Dubai: Digital marketing tools will level the playing field for businesses of all sizes. Powerful targeting and measurement tools once reserved for big brands with deep pockets will now be available to smaller companies too.
“All businesses need to reach new and prospective customers,” said Brian Boland,vice-president for Ads Product Marketing and Atlas at Facebook, told Gulf News. “The formula for success is a combination of targeted reach, strong messaging, frequency, and measurement. All of these components are available on digital and mobile, and never before have these tools been more accurate or efficient at reaching the right people.”
Every day people spend more time on their mobile devices and engage on digital platforms than any other media. Reaching consumers at scale is no longer restricted to historical “prime time” definitions. By the end of 2013, time spent online will surpass time spent watching TV, according to eMarketer estimates.
Brands can now reach people with incredibly relevant content anytime, anywhere at scale.
Boland said 2014 will be another year of rapid evolution for marketers. In the past year, the advertising landscape has evolved and will continue to accelerate to keep pace with shifts in consumer behaviour.
“Digital advertising strategies will focus on strengthening the impact of mobile, greatly improving the relevance of ads for people through targeting, learning how to fully embrace customer engagement and re-imagining the art of brand building,” he said.
Between second and third quarter of 2013, Facebook witnessed a 75 per cent increase in the number of marketers using Custom Audiences targeting, which allows them to use their own contact lists to reach customers.
Boland said data partnerships are also no longer reserved only for big brands. Smaller companies and businesses now have access to these tools, helping to democratise the playing field. Facebook’s Custom Audiences and Partner Categories are among the tools available to businesses of all sizes.
Marketers’ online strategy is now synonymous with their mobile strategy. Marketers will rely more heavily on “mobile platforms” as part of their brand building initiatives.
“Mobile has long evolved from direct response objectives – and branding, too, has long evolved from a logo on a webpage. Branding is about people — connecting with them, engaging them, influencing them — and hopefully in some ways even inspiring them. And mobile is the conduit through which this is all now happening,” he said.
Boland said the term ‘social media’ will slowly fade away as the role of digital platforms steadily transforms to a more impactful way of engaging with people at scale and delivering on marketers’ core objectives such as in-store or online sales.