As the digital market evolves, marketers are continuously forced to pivot, adopt new strategies, and fix old mistakes. New technology frequently changes the game, and as opportunities crop up, experienced professionals jump on bandwagons – and are prepared to jump off when marketing methods lose their shiny luster.
Pokemon Go marketing is one such fad. It's new, it's fun, and many local retailers are benefiting from the craze. It's probably temporary, but finding ways to exploit a fad is a great way to introduce your business to new customers and build repeat business. You can't argue that kind of reasoning.
But you do need some long-term strategies. Here are some of the digital sales strategies that help you focus your ad spending with pinpoint targeting.
Geotargeting and Local Optimization
Last year, Google changed its algorithm to favor hyper-local search results. When a user searches for a term, say "oil change," Google makes an effort to return not only the best possible results, but the best results in the immediate area. Google goes beyond zip code proximity, using its street mapping technology to drill down to neighborhood.
Local businesses who optimize their websites for local search comes out on top – at the exact moment when a user is searching for their product/service.
Location is also useful in ad placement. Geotargeting is the practice of narrowing your target audience through location. Since online is a global arena, do you really want to pay to have your ads shown to an audience that can't buy your product, or speaks a different language? Of course not.
Beacons are another interesting use of location technology. When a customer enters a store, their cell phone pings and retailers can reward customer behaviors, offer discounts, or provide information. Home Depot does this particularly well, with an app that features augmented reality to show customers how store items will look in their own homes, real-time inventory, and an in-store mode designed to help shoppers find items, in addition to the usual customer perks.
Remarketing and Retargeting
Remarketing and retargeting are similar, and very effective, concepts. Remarketing is showing you the same thing you've already seen. While it may sound annoying, it's effective. You've already searched for this exactly item, and did not buy.
Mattan Danino, CEO of WEBITMD says, "Remarketing is a critical and often underutilized element for lead generation and eCommerce businesses. Showing potential customers your offering on various,well known high traffic platforms (Facebook, YouTube, New York Times etc.) which they have seen but not yet converted on renews their interest, provides a renewed engagement and conversion opportunity and reinforces your brand at the same time. Remarketing is a highly effective and economical PPC strategy."
Retargeting is an upsell tactic you've seen a thousand times. When you browse a product, retailers show you other products they think you'll like, or related products other customers have ordered. You also see related-product ads on sites other than the retailer.
On his blog, Neil Patel says, "I see remarketing more as an umbrella term for marketing to the same prospect multiple times, whereas retargeting really is targeting online ads at the same traffic again and again."
Still in its early stages, predictive analytics is the fascinating science of predicting future behavior. Not what you want today, but what you're most likely to want tomorrow.
The concept isn't exactly new. Fashion buyers have been predicting trends for as long as the fashion industry has been a thing. What's new is data analysis tools and predictive model software. It's no longer a guessing game. It works by identifying behavioral patterns by analyzing everything from "people who buy this also buy this" to demographic information to the customer's own buying habits.
The biggest shortcoming in predictive analytics is lack of good data. Collect the right dataset and you have the power to read your customer's minds.
Digital marketing it's harder to cut through the noise and reach your customers every day. Successful businesses figure out exactly what their customers want, and then find the most effective way to deliver it. That's the real secret to digital marketing success.