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Marketers Leverage New Technology to Expand Reach

1 Jul 2015 by Susie Steckner

Technology is constantly evolving — not unlike a living organism. It isn’t static. It isn’t constant. Which makes it disruptive. Businesses, even niche businesses, often forget to, or choose not to, evolve with technology and are turned upside down — because their products, their policies, their customer interface becomes, simply put, outdated. We live in a consumer-driven world, and we are often drawn to technology everything — from convenience to novelty. This is Insight’s Disruptive Technology series. We will be addressing how technology enters an industry and does exactly that — disrupts.

When Moses Inc. took on a new client in GAEMS, which stands for Gaming and Entertainment Mobile Systems, they also took on a new marketing strategy: connecting with online influencers.

Moses, a Phoenix-based digital marketing agency, tracks key online influencers who can quickly help expand GAEMS’ reach in the world of video gaming. The agency then seeds influencers with product — professional gaming monitors or portable “personal gaming environments” — to promote across various social media platforms. One major influencer alone is working on a series of video and picture endorsements for YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

With huge numbers of followers, larger than the circulation of once-dominant, major daily newspapers, Moses knows influencers can quickly bring a great ROI for their client.

“Whether it’s tapping into the newest social media platform or having our public relations team work with top social media influencers, the game is always changing. We need to change with it,” says Lauren Tree, Moses’ associate creative director.

Game-changing innovation

Mastering new innovations is vital for marketing execs and their teams, said Amy Protexter, Insight’s vice president of marketing.

Innovations are ever-evolving, and the list of them goes on and on: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), predictive analytics (big data), social media, customer experience, Web strategy, behavioral-based digital advertising, mobile, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), search, content marketing, sales enablement, personalization, email marketing, events and webinars, creative and design.

“Business-to-Business (B2B) buyers rely on the Web and social media to conduct 70–90% of their buying journey,” Protexter said. “So marketing executives must leverage technology to ensure their companies show up all along that journey.”

Fueling the journey

Not surprisingly, the journey is increasingly being fueled by mobile. It is driving everything from awareness and image, to purchase intent and actual behavior, according to a new Mobile Marketing Association study.

“The importance of mobile search, mobile optimization, mobile conversions and mobile ubiquity cannot be overstated,” said Neil Patel, author, entrepreneur and Forbes contributor. “Mobile devices and our collective addiction to them are fixtures of the modern marketing era.”

A key mobile move right now, of course, is video. In that universe, micro videos on platforms like Vine or Instagram are the clear attention-getters. Consider Oreo cookie’s whimsical vines with more than 3 million loops or Burberry’s award-winning, slow-motion Instagram video. 

Experts say these micro videos are crucial disrupters in the industry.

“Apps like Vine are giving advertisers the ability to connect with a younger demographic in a humorous way through the voices of virtual celebrity figures,” Moses’ Tree said. “There are several Viners with huge fan bases that have had a tremendous influence on pop culture, and they have proven to be a valuable resource for speaking directly to Generations Y and Z.”

Must-see stop

As mobile is fueling the journey, storytelling is becoming the must-see stop along the way.

Storytelling works for any brand, any size. It can be used across different platforms. It can offer the big picture or a six-second glimpse. And stories can be told by almost anyone.

Think an entrepreneur’s humble beginnings. A customer’s fun experience. An owner’s lighter side. A company’s local or global impact. A brand’s community give back.

Think Airbnb’s site, with ambient video capturing a woman reading the newspaper on a sun-drenched balcony that overlooks the Eiffel Tower. Story told.

Social media platforms, of course, are most successfully playing into this trend. They are propelling storytelling, in ways big and small, like never before.

“Pinterest is a powerful platform that, just over five years ago, none of us had even heard of,” Tree said. “It allows our clients to engage with their target audience in a nonintrusive way. Through something as simple as repinning, brands get the opportunity to create an emotional connection with the consumer in exchange for valuable information or inspiration.”

A smooth or bumpy ride

Innovations that boost the consumer experience will make for a sometimes bumpy, sometimes smooth ride. Text messaging is a perfect example. Irrelevant Short Message Service (SMS) — bumpy. Informational SMS — smooth.

Take ACE Hardware’s noteworthy SMS campaign to offer timely, location-based weather alerts. The goal: provide relevant information, deepen the customer relationship and provide more value.

“SMS is a great way for brands to connect with consumers on a deeper level,’’ according to Mobile Marketer. “Additionally, marketers are able to build their databases to better target users in the near future.”

Marketing innovations will continue to fuel the journey, create destinations along the way and enhance the ride.