Advertising and marketing experts the world over this month celebrated the finding of what they think could be the world’s oldest Tag Heuer advert. Dating back some 450 years, a painting of a man wearing what seems to be an early version of one of the brand’s master watch pieces has just seen the light of day. Painted by renaissance artist, Maso da San Friano depicts Cosimo I de Medici, the Duke of Florence, holding a smart golden timepiece which bears a discreet Tag Heuer logo.
Whether authentic or not, marketing has come along when since and changed considerably in the last few years as we enter a new age. Although some call it ‘The Age of the Unsustainable Economy’ from a business marketing standpoint we are entering ‘The Information Age’ where anyone can access and share information easily and freely. So is your company prepared and ready to take on this new demanding consumer age head-on?
If not then let’s look at five key areas of digital marketing that you really should address in your organization sooner rather than later.
1. Welcome to the mobile web
If you haven’t noticed already things are ‘moving’ even faster across the World Wide Web – quite literally. One third or 36% of Australians accessed the internet via their smart phone, a recent Nielsen survey revealed. If your company website isn’t ‘smart phone friendly’ then your online audience is will be diminishing. Create a ‘mobile only’ version of your web portal or even a Web App that will enhance the customer mobile experience.
2. Search engine optimisation
According to a Netcraft Web Server Survey from late last year there are around 300 million websites available on world wide web, increasing at a rate of 7 million active websites every couple of months – no wonder no-one can find you on the net! Sure a potential customer can type in your website address or URL and come straight to your site but that is like coming straight to your house and knocking on the door. Unless they have been directed from another site they are probably already existing customers anyway that know how to find you – what about the thousands of potential customers who need your product or service but don’t know who you are?
As the information superhighway gets more and more congested the need for sophisticated search engine optimisation (SEO) gets greater.
3. The art of personal branding
As the CEO or other key person in your organisation it is vital that you have a ‘personal branding strategy’ in place for this new age. People buy from people whether face to face or by perception over the net, your online profile must be professional, reflect the company corporate brand and deliver a positive message to the masses. Whether via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or the new Google+ your personal brand must be consistent and managed effectively. Consider engaging a social media specialist to oversee this for you or sign up to an online service like ‘Brand Yourself’ so that you can easily manage your social media platform and more importantly monitor it. Any bad press whether true or not can display prominently on Google unless you have enough positive articles, links or profiles to take dominance.
4. Video content is king
More than three quarters of online Australians (77%) watch video content on their computer and a further 26% watch video on their mobile phone – video is by far the biggest driver of internet activity in the new information age. Without video your company website will often be seen by the new consumer as broken or behind the times. Online visitors will expect video walkthroughs of your latest projects, testimonial clips from your customers, a welcome video from the CEO and ‘how to’ segments around getting the best user experience from your product or service. Uploading and broadcasting video has become accessible and affordable to all thanks to platforms like YouTube however quality is still paramount. Invest in professionally produced video clips broadcast in high-definition so that your message is clear, polished and stands head and shoulders over the general low quality clutter available on the net.
5. Build your PR
With the growth of the internet and the birth of the ‘information age’ comes a substantial increase in target-marketed, online-only publications. As a specialist in your field you should share your knowledge and experience via these information sources, create a Blog and make regular specialised posts and contribute to online discussion via LinkedIn groups and forums. Besides assisting with your online ranking internet savy, information hungry consumers will see you as a leader in your field and by default your company too.
If you think that the ‘information age’ is a little mind boggling just think that it took radio broadcasters 38 years to reach an audience of 50 million, television 13 years and the Internet just four. Facebook alone took only four months to reach a million people and the new Google+ release in June this year already has attracted 10 million users. Welcome to the ‘information age’ – fasten your seatbelt and hang-on tight.
Tony Eades is the creative director of the BrandManager, a creative, marketing and communications agency based in Sydney and Perth. He is a business branding expert with more than 20 years experience in design, marketing, advertising and media production.