Digital media is becoming predominant in marketing these days, but how far they reach to the mass audience is the question. The growth of the digital marketing industry has led to an upsurge in digital marketing certification courses and demand for new age digital marketers. While undoubtedly digital marketing fetch great results for the business when it comes to the mass market how effective is it really? Let’s see:
It is a form of an undifferentiated market that comprises a vast group of end consumers with widely varied background and demographics. As opposed to a niche market, the mass market is not segmented based on lifestyles or preferences. If a company produces a product that is useful to a wide variety of consumers, then it is said to have a mass-market appeal. Wouldn’t it be just great only if companies were able to produce this mass-market appeal for all their products?
Digital marketing provides affordable access to the mass market, unlike mass media channels of TV or newspaper. It aims to target a section of the mass market, by categorizing them into several segments based on their demographics or preferences.
In contrast with mass marketing that targets a wide section of the consumers as a whole, digital marketing is more of a ‘micro-marketing’ that segregates consumers based on different criteria. With digital marketing, it is not possible to target the mass market as a whole.
According to a book by Byron Sharp named “How brands grow”, the author has emphasized that digital marketing is very narrow-minded and does not focus on long-term results. Instead, marketers should replace targeting with sophisticated mass marketing in order to gain greater visibility. Now, this is a very interesting viewpoint.
However, segmentation and targeting that is used predominantly in digital marketing, if done in the right way, it does get your brand visibility and reach the right audience. But how effective it is on the broader mass market?
There is no doubt that targeted marketing is used by brands to deliver personalization, which leads to greater visibility, engagement and conversion rates. But, there should be the right mix of targeted marketing as well as mass marketing strategies to stay visible in the market. According to the IPA’s Social Works Personalisation guide published in March 2017, broader marketing and micro-marketing techniques should be used in tandem to deliver increased brand relevance and visibility in the market.
There is no one size fits all approach in the digital landscape. Digital channels of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and more tend to downsize the mass audience into small groups. For example, for a new product, the prime focus is to reach mass awareness. Whereas for established products, it is more of converting existing awareness to some sort of action and nudge the consumer to buy. Both of the cases require radical approaches to marketing.
In order to measure the success of a digital marketing strategy, you need absolute clarity about what you want to achieve. Each digital channel is different in terms of its reach, engagement and conversion. You might be surprised to note that effectiveness is really hard to measure in certain digital channels. In fact, Facebook had admitted last year that it overstated for how long users watch videos on their site by up to 80%.
It is more important than ever to find new effectiveness metrics. More CEOs are urging Facebook and Google to step up and find a system of reliable metrics to measure the effectiveness of using their platform to market.
Beyond reach, it is time to stress on attentive reach that takes into consideration more than just ‘viewability’. No doubt social media and other digital channels help you take notice of several brand names, but more than just viewing do they lead to real-time conversions?
Marketers need to analyze how many views their campaign has generated, its reach and the average watch time. Nevertheless reach is important, but on its own, it is not really good enough.
Now that with digital marketing, we are armed with the ability to tweak marketing campaigns in real time, marketers must resist the temptation to make knee-jerk decisions, which tend to take them away from success. It is important to know what you are tracking and how effectively you are tracking so that you can tweak the campaigns when needed.
The amount of data that is available in digital channels is immense and is indeed lauded for its ability to allow brands to make effective marketing campaigns. With growing demand in the market for digital marketing certification programs and jobs, there is no doubt about its immaculate growth.
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