The marketing landscape has undergone tremendous change over the past years. Digital technology has developed at quite a faster rate, bringing about significant changes and trends in the field of marketing communications (Agrawal, 2016). Many organizations now understand the importance of being in touch with their customers and have invested their resources into a variety of marketing communication strategies. The trends in today’s marketing communications environment are, to a significant extend, influenced by the contemporary consumers who do not only demand the highest quality of customer care services, but who are also resistant to traditional marketing services and show less loyalty to favorite brands (Morrison, 2016). Some of these trends include influencer marketing, emotional marketing and ad-blocking.
Influencer marketing refers to a marketing strategy in which a firm uses key leaders to drive its brand message to the greater population of consumers. As opposed to directly marketing to an extensive group of consumers, firms pay individuals who have significant influence on digital platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to get out the word about their products. Apart from social media influencers, other top influencers include celebrities, vloggers and even bloggers (Agrawal, 2016). Influencer marketing has become more important in the recent past due to the fact that most consumers are less trustful of brands. To motivate consumers into buying their products, firms pay the influential figures who in turn talk about the said products and their benefits on their social media platform. This approach has also grown in popularity thanks to the growing numbers of people who are now part of social media platforms such as YouTube and Twitter (Agrawal, 2016). Firms that utilize this approach are not only able to reach a wider audience and at a cheaper cost, but they are also able to connect with their customers at a more personal level. The following screenshot is an example of influencer marketing on Instagram
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Fig 1: Influencer marketing on Instagram
With many companies advertising their brands online, consumers continue to be bombarded with numerous online ads. In a bid to go about their online activities without being distracted by the online ads, consumers are turning to ad blocking. Reports indicate that as at 2014, over 15% of American internet users were using software meant to block online adverts (Morrison, 2016). As of 2016, the percentage had gone up to more than 26%, with forecasts showing that by the end of 2017, nearly a third of all internet users in the US would have been utilizing ad blocking software (Morrison, 2016). This means that marketers will be unable to reach most of their target audience through online channels. This trend has been described as being a detriment to the whole advertising ecosystem given its impact on content publishers, agencies, marketers and other parties that rely on revenue from online advertising (Morrison, 2016). For firms, this trend calls for searching and implementing of alternatives that would allow them to tell the online community about their products and services. The following is a screen-shot of an ad-blocking software
Fig 2: Ad-blocking software
Marketers have for a long time sought to appeal to the emotions of their audiences. The digital era has seen more brands try to appeal to the emotions of consumers through emotional marketing (Tode, 2016). With this strategy, firms give their brands a story. Most of these stories link a company’s product or services to real humans and real life situations which the audience can easily relate with. Companies such as Apple, Nike and P &G have been able to appeal to consumer’s emotions by incorporating mini-movies into their adverts (Tode, 2016). This way, the companies have been able to sell their products as well as the emotions and feelings attached to the said products. With research showing that over half of consumers will buy a product or service if they like the brand story attached to the said product or service, firms need to find relevant stories that will convince the consumers that their brands are actually meaningful.
Fig 3: Apple’s emotional marketing
Agrawal, A. (2016). Why Influencer Marketing Will Explode In 2017 . Forbes.com . Retrieved 9 April 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajagrawal/2016/12/27/why-influencer-marketing-will-explode-in-2017/#2f7a533820a9
Morrison, K. (2016). The Rise of Ad Blocking Is Changing Digital Marketing (Report) . Adweek.com . Retrieved 9 April 2017, from http://www.adweek.com/digital/the-rise-of-ad-blocking-is-changing-digital-marketing-report/
Tode, C. (2016). Why marketers must make an emotional connection in an era of discontent . Marketing Dive . Retrieved 9 April 2017, from http://www.marketingdive.com/news/why-marketers-must-make-an-emotional-connection-in-an-era-of-discontent/431113/