Say you frequent the local gym. Each time you work out, you increase the number of repetitions of the same exercise. This improves endurance, but you won’t make any progress if you don’t increase the weight. You’re working out, sure, but you aren’t building muscle. The same can be said about marketing strategies.
We’ve all heard it said that ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’, but when it comes to marketing, it’s unrealistic. Using the same strategies every time might sustain your client base, but won’t promote growth or improvement.
And isn’t that what every business wants- growth, innovation, improvement?
A thorough advertising campaign is fundamental to any business. By changing your approach even the tiniest bit, you will reap significant rewards.
Changing with the times
What we think of as advertising has been developing through much of recent history. In the last century, traditional advertising has evolved from primarily print sources like newspapers, magazines, and billboards. The technological boom of the 20th century brought about radio and television ads. And when the internet took off, advertising took a new form- online advertisements, geographically-based targeting, and promoted content, among others. Each of these methods offers a unique advantage, but what they all have in common is that they are easily adaptable.
In the world of business, stagnancy can be lethal. There is no better example of this solemn truth than the newspaper industry. A unique blend of both standalone product and advertising platform, print newspapers were threatened by the digital era’s demand for modernization. Larger publications like the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times were able to amass an online following and jump this hurdle with ease. They and others experimented with the use of paywalls, combination print and digital advertising packages, banner and pop-up ads, and other innovative strategies. And still, as more and more people preferred reading the news online, print papers struggled in maintaining a solid readership.
The Pew Research Center tells us that while the newspaper industry has been able to adapt, even more could be done. While papers across the country are reporting that about 25 per cent of their advertising revenue comes through digital channels, they also indicated that newspaper revenues have been in decline for years. The year 2015 marked the lowest revenues for print newspapers since the Great Recession, down nearly eight per cent. Circulation numbers are down seven per cent on weekdays and four per cent on Sunday subscriptions as well. In terms of their workforce, it has shrunk by nearly 39 per cent- that’s 20,000 jobs gone in the past two decades alone.
While the powerhouse publishers were able to successfully navigate the brave new world of digital media, not all were so lucky. From 2004 to 2014, over one hundred newspapers closed their doors completely. Your business could be at risk, too, unless you dip a toe into the pond of innovative marketing strategies.
Following the trends
Innovation is essential to growing your business. As such, it is essential to open up to the idea of innovative marketing strategies. By trying something new and unique, you might catch the eye of a new demographic, attract more web traffic, or experiment with branding.
If you’re currently engaging in a small marketing package (think SEO for your website, a blog post here and there), you’ve likely seen the benefits. Implementing SEO research can help to increase your site’s visibility, particularly via search engines, and makes your business that much more accessible. Additionally, blogging gives you the opportunity to emphasize these SEO phrases and promote engagement. But is there something more you should be doing?
The answer: yes. Trends, consumer interests, technology- these things are changing rapidly every week, day, even by the hour. As these things shift, it’s important to keep up by adapting your marketing strategy.
Are you active on social media? If so, what platforms are you on? Are there others you could break into? What about email campaigns or newsletters? Could you update your website’s look and feel? These are just a few ideas to help you evaluate your approach to marketing. Each small change could be an opportunity for success.
Over the years and across mediums, there have been memorable advertising campaigns that helped small companies to skyrocket in notoriety. AdAge recently published a list of their top 15 campaigns of the 21st century, and you’re sure to recognize most of them. For example, the list includes one that anyone who’s watched television in the past decade has surely encountered: a certain interesting man by Dos Equis.
Dos Equis has been sold in the US for decades, but before their phenomenal ad premiered in 2006, it was far less visible. EuroRSCG, the company’s ad agency, designed the campaign, and the ad was a home run as soon as it hit the airwaves.
These “Most Interesting” commercials have grown Dos Equis dramatically and significantly increased their global ranking. USA Today reported that sales increased by 34.8 percent between 2007 and 2015, even with the retirement of the advertisement’s original actor. That figure speaks to incredible growth — and to incredible marketing.
EuroRSCG’s former CCO, Jeff Kling, recalls chatting with an executive at Dos Equis’ parent company, Heineken, right before the ad ran. The exec was skeptical, as AdAge reports, but Kling was confident that trying something new would pay off. The rest, as they say, is history.
Like “The Most Interesting Man” or “Got Milk?” some campaigns are iconic. It can be hard to take the leap when comparing yourself and your business to these titans, but for your business to thrive, you have to take that chance. Trying something different not only gives you room for experimentation, it also allows you to adapt to new audiences and changing markets, shift your approach, as well as harness the power of emerging technology. Not to mention, your ad might go viral.
When strategizing your marketing approach, don’t just recycle your strategy. Take a note from the Most Interesting Man in the World, and “stay thirsty.”