It's been a busy summer in the advertising business.
Starting with Scott Barnes taking over as general manager of the NBA and ending with AIG's recent $720 million buyouts of Channel Plus and OWN, the summer's marketing blitz has reached another level. It's been a stark reminder that the ads that run on digital outlets are a a powerful driver of sales for traditional media.
But what if that audience isn't ready to buy your brand's products or services?
Like any business, marketing's job is to find out who has the most potential customers.
So, we did a marketing audit on three customers -- all three non-buyers of brands -- -- at Staples.
We looked at their online presence, where they are promoting their goods and services on platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, and other sites. Our strategy was simple: We'd figure out how they are targeting people on those digital platforms so that we can change our marketing message to attract them as our new customers.
Along with a business partner, we interviewed two non-readers and then looked at their digital display and online content. Then we met the three customers.
For one customer, we decided to change our marketing message from "sticker brand" to "budget brand" (limited to the budget we had for ads, to begin with). The plan is to draw a broader audience with a smaller digital budget.
For another customer, we are changing our marketing message from "pre-register online for the upcoming swimming events" or your kid will get swiped by a digital fingerprint" or they'll be sold to the highest bidder" for the next school year" for sports camps" and get $60 off" to get $50 off your next swimming class" for kids" or "register online for a summer swim camp" or "find a summer swim camp for kids in your area" or your kids will get their swim lessons in advance" to "Learn swim lessons online" for kids."
For one customer, we changed our messaging from "campaign comes to you today, find it on this website" to "Campaign is coming to you today, visit your website."
The marketing audit revealed a few things that we could learn from our clients.
Digital customers are basic to marketing. Whether you are targeting consumers, non-readers or non-customers, it's important to know who you are marketing to.
Online customers don't care how much a product costs. They don't care if a brand has a brand name or isn't a recognizable brand. All they care about is how good it is and if they can afford it. That's good for you because most digital customers are basic.
They're digital marketers, too. One non-buyer was even on social media herself,