Digital Media and Marketing: The Age of Novelties

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The markets of the modern day world are both profitable and unforgiving for the players involved which has made marketing an extremely important aspect of modern day business and commerce. When customers consider products and services offered by modern day enterprises and companies, they do not only consider the immediate product or service that was serviced to them. Among the other elements of relevance in this given paradigm are issues such as company history, reputation, presentation of the product or the service and even the company’s website or social media presence. In such a diversified yet demanding reality of marketing and sales, it is extremely important for companies to be ready for all sorts of customer demands and market challenges to be able to come up with the right product and its total coverage/presentation. Without such readiness and awareness, the global market will surely eliminate weak and unprepared companies and their offerings to make more room for the strong and prepared ones, constituting a great lesson for startups and growing companies alike.

Bud Torcom, the CEO of Mazama Media, reports on the four trends to shake up the world of digital marketing in 2018 for the Forbes magazine. According to Torcom, these trends are “Growth Hacking, Programmatic Marketing, Facebook’s Real-World Tools” and “Voice Control”. The first trend refers to how the modern day companies have developed a strategy to discover the most efficient ways to grow their businesses by experimenting with different product development methods and marketing channels. This way, the product is marketed to a larger audience with more functional and fulfilling bonuses and promotions, which adds value to it. The second trend focuses on programmatic and periodic technologies and applications to be used for long-term marketing procedures that ensure higher returns on investment. The innovation it will bring is so massive that many speculate how “more than 80% of all advertising by 2019” will be programmatic. The third trend refers to how Facebook is seeking to invest into new real-life features and tools to bring its marketing services to the physical world. Among such services is store visits which will enable companies to access Facebook users to promote their stores and products to them when they are nearby. The final trend considers breakthrough technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home that utilize always-on microphones to provide such services to their users. As marketers will begin to access such microphones and speakers for their own use, they will interfere into such services with advertisements and commercials to inform and hopefully convince their customers about their products and services, in the comfort of their homes.

Arnt Eriksen for the Huffington Post reports on three video marketing trends that will become popular in 2018, which are namely, “stories”, “live-streaming” and “explainer videos”. The first trend was introduced by Snapchat in 2013 which established the company into the realm of superstardom among social media enthusiasts. This function enables social media users, of Snapchat and others currently, to create temporary videos to be watched by friends for up to 24 hours after which the content disappears. This feeling of temporariness and randomness has become a hit among social media users and Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp have all added this function to their systems. The second trend will be important because video input has already become an extremely popular element of social media while online presence and live-streaming are notoriously famous for encouraging engagements from the audience. Therefore, in 2018, more social media outlets will be utilizing video and live-streaming functions to be able to meet the increasing demand but more importantly increase their traffic and therefore profits. The third trend will be important in the sense that explainer videos are very popular among people who investigate about things online because they make the process so much easier than regular research. A good example for such a utilization is BuzzFeed’s “Tasty” series, which has become very popular due to the fact that the episodes give recipes for great food in a very fast paced and comprehensible manner. This way, BuzzFeed stole a lot of viewers from YouTube, where such videos are long and boring which is a great sign of the power embodied by explainer videos.

Daisuke Wakabayashi for the New York Times reports on the relationships between online stars and famous brands to explain how such brands are seeking ways to partner with popular YouTube, Facebook and Instagram users to help them with their marketing campaigns. This market, meaning the viral online video sector, is estimated to reach $10 billion in 2020 with many brands cashing out significant sums of money to be featured in a video of such nature. A great example is when Stephen Curry, the basketball star, was included in Brita’s viral video where Rudy Mancuso and Andrew Bachelor, two popular online musicians, to make music with the basketball star. The video depicted Curry constantly refilling the Brita container with water and Mancuso’s song singing about how Curry helped him live a healthier life by using Brita instead of a regular bottle. The project made thousands of dollars for the musicians and also helped improve the image of Curry in the eyes of the viewers and therefore can be considered as a success story. However, there are also cases where popular online personalities have been faced with accusations and criticism due to their behavior such as Felix Kjellberg, or PewDiePie on YouTube, who was criticized by his anti-semitic remarks and actually lost sponsorships, such as his deal with Nissan, as a result. Another famous YouTube figure, Logan Paul, was actually dropped off the online platform after he posted “a video of a dead body hanging from a tree in a Japanese forest known for suicides” because it commemorated ugly and painful memories for many Japanese viewers of YouTube. Therefore, the power and authority granted to such famous individuals by digital media needs to be understood well before posting content online as extreme views or misunderstandings might result in total loss of popularity and therefore income.

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