have to go…smaller?
June 30, 2016 Reese Reimers

Marketing in 2016: We have to go…smaller?

Picture this: you’re walking down the street enveloped in the bright colors and lights of digital signage and print-based ads. You and your significant other are having the all-too-common discussion of where you would like to eat. Suddenly, your favorite restaurant, according to your (insert futuristic-sounding company here) profile beings a dinner special for your favorite meal and you receive a notification on both your mobile phone and your wearable device and the decision is made.

While this may sound like a scene out of a futuristic novel, the idea of targeted mobile marketing is becoming common and is expected to grow drastically in the near future. Currently, businesses are able to utilize social media websites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to target followers based on their likes, dislikes and cookies (No, not chocolate chip. Cookies are bits of information stored by your web browser that indicate your browsing history.) The industry of mobile advertising, while relatively new, is expected to become a $13 billion industry by 2020 and will likely continue to grow.

How do get to the futuristic world of targeted advertising? Previously, the mentality was to utilize a shotgun-blast approach to a rough demographic. Unfortunately, demographics often don’t define people’s likes / dislikes and this type of marketing can result in an ad falling on deaf ears or blind eyes. Tech giants Google, Microsoft, and Apple have all been working on what the tech industry is referring as a “virtual assistant”. The idea is simple: an Internet based personal assistant that can provide personalized information before the end user makes a request. Think of it this way – if you are downtown at roughly 6:00 PM, the search algorithm will recognize common trends for this area and a good chance is the user will search for a restaurant. So, the virtual assistant will push results for restaurants in the area based on the user’s current location towards the top and the user can calm their growling stomach.

What’s Next? Well, we need to begin by recognizing the legitimacy of mobile devices. With the fast-paced world that we are living in, humans are watching television and listening to radio less as a group. Gone are the days of the water-cooler conversation about how Kramer was the first to lose the bet or whether or not Ross and Rachel were on a break. Instead here are the discussions between millions about whether the dress is white and gold or blue and black. We need to end the thought of one-size-fits-all marketing strategies. As consumption becomes more fragmented, we need to focus on the user experience on their various devices and better leverage the knowledge we have about their tastes. These personalized advertisements can create a more customized human experience resulting in a psychological and emotional connection with the end user.

To quote a former-professor: “If I never have to see another Tampax ad again…this would all be worth it.” When we were having a discussion about the future of advertising, I thought there would be no way for the cable companies to be able to target ads to end users. While I wasn’t entirely wrong with my suspicions, it is quite evident that the market has simply shifted to the smaller screen.

To learn more about the importance of optimizing the user experience, head over to our friends at iTracking Research. If you are ready to get a mobile marketing plan rolling, the team over at Red Lab Technologies can get you started!