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Digital promotion is the use of one or more forms of electronic media to market or advertise a product or brand. Marketing or advertising platforms that may be used can include social media, electronic billboards, mobile phones and tablets. An example of how a brand or organisation may be to advertise on another public website, on their own website or to use or create a mobile application to promote their product or service.
The term digital promotion was first introduced and used loosely in the 1990s with the development of the internet and the creation of search engines such as Yahoo in 1994 and google in 1998. Within five years Digital promotion for business had dramatically increased globally and in 2004 within the United States alone brought in $2.4 Billion revenue.
Soon after this came the introduction and development of social media websites such as Myspace and Facebook, which was soon seen as a gold mine for digital promotion and growth in businesses. It sprung new ways for companies to interact directly within their customer base and also find and develop new ways to connect with larger target markets in order to expand their businesses. This became extremely useful for startups or small ventures as they now had platforms to promote and market their product or service digitally free of charge.
Digital promotion is generally used as a part of a company or organisations digital marketing strategy implemented to increase sales of a product or service and or to drive awareness of the brand to a larger audience. This is predominantly done through social media and search engine marketing (SEM).
In today's modern world digital promotion is considered to be crucial with not only customers but competitors in the market being constantly active online. It has generated a completely new way to be competitive in a market place, a large portion of a companies brand is the quality of its digital or online presence. In a modern world where 96% of people aged between 18–29 years old and 93% of people 30–49 years old are actively using the internet it is clear why dominant online and a huge focus on Digital promotion with brands is at the top of any major successful marketing strategy.
These statistics are the reason why digital promotion is considered to be essential in the modern world especially with the ability to access the internet from mobiles phones while consumers are on the go. Research shows that 48.8% of mobile phone users are accessing the internet on their devices and that statistic is predicted to grow by a further 20% by the year 2019, which can explain the push of advertising and promotions on mobile devices such as cellphones and tablets due to the change in the behaviour of consumers due to spending more time online visiting digital platforms.
A major benefit of running a business promotion online digitally is not only its ability to instantly reach millions of potential customers or client but the ability to capture and contain data such as target audiences, geographic locations and age groups that are viewing the businesses promotions or advertisements. This makes basic market research a simple task when a business can use an application such as google analytics to retrieve and view information like this.
The future for what digital promotion holds is unclear as is changing dramatically all the time. This makes it hard for leading marketers around the globe to keep up to date with the development of technology and trends within consumers. The latest development in the digital area is the release of Virtual Reality. An example of one of the first uses of Virtual Reality being used for digital promotion happened in 2015 when the New York Times sent 1.1 Million Google Cardboard headsets out to its print subscribers while alongside releasing content on their website that the users could access and use with these headsets combined with their mobile smartphones. The content created news stories and also brand promotions such as the VR video of test driving the new Volvo XC90 where the user feels as if they are driving the car around a race track in the drivers seat. This promotion by The New York Times showed what is possible in Digital Promotion heading into the future with new technologies such as VR. Non-print subscribers were also able to purchase the NYT VR (New York Times Virtual Reality) headsets for $30.
Digital technology has revolutionized promotional marketing. Brand owners have better access to huge and global audiences. Brand owners must take great care with the detail of their promotions as any flaw can be easily exploited at huge cost to their bottom lines and reputations. Hoover‘s free flights campaign remains a lesson to all promotional .
Creating a promotion online is easy now, especially within social network sites. The main advantages of running a promotion partially or entirely online are:
- Its easy to reach out to millions of people in a short period of time
- Results are instantly measurable
- Consumer data can be easily captured, stored and integrated
- Its time saving and cost effective as well.
There are a number of additional associated benefits:
- Generating traffic to a brand’s website participation of users in the promotion.
- Increased search engine visibility for the brand generally and the potential to improve the rankings of the brand’s overall web-presence.
- The ability to up or cross-sell consumers as part of the promotional mechanism if desired.
The Disadvantages: It’s important to remember that the benefits of being online can backfire if things are not planned properly and executed well.
- Ease of access can mean higher than expected redemption levels and can lead to unexpected costs.
- An aggressive online campaign increases the risk of banner blindness, leading to a high number of unviewed advertising.
- A promotion’s flaw or loop-hole can be exploited by many thousands of consumers within hours via social networking, email etc., as consumers increasingly prefer to use social networks and community interest forums to air their grievances.
- Users creating unique entries, thousands of times, through the use of multiple email addresses.
- Hackers trying to cheat or, more likely, steal user data.
- The issue of data security is both a legislative one and also a crucial requirement in ensuring the integrity of the promotion and avoiding the negative PR.
- Anything online is global by nature. It will attract users from countries other than the one for which the promotion is intended.
- Solving flaw or loop-hole and dealing with its ramifications can be challenging and costly, followed by backlash from disgruntled customers.
T.A.S.C.S. are the five key elements to ensure the success of Online/Digital Promotion:
- Trustworthiness be transparent in execution- Clarity and transparency assures trust.
- Availability easy to access based on local laws- make sure that the services are available easily and at all times, also be aware of the local data laws.
- Security in infrastructure and in code logic- all the advantages should strictly follow the best practices to ensure that all code is built, securely.
- Clarity in communication and mechanic- be clear about who the promotion is targeting in terms of the age of intended respondents and their location.
- Safety user data is properly protected and stored- be aware that user data is extremely valuable to spammers, phishers and other malicious users and so take the necessary and precautionary measures.
A trustworthy, accessible, secure, clear, and safe online promotion can bring measurable benefits to the brand and for future promotions.
- Google Analytics
- Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that records website traffic using cookies. Web analytics is the measurement, analysis, collection and reporting of web data for purposes of understanding and optimising web usage. Google analytics are widely used through Digital Marketing and Promotions as it allows a brand or organisations marketing department the ability to track the amount of traffic and attention ads or promotions are gaining online while also extending the ability to use this information for better placement of online advertising or promotions. This information makes it easier to understand and tailor the content or promotions a business uploads on their digital platforms across the internet weather it be Social media, web pages, search engines or mobile devices. Using web analytic tools such as Google Analytics allows business to view information on their customer base such as age groups, geographic locations and how long customers are spending on their promotional platforms. This information gives the ability to segment markets easily and target specific digital promotions to specific audiences i.e. 35-45 year old males, living in Sydney, Australia. It also allows business or organisations to see if these customers are returning to visit promotions or content or if they are single unique viewers or in the case of social media if these customers have seen a promotion and in return subscribed to the businesses page or online channel.
- AdWords is Google's advertising system in which advertisers bid on certain keywords in order for their clickable ads to appear in Google's top search results. Initially released in 2000 Adwords is now google primary source of income generating $67.39 Billion revenue in 2016. Strong use of Google Adwords wishing business for their marketing and advertising is considered to be crucial in the creation or implementation of a great digital strategy.
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