The sheer scope of technological advancement is not something that is lost on the average consumer. In the space of a generation, we have accelerated from a world dependent on landlines and couriers to a world connected by a near-limitless digital sphere; almost everyone in the UK has access to a smart device, let alone the internet, and new breakthroughs have the potential to change our lives yet more.
This explosion in technology has had an indelible impact on society, as we engage with the world and one another through a new contemporary lens. Amongst the many things that have changed with respect to technological growth, the art of promotion and advertising is one of the most impactful. But how has tech changed promotion?
The biggest single shift in promotional strategy occurred with the growing ubiquity of social media. As platforms like Instagram and Facebook grew, their user bases became uniquely lucrative areas to target for advertising – something which has had a profound impact on the essential makeup of advertising campaigns.
Social media gave advertisers more data than ever, as user habits gave vital demographic information – enabling targeted advertising. As social media user habits became more clearly defined, effective marketing strategies shifted from arresting visual ad design to a more integrated process, that saw products and services featured as product placement in power users and influencers’ content.
Businesses have been able to more directly interact with potential customers thanks to technological leaps, as well. The development of smart algorithms and automation technology has paved the way for the ‘chatbot’, a function many websites use to personalise experiences and streamline queries.
Visitors to a site can have questions answered by an AI, via a chat screen pop-up. This has improved the speed of customer service and removed barriers to purchase for many a consumer, increasing the efficacy of web marketing overall.
But the above capabilities and shifts in consumer attitude do not necessarily represent a death knell for more traditional, offline forms of marketing and promotion. Indeed, physical media still plays an extremely important part in PR and advertising attains new relevance even as the PR lens shifts toward digital opportunities.
Printed media in the form of booklets and pamphlets are uniquely useful for tangibly expanding reach in specific geographical areas, whether through dissemination in venues and retail environments or as part of a postal campaign. Physical media is more effective at generating word-of-mouth marketing between local communities and can put more information in the hands of potential buyers.
In today’s world, physical marketing shouldn’t be the only aspect of a given promotional campaign. However, as part of a structured campaign that weaponises the best of digital opportunities too, physical media can play a crucial role.