Top advertisers can be found in UK and in the US. These are the companies that spend millions and billions for advertising alone. Imagine how much they are spending in total for the complete marketing and sales funnel, let alone the company’s entire expenditure.
Last year, 2013, a record shows that British Sky Broadcasting Ltd is UK’s top advertiser with a budget going over 260 million pounds for advertising. Its previous year’s budget forecasts the next year’s expenditure to increase by 9 percent—this is real deal advertising. Following it in rank is Procter and Gamble Ltd which marks a huge gap from British Sky Broadcasting in advertising spending about 50 percent lesser.
In the U.S., AT&T has always been in the top list of biggest spenders in advertising. In 2012 alone, a research reported AT&T spending a total of 1.6 billion dollars in advertising which made it snatch the first rank in the list of US’s biggest advertisers. Verizon and Chevrolet rank close by.
To which advertising do these companies invest in? No other than media.
And who decides whether the ads were successful or not? No other than the public, the consumers.
The biggest corporations spend so much on advertising for one purpose only—sales. Or this is what is sometimes called the purchase funnel.
They initiate the process in completing the purchase funnel through advertising, media advertising: traditional papers and tv advertising; online media advertising such as search, buzz, blogs, discounts, etc.
The purchase funnel illustrates the flow of conversion. When companies advertise, they create awareness, they allow themselves to be discovered and then attract people. The recognition comes next when consumers respond to the ad, building within them the realization of need. And more often than not, the need converts to a sale and the sale then grows to become in a form of loyalty.
We do it every day. We can see people doing it every day. We hear about it and we talk about it every day. And we are personally connected to it every single day—social media.
Where was social media before, you might ask? Social media was in Friendster, MySpace, etc. But it was not as apparent as it is today. It did not have the kind of marketing it has today and it was not as diverse as it is today. There were no games, no promotions, no polls, no contests and no prizes.
Today, social media does not only connect the commoners but it has connected corporations both big and small.
Social media has become vogue among the teens of this generation. Social networking is what it is for them.
The idea of having access (for free) to the news about the people around you: people that you like, people that you hate or people that you just want to know about, is just too good to refuse. The same is true for corporations that are involved and updated with social media.
Social networking or social media has become very powerful—and very dangerous, too, if you do not know how to protect personal and corporate information.
Why has social media succeeded?—because it is addictive. And like any other addiction, it is too hard to resist; it is too hard to do away from.
Research has proven social media to be very influential. It is habit-forming, like a daily routine that people do such as eating; but only that they do social media more than they eat. Everyone agrees to that. It goes unnoticeably natural. It has worked its way around people’s daily schedule that no matter how busy they get, they will always have time to log on to a social networking app or site and take the day away.
Social media is the best online marketing tool so far!
Have you ever thought about why people buy expensive stuff despite the fact that most of these stuff are over-priced?
Would you have bought a pair if sunglasses that look exactly like an Oakley or a Gucci if it didn’t have the brand name Oakley or Gucci engraved on it? Probably not.
The price doesn’t matter a lot; at least not for those who can afford or those who have the credit cards to swipe for it. The price doesn’t matter to the young who have mom and dad to pay for them. By “young” I mean the generation Y.
The generation Y displays a great deal of brand loyalty. And not only do they become good and loyal customers but they also become marketers of the brand, advertising it all over the internet and to their network of family and friends through social media and phone service providers. At this point, the generation Y becomes the walking and talking advertisers of brands—and they do it for free.
So how does a brand take it to the top and let the rest of the brand fanatics do the rest? The process is simply called branding. It doesn’t sound as complicated but it doesn’t mean that the process is simple.
Branding takes time. Branding your company or your product is like painting a tattoo on your skin that represents what you are, what holds true of you and what you can promise to deliver. You can never wipe the brand off; if anything else, you rebrand or shut down and rebuild your product from scratch.
What makes customers loyal? What keeps them coming back? It is the brand experience.
Customers are always loyal to brands that can deliver what they promised. Quality and integrity are the keys to acquiring more customers and keeping old ones.
Small and medium businesses run differently than big businesses. It might not be very obvious to the consumers but the SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) run into more problems more often than big enterprises. But even after having gained knowledge about the pros and cons in running SMEs, everywhere around the world more and more new companies emerge that are inclining more to the small and medium enterprises than big enterprises; the reason being that it takes lesser effort and time to open new SMEs.
Let us define what determine factors of an SME are.
SMEs have a total number of employees that is less than 250; and SMEs have a turnover of EUR 50 m. Note though that this SMEs do not include firms that are part of a bigger group or company with more than 250 employees.
Research shows that 50 percent of new businesses fail during the first 5 to 10 years. And it is not entirely because of a failure caused by a department or two, or the lack of leadership. There are more factors that contribute to the demise of a young business, especially in SMEs.
One of the major factors when starting up a business is marketing. And this factor also does affect every single aspect of your business once it is up and running.
Your new business must stand out. It must be innovative to stand out. And it must let the public know of its innovation. It must market its innovation. And it must know how to market it successfully.
What is the newest and quickest way to market your innovation today? The answer is new media technologies: streaming video and audio, digital video for both television and web, digital printing for paper and web, etc.
Most SMEs invest less time in planning their marketing strategies and this is where the end of new companies start. If the product is not marketed well, no one knows it exists; thus, it will continue to do so until it shuts down for good.
One of the many good tactics of successful online companies is their customer engagement program.
According to Wikipedia, customer engagement is “the engagement of customers with one another, with a company or a brand”. Wikipedia also further explains that “the initiative for engagement can either be consumer- or company- led and the medium of engagement can be on or offline”.
The number one customer engagement program, as far as our research has gone, is social media—in particular, Facebook.
We all have it. Well, if not, then almost all; and if not almost then everyone who has access to the internet. No one would want to miss any update from their circle of family and friends. With the increasing dependency of social media account holders to daily news feeds, it is impossible to take away the kind of technology that connects them with family and friends, plus, additional entertainment.
Social media has been feeding one of the basic needs of a common human being—attention. It has been feeding its hunger for attention. It has been feeding the people’s narcissism. And what better way to fulfill this need than to create a portal for it that produces cash flow from both businesses and consumers.
The first step to start the process is to create your own social media account. Create your company’s social media account. That account becomes your portal for engaging customers. Once you have it, then you’re good to start with your customer engagement program.
When you invite people to follow your page, you are increasing visibility, increasing your company’s exposure.
Finding new customers is a hard. And with your customer engagement program through social media you are sure to keep old customers active.
Remember, it is hard to find new customers. It is hard enough to convert a lead to a sale. It is better to hold returning customers and make them happy rather than finding new ones. It is like building a relationship.
Forums, feedback options, customer support programs and social media are out on the loose.
Putting an idea across to the consumers cannot solely be successfully met through broadcasting, at least not that completely anymore.
We, as consumers, do not want to be advertised anymore. We do not want to be broadcasted with advertisements and any form of marketing anymore. This is not very much evident to the remote provinces and some third world countries though; but for the big corporations who want to meet their monthly lead target, changing their advertising strategy away from broadcasting seems like a good way to start.
Broadcasting ads are everywhere. You log on to Youtube, for example, then you see an ad running for 20 seconds and hit “skip ad” by the time that you can. It is worse when you cannot skip the ad, either a web ad or a TV ad.
It is of no doubt that less than 50 percent of the people even notice ads placed in the malls’ walls or in sidewalk’s ad sign, let alone pay attention to a brochure given at the entrance of a building—yes, they still do this kind of marketing ‘strategy’.
Consumers now take preference on connecting with the brand, the brand name, say Apple, and the consumers of the same brand. Connecting with the consumers of the same brand invites the experience of belonging into a community and creates a feeling of security having people at your back.
So only which platforms allow them to connect to such? Forums, feedback options, customer support—and the most-used, most famous, social media.
Social media has changed the way firms advertise and market. It has changed the way consumers respond to a product and connect to other consumers. Social media has allowed brand to both broadcast and connect. Social media is a powerful tool in advertising and marketing.