Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Marketing Execs - Don't Let your Messages get Lost in the Digital Noise

As a marketing executive, it is sometimes disheartening to develop great advertisement only to see it lost in the digital noise. Research has shown that online advertising clutter has a negative impact on consumer’s perception of an advertiser’s products and services. As a graduate student in Integrated Marketing Communications program, I have found two articles which address your concerns, you will find what you need to cut through the noise in online advertising and effectively reach your target audience.

Digital advertising has not only become indispensable, but also a major field of competition among marketers' struggle to attract attention and drive revenue. However, digital marketing has been dogged with issues like lack of trust, weak customer engagement and they are easily filtered or ignored, according to  in her article, The State of Digital AdvertisingAlong with the development of information technology, marketers have also developed new ways to engage with consumers online. Native advertising, content marketing and online video are on the hot list of buzzwords for advertisers in the past year. The author looks into the future and concludes that we will see more personal stories by brands, and better forms of native advertising.  


Britt Klontz also emphasizes on the severity of 'the onslaught of content creation for SEO and traffic-increase purposes over the past few years' in her article Standing out from the Clutter: What we can Learn from Traditional Advertising. Marketers today need more than banner ads, infographic, or another interactive visualization to cut through the digital noise and reach other target audience. Marketer's goal should be 'to make sure we’re creating content that stands out, not content that is adding to the clutter'.

Based on the findings from these two articles and my work at Northwestern, here are three action items you need to consider when creating online advertising content: 

1. Personalization 
With a deep understanding of your target customers, marketers should be able to produce different content for different customers according to their online behavior, their needs and motivation. By providing a more personalized experience, marketers will make consumers feel related, and willing to engage. 
2. Creative and Original Content 
Brands should be able to offer unique information to consumers. Instead of marketing a product, try to tell a story, it could be a story between a consumer that benefited from your brand, or a story of how your product is made, or a story of your employee. Instead of aiming to sell, try to provide useful and original information. It could be the 'how-to' articles or tutorial videos. 

3. Utilizing Multimedia
Once you have your content ready, remember to use online, mobile and traditional advertising platforms to maximize exposure to your target audience. Engagement is a two way relationship led by the advertiser. The goal is to reach each and everyone of your target group, and enable people to reach out to you as well. Combine live events with social media, and facilitate interaction through all channels. 

By following the three action items, I believe you will be able to create advertisements that engage your target audience, increase brand awareness, create a mutual beneficial relationship with your customers, and as a result, achieve your sales goals.





Chloe Xu is a graduate student in Integrated Marketing Communications program at Medill, Northwestern University. 

Her passions are digital marketing and marketing analytics. Prior to IMC, she worked as a Marketing and Sales Specialist in an intelligence & consulting firm in automobile industry. Her clients included GM, Ford, Chrysler, Tesla, DS, Honda, VW, Chery, etc.

Contact:
Follow her on Twitter: @chloeIMC
Full resume on LinkedIn: 
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/chloe-jingxian-xu/68/b37/791

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