Impact and Trends in Online Marketing

When talking about impact and trends in Online Marketing we can start by two different approaches: analyzing how trends outside the online environment change the course of online marketing strategies; or analyzing the opposite situation, studying the impact of social media and online campaigns on people lives.

According to MacMillan Dictionary, a trend can be defined as ‘a gradual change or development that produces a particular result’. Horgan[1] also defines Marketing Trends as a pattern of business behavior, emphasizing the idea of attracting potential consumers to your business by taking advantage in the connection of a trend, users and your brand.

Although trends reflect people behavior, they can also change people behavior for a lifetime, impacting in culture, business and economy. A good example of this situation takes place in Brazil. In May of 2010 a (trend) band would give a night of autographs but the event became huger than it was supposed to be and fans started complaining on Twitter. A viral video[3] about the situation started to be shared and the movement on complaining about what happened took enormous proportions.  Since then Brazilian users started using, not only Twitter, but also Facebook and other social media, to require rights and protest on brands and business. So business started to change the way of interaction with users. Social media became a communication channel and statistics show that, if you have a problem with a brand or business in Brazil, complaining about in on Twitter will give you better results than claiming to PROCON[1]. In fact complaining in social media in Brazil is about 8.4 thousand times more efficient than in any other kind of media.

Average answer time by Brazilian companies in different media

Media

First answer

Definitive resolution

Twitter

5 minutes – 2 hours

24 hours

Facebook

30 minutes – 6 hours

24 hours

Chat (by telephone or web)

5 working days

More than 5 working days

PROCON

1 month

No deadline for resolution

 

This situation reflects how a trend impacts in society. After that, nowadays it is common trying to get in touch with a brand first by one of their social media in order to have a problem solved. Business changed how they acted in front of complains, also. Good average answer time is used as quality parameter and brands use it to promote themselves.

In the other hand, trends in online environments can also change the offline world.

Although interaction and its effects are the most visible impact items, it is pretty easy to add other items to the list. 

Foursquare is a good example to talk about. The application that allows you to check in and tell your friends where you are has become a trend and has more than 25 million users worldwide. Because of it, companies started to look at Foursquare as a marketing tool and a lot of campaigns and actions started to happen – you can get free drinks when you check in in some clubs, for example.

foursquare-check-in-here

 

Websites of collective purchasing such as Groupon have also become a huge trend and opened a lot of opportunities to all kinds of business; companies use this kind of website to promote the brand or service, offering it to consumers by lower prices. If in the beginning Groupon had to put a lot of effort and money to promote itself, nowadays the scenario changed completely and the business has global presence, with thousands of users looking for offers every day and other hundreds of websites inspiring their business on them.

Paying attention to new Online Marketing Trends

When talking about online marketing trends is it important to have in mind that the scenario changes constantly, so brands need to be alert.

The ability to make predictions is a powerful action when talking about any kind of business, but it has a special need when talking about online campaigns. It is impossible to know for sure what application will be the next trend, but it is possible to predict some actions studying users’ behavior.

It might be impossible to say Foursquare would become a trend for example, but by studying the increase of use of GPS and applications that could identify geo-localization it was easier to predict it.

With a brief analysis of nowadays users’ behavior we can see that mobile apps are becoming a trend. So this may be a nice area of exploration for marketing.

To make sure some action will work for your brand it is crucial to understand your costumers, the trends they are into and also changes happening that might be interesting to them. Using new kind of formats like videos, for example, may not be affordable in every situation if you do not really reach consumers that can pay it back to your business.

New formats of advertising are being tested all the time. If in the past paper and TV were the only way to spread ideas, nowadays we have a large number of options. Promoting a brand is not only about advertising anymore, but working with creativity and understanding changes in society.

 

 


Notes

[1] PROCON – (Protection Agency of Consumer Affairs) operates throughout Brazil in consumer protection, and guides consumers in their complaints, informs about their rights, and enforces consumer relations.


References

[1] HORGAN, Richard. “What Is the Definition of a Marketing Trend?.” Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. October 5, 2012 . <http://www.sophisticatededge.com/what-is-the-definition-of-a-marketing-trend.html>.

[2] MacMillan Dictionary. <http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/trend>. Accessed on October 5, 2012.

[3] Children rebel in canceling show in Brazil. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s1w2NZrioE>. Accessed on October 5, 2012.

[4] MARTINS, Rodrigo. “Reclamar no Twitter é mais eficaz do que no PROCON”. <http://blogs.estadao.com.br/rodrigo-martins/2011/10/13/reclamar-no-twitter-e-84-mil-vezes-mais-eficaz-que-no-procon/>. Accessed on October 6, 2012.

[5] GARDNER, Jonathan. “5 Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore”. <http://mashable.com/2012/03/05/future-digital-marketing-trends/>. Accessed on October 6, 2012.

 

 

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