In the last decade the popularity of social media has skyrocketed. A recent study shows that one quarter of the world’s population uses social media. Every minute, over 4.7 million posts are uploaded to Tumblr; 277,000 snaps are shared on Snapchat; and more than five million videos are viewed on YouTube. Brands have to be more unique and competitive than ever before to have their content standout with consumers. Especially in the e-commerce spectrum, which has evolved to SCommerce (social commerce). SCommerce is a term often used to describe new online retail models or marketing strategies that incorporate established social networks and/or peer-to-peer communication to drive sales.
It can be summarized as social media meets shopping. It denotes a wide range of shopping, recommending and selling behaviors.
SCommerce was just coined a few years ago (who coined it first is still up for debate), however, one thing is certain. It is here to stay. According to Gartner, 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide their purchases. This new version of “word of mouth” marketing leads the way for a new shopping experience. More “likes”, “pin its” and “shares” are linked to online transactions with current social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest driving traffic to other brands.
However, can you imagine what these capabilities would do for these sites? Can you imagine if the social behaviors of these sites were merged into to Amazon or to the efficiency of Walmart’s supply chain? Currently, both Facebook and Twitter are currently working on features to make it easy for people to buy directly through social media. What new words will be coined next? I’m sure– Fcommerce (Facebook Commerce) or Tcommerce (Twitter Commerce) will start to pop up shortly.
Without fail, every morning from about 3 – 6 am, my cell phone buzzes. New email alerts. And every morning, on my morning train commute I check my email by scrolling through 50 – 100 emails from various brands that range from sales to promotions, etc. The emails that stand out me the most are the ones that include my name. More and more, marketers are started to personalize their messages to consumers.
This trend has reared its head more recently. Before, companies were more inclined to throw out a net with generic emails to see how many fishes they could catch. This globalization approach to marketing has worked; we see it with ads that range from TV to print that seem to speak to the masses. However, new tools are in place that allow for marketers to track our interests and behaviors online. Analysts predict a growing number of companies to adopt a consumer-centric approach in order to win customers’ hearts, leaving behind indelible impressions. Personalizing the customer experience is instrumental in creating a trustworthy brand that people can repeatedly return to. This helps with creating brand loyalist and shows customer appreciation. It exemplifies that extra touch of writing a “thank you” note and mailing it versus a text or email that expresses similar sentiments.
Personalized services and ads have been around a long time, especially when dealing with small businesses. I remember shopping with my grandma and the pharmacists and local grocers knowing her name and saying “Thanks again and we’ll see you next week, Winnie.” Larger companies and brands are adopting that “small business” mentality to engage and personalize messages to its customers.
Although, shifting from a macro approach to micro approach may not be as well received from a consumer standpoint. Let’s see what consumers are saying about receiving personalized ads and emails:
At a high rate, consumers, myself included, prefer to receive communication that is specific to their trends.
Do you prefer to receive personalized communications from companies?
As the heading for this entry suggests, we seem to be bombarded with apps nowadays. Apps for our smartphones and tablets may range from games to social sites to health tips. Below lists categories for popular apps:
The most popular apps tend to be more entertainment driven like social networking and games. Apps for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube constantly rank in the top 10 apps among users.
Apps are a huge powerhouse for companies, especially when you analyze the advertising value involved. With the dramatic growth in mobile usage around the world, marketers are increasingly seeking new ways to create value for their content. Additionally, brands and advertisers are looking for more opportunities to get their messages in front of the right audience.
How often do we receive mobile ads on our phones?
As my last post referenced, to avoid being bombarded with ads, I prefer watching shows via DVR, Netflix or Hulu. But, it appears that, advertisers are looking for new and inventive ways to communicate to customers. Companies like Google offer “mobile ads” to help you to reach audiences on-the-go. Mobile ads appear on mobile devices in Google search results, on content websites, in apps and video. They are useful to help business reach people as they use their smartphones and tablets throughout the day. Research, per Google Mobile Ads, show that “90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal, so reaching customers on-the-go is more important than ever before.” We’re no longer sitting on our couches to watch TV or reading a physical newspapers. We are constantly on the go. As a result, media is emerging to fit our lifestyles and with that comes changes to the way brands try to reach us.
In the last few years, I’ve noticed my television watching has changed. I no longer watch shows on an actual television. I either watch on my computer or tablet via Netflix, Hulu or on “the go” via my cable provider. With today’s demanding schedule, I have little to no time to watch a show when it actually airs. I prefer this method as it is convenient. Many of my friends feel similarly. Plus, Hulu and Netflix offer great pricing compared to the actual cable bill.
Apparently millions of consumers feel the same way that I do. In 2013, 1.8 million people unsubscribed from cable television. Now, this could be a combination of willing and unwilling customers. However, it is a figure that should be analyzed.
So what is at jeopardy? Ad dollars of course! In 2014, cable TV providers received $12 billion on advertisements aired on TV dramas in 2013. In addition, these gigantic broadcasting companies collected $6 billion advertising dollars from news and sitcom programs. If Netflix and Hulu are taking away customers, they will also take advertisers with them. And this could affect the bottom line for cable providers. Commercial advertisements are how millions of companies communicate to consumers on a daily basis. This could lead to new and more creative methods of advertising; like the smart shirt I discussed in my last post.
But then again, I prefer to watch shows on Netflix and Hulu due to the commercial free segments in most cases. So the advertisers following suit on these mediums could lead to the development of another medium. And with today’s need for new, it is only a matter of time before another competitor enters the ring.