April 10, 2014

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Advertising and Marketing

Discussion moderated by Paul Dishman, Ph.D., chair of Utah Valley University’s Woodbury School of Business.

April 10, 2014

C. THOMAS: The way in which it is delivered might change, but the fundamentals largely stay the same. It’s strategy. It’s the way in which we are reaching our audiences. While we have to adapt to those different delivery mechanisms, the fundamentals of communications remain unchanged.

Social media at times has gone in different directions with that. People have tried to cut corners or tried to do things a little bit differently, and it’s corrected itself at times.

DeNAUGHEL: Whether it’s mobile or digital, the biggest change that technology has made, which is great, is the ability to measure. No longer is reaching frequency a good enough analytic to give to your clients. They want the KPIs, and it’s amazing the information you can get. You get their information from their database and you can see when this TV spot runs or this mobile app runs, they have the web hits and everything else. The amount of data that we are able to collect now and customize our message to those customers is amazing. And frankly, that’s what our clients are expecting more and more, which is great because that’s a way for us to show the value that we bring to them.    

BLACK: Marshall McLuhan was right 50, 60 years ago when he said, “The medium is the message,” which means it’s just as important how you say something as what you say. The hows right now are changing, and they will change 10 years from now and 20 years from now, but the reality is that we have to embrace the customer, their voice, and give them an emotional message that causes them to want to engage and purchase.

Clients now come with a set of expectations that they didn’t 10 years ago?

BLACK: The expectations were there 10 years ago, but when it comes to measuring, we are so much more empowered now. The client knows they can get measurements that they couldn’t 10 years ago. They are expecting, when they hire a marketing agency, that we are not going to just get your name and product and service out there. They expect results, and they hold our feet to the fire much more than they would a few years ago.

BLAIN: It would be interesting to understand whether it’s good or bad for the consumer that I can measure what their behaviors are, that I can follow them and micro-target them. There are those who would say, “That’s good for me because you can give me the messages that I care about when they are relevant to me.” And others would say, “You are intruding on my privacy and I don’t want you to know that much about me.”

Some people say Facebook is the standard, but it can become passé very quickly. So what do you jump on next? Where are the eyeballs?

JONES: The eyeballs are in associative advertising. They are in content. They are in something that has meaning to the consumer. It’s no longer OK if you’re a heartworm medication to stick a banner on Dogworks and think everybody is going to look at it, because it is not going to get looked at. It might be a much better strategy to send an article out on Facebook that says, “Your dog will die of this.” This article went around that is all factual. It’s about how many dogs die from heartworm. It’s about things that really affect the consumer and their pet. And then right at the end of it is a comparative chart from Heart Guard, one of the biggest heartworm medication companies out there.

The point is that the key, especially as it relates to social, consumers, everything else, has to be something that is meaningful. It can’t be blatant advertising anymore because you can click on the exit button and choose to not absorb the advertising.     

C. THOMAS: To that point, content is important. Public relations and advertising are becoming much more integrated than they ever have before, because it is being used differently. The media lines are blurring greatly. The media has changed so much in recent years, and as a result of that a lot of them now are asking for money for stories. The firewall between advertising and editorial, with a number of media, has become very, very thin. And so two points: One is that that content is becoming more and more relevant from a marketing standpoint, but also it is changing from a public relations to a media standpoint.

MINK: To build on the question of what’s next, we have a lot of success with Pinterest. The audience there, they are looking to accomplish something when they are on Pinterest more so than when they are on Facebook. So when you are putting together really usable content, do-it-yourself oriented stuff, tutorials, things of that nature, the mind-set of the audience is different. And the conversion goes up because if they find a tutorial that hits home, and that is something they want to do, the chance of them actually going through and purchasing what they need to complete that project goes quite a bit up from what you see on Facebook.      

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