The impact of powerful new digital technologies on marketing has hastened the transition from mass marketing to micro marketing. These new digital media enjoy with several advantages:
. They provide companies more finely-tuned market segmentation -- the ability to reach smaller, more focused slices of a targeted market.
· They enable marketers to provide information more finely tuned to the specific market segment and specific customer needs.
· They allow the marketers to analyze and track a program’s impact, return and cost.
Because these new micro marketing tools are still in their infancy, I plan to discuss how they can be used, how they are different from what we have done before and what can be learned in the process.
Micro Marketing: Targeted On-line Ads
I recently had the occasion
to talk with Alka Joshi about work her firm , Alka Joshi Marketing, www.alkajoshimarketing.com
Openwave is a developer of platforms that allow mobile and wireless phone carriers and operators, such as Nokia, Samsung and Siemens, to deliver applications to mobile phone users. At a strategic level Openwave wanted to increase their visibility and presence among mobile developers. Tactically they decided to go for increased downloads of their mobile software developers kits (SDKs), increased participation in their Mobile Applications Directory and registrations for their upcoming 2-day developers training program.
Openwave’s target market was not a large one, but they needed some way to define and reach developers who had either just entered or were considering working in the space.
The challenge was finding where on the Internet developers hang out. Up until recently Openwave would focus their advertising on a group of well-identified printed publications, user and software developer groups. While printed ads took much longer to reach the market segment and were expensive to buy and produce, Openwave could be fairly certain of reaching the right customer tragets. However, today mobile software developers hang out on the Internet in an ever fluctuating number of on-line publications, discussion groups, and blogs. There is also much more information sharing among developers and that sharing is done almost instantly.
After considerable research, Alka believed that two online publications were best suited for Openwave’s developers: JAVA Pro and the OSDN network. She added a Google’s Adwords program to the mix since these ads are placed specifically on sites or pages where users have searched for a related keyword. Separate copy was developed for each of the three outlets.
One of the great advantages of advertising on-line is the ability to test and measure results and fine tune programs as you go. Openwave could not only see which publications brought them the greatest returns, but they could monitor and measure how well they were doing on a daily basis. First, they could determine how many software developers clicked on their ads and then they could see how many of these clicked through to the Openwave SDK downloads and the Mobile Applications Directory and how many signed up for the developers’ training. They could then compare cost/impression, and monitor by time of day and over time.
One of the surprises to come from this was the discovery that one of the ad messages, while drawing a huge number of clicks, resulted in very few downloads or registrations. This was a flag to Alka that the ad might be using words that connoted a different meaning to those who read them and therefore attracted the wrong, market group. Using Google Ad Words she was able to correct the problem. Copy was revised to appeal to a much smaller but more interested target group.
While on-line ads are less expensive to produce and place than print advertising, but they also can be more challenging. Ads must be constantly tested and re-evaluated. Even what to measure can be problematic, but by watching the “click” and “click through” rates, Openwave could monitor interest in their ads over time and change their frequency and timing accordingly.
By using on-line advertising, Openwave was able to finely tune their market segmentation and reach a much smaller, more targeted customer group more effectively at far less cost.
On-line advertising is just one example of how new digital technologies are transforming business practices in the shift from mass to micro marketing.