What do 3.9 billion people (more than half the world’s population) have in common? They are all Internet users. That’s a huge number of adults active online, and for brands, this is more than just a mere number. To them, this means that there’s a shift in consumer characteristics. And when the audience has shifted base, it’s only natural that brands follow suit to reach out to them.
So, where does that leave that monolith of traditional advertising – television ads? Given that there’s a significant shift in how people are consuming entertainment these days, TV shows have become restricted to a certain segment of the audience, namely people in their late 40’s, 50’s, and beyond. The younger audience is discovering the joys of streaming sites like Netflix, HotStar, and Amazon Prime, and while this has lead to a wave of fairly intelligent and interactive advertising on digital mediums, TVCs have yet to evolve as rapidly.
Numbers never lie, and the first decisive factor in the success of digital marketing is the stats. In India alone, there are 500 million Internet users. In contrast, there are only 197 million TV owners. There’s not much room left to guess, then, about which of the two will give brands a bigger reach. And to no one’s surprise, brands have been quick to adapt. They aren’t doing away with TV commercials entirely (after all, TVCs have been around for long, and will not be easily cast aside) but they’ve ventured into the world of digital marketing. And boy, did the marketers find a realm of vast possibilities! With all the things that one can do – social media, blogs, adverts, email marketing, and more – more and more brands are investing in digital marketing.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and more – all these platforms are a part of social media marketing, which contribute towards content marketing, which, in turn, is a part of digital marketing. A little bit of inception thing going on here, but you get the drift. Social media marketing in itself is a big category with endless possibilities, from regular posts and contests to campaigns and giveaways, and more. It’s a great way to use the content for a variety of purposes – lead generation, brand visibility, and of course, engagement.
Taco Bell is an excellent example of churning out successful social media campaigns one after the other, much like their delicious food. They also engage in amusing banter with other brands and competitors, which makes them seem more ‘real’. Unlike TVC ads where the viewer is passive, social media marketing allows for interaction between the customers and the brands, bringing the two closer and fostering a trustworthy relationship.
Gone are the days when brands would advertise their products and services without putting much thought into them. While mindless jingles can be catchy and help a brand get a high recall value, it doesn’t necessarily translate into conversions and retained customers. With people exposed to all sorts of ads on every digital platform, they know a good ad from a bad one, which has forced marketers to make a conscious effort to improve their content. Brands across the board, from food delivery apps like Zomato to condoms brands like Durex, are focusing more on their digital and social media ads showcasing brilliant content. Their posts contain very little content but they’re ingenious, nonetheless, and pack quite the punch. That’s what makes followers come back for more, and that’s how they stay on to become brand loyalists.
It’s no secret: Producing TV commercials cost a bomb. More so, if you want a prime time slot. It doesn’t matter if you, as a brand, you can afford it. The real issue is that with TVCs, you have no way of knowing whether your investment is bringing in any revenue.
Let’s say you run a TV campaign: Are you sure that the campaign is reaching the target audience? How do you map its reach? How do you know who watched it and who turned the television off?
Calculating ROI for digital marketing, on the other hand, is a piece of cake, all thanks to a multitude of tools to help track all progress. From pay per click (PPC) ads to landing pages, rate of engagement to lead generation and more – these are all ways in which a marketer can closely monitor the success of their marketing strategies.
Clearly, digital marketing is on a steady rise. But before you completely disregard TV marketing, you should know that they aren’t completely ineffective. Each medium has its pros and cons, and in the field of marketing, your audience matters the most. So, as a brand, know your customer demographics and choose the more relevant medium.
So, which of the two is going to be your marketing platform?