Strategy

Is Advertising Dead?

Marketing thinking and strategy changed as marketers explored and tested these amazing new ways to communicate with people.

Author

Paul West
CEO

Over the last decade there has been a significant paradigm shift in marketing. We’ve witnessed a degree of change that happens every few decades alongside major technological advancements. Previously it was TV, this time the internet.

Marketing thinking and strategy changed as marketers explored and tested these amazing new ways to communicate with people. The age of Pull Marketing was born. Instead of interrupting people with our marketing message and pushing it outwards, we attracted people to us and interacted with them online, pulling them towards us.

With search marketing we ensure that if someone is looking for what it is we do, they will find us. With social media we engage our audience, hold two-way conversations and encourage them to Like us, both literally and psychologically. We use content marketing to increase visibility and to excite people. In fact, we hope to excite them so much that they tell all their friends how awesome we are, doing our marketing for us through the viral effect. This change is reflected in company’s marketing budgets. Marketing departments now invest heavily in SEO and Social Media, channels that barely existed a decade ago.

Marketing departments now invest heavily in SEO and Social Media, channels that barely existed a decade ago.

Even with all these great pull marketing techniques there is a form of push marketing that is alive and well – Digital advertising. I don’t just mean Search PPC advertising, which is really just a way to leapfrog organic search and turbo-charge your search visibility. I mean traditional interruption marketing with ads that jump in front of people when they’re busy doing other things.

Digital advertising is growing fast. In 2014, 50% of paid advertising spend will be online, up from only 15% in 2006. In the same period, newspaper and consumer magazine advertising has halved. UK 2014 digital advertising spend was about £7 billion. So clearly marketers believe there is still a place for interruption marketing in the mix.

In our work for clients such as Whitbread, D&D London, Alexander Hotels and Bella Italia we have tested a variety different digital advertising channels and techniques. With digital techniques we can target so precisely that we reach exactly the right people at exactly the right time, who are located in exactly the right place, influencing their behaviour. We can reach millions of ideal target segments, building brand awareness, for a surprisingly low cost. 

But it’s not limited to brand awareness. A significant proportion of the people we interrupt with advertising physically respond. They click ads, visit landing pages, get engaged, download vouchers, read menus, look at rooms and in many cases make bookings. Also, as a subsequence of Facebook’s algorithm changes, using paid advertising to amplify the message is now the only way organic social activity can reach relevant numbers of people.

We know they work because we can accurately track the results. We can watch behaviour, from clicking an ad to what they do on a landing page. Some channels and techniques drive more interactions, others are much more powerful for brand building. They all have an indisputable business benefit and deliver ROI for hospitality businesses.

So no, interruption advertising isn’t dead, it’s alive and well. Sure, it’s changed, but marketers would be ill advised to ignore it when planning strategies and budgets for 2015. Please get in touch to find out how Ignite can help with marketing strategy for your hospitality business.

 

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