Big Marketing Dollars in the Past
In the past, marketing would entail throwing your message out there to as many people as possible in the hope that something would stick. Radio, newspapers and billboards would contain marketing messages that are displayed or broadcast to countless people. The cost of advertising would often be very high, especially on high-volume channels, as marketers and corporations compete with each other to get their message heard over limited advertising slots.
Despite the high costs, however, this method of marketing is very inefficient. If trying to spread your message by radio, for example, then the vast majority of people tuned in would have little to no interest in your product or service. Many are unlikely to even be paying attention. This method of blanket marketing relies on spreading your message to a vast number of people, hoping to reach the small minority that have any interest.
Highly Targeted Ads
What if radio listeners were able to tell the broadcaster in advance what products they are interested in? The broadcaster would then be able to broadcast only ads that are relevant to that listener, significantly increasing their effectiveness. Of course, it can’t work. Not on radio, anyway. The radio station can only broadcast one program with set adverts, and their listeners will all have different interests. Creating a tailor-made broadcast for individual listeners is just not possible.
Thanks to the way the internet works, however, we are able to do just that with online marketing. When somebody performs a search, they are literally telling the search engine what they want. This information can then be stored, and used by online marketers. This enables online marketers to show ads to people for products that have recently expressed an interest in. Online ad spots can also be occupied by numerous ads simultaneously, meaning that it is now possible for the right ad to be shown to the right reader. It’s something that has revolutionised marketing, making it almost unrecognisable to traditional methods.
Traditional marketing methods were somewhat restricted in regard to which forms of media they could use. Magazines and newspapers could only use print. Radio could only use audio. TV advertising is more flexible, but also considerably more expensive.
With online marketing, however, you have a great deal more flexibility in regard to which media you can use. Copy, audio and video can all be combined to create compelling ads. You can even use interactive media such as gamification to really help grab peoples’ attention.
Because online marketing is so precise, you may be forgiven for thinking that it is also expensive, but it’s actually much more affordable than traditional marketing. Ads are placed on websites that are able to display numerous ads simultaneously, 24/7. This means that each advertising space can generate significant revenue, meaning in turn that costs for individual advertisers can be kept low. This makes it affordable even to smaller business, and your ads could be shown in the same spot as those of even the largest, more illustrious organisations.
Information is Power
The advantages don’t stop there, either. When each ad is shown, relevant information can be collected and stored. This information can include data such as the search terms used to trigger the ad, the location of the device it was showed on and which device was being used, whether or not the ad was clicked on, the cost of each ad, and so on. This gives online marketers access to information that can help them to fine-tune campaigns to make them as effective as possible. As your online marketing campaign generates statistics regarding its performance, so it can be enhanced to make it even more effective and cost efficient.
In addition, budgets can be maintained with much more precision than with traditional methods. Overall budgets can be adjusted with ease whereas with traditional advertising techniques, a set sum would be expected to pay for a set length of time. Budgets can also be shifted to and from less or more successful parts of campaigns as information tells us which are the more fruitful.
Somebody is Ready to Receive Your Message
The chances are that somebody, somewhere, is performing an online search for your product or services right now. This means that you have the opportunity to get your message directly to somebody that has recently, and actively, expressed an interest in what you are selling. If you had told somebody that you could do this a couple of decades ago, they would not have believed you. You can do it now, though, and there’s no reason not to take full advantage.