As a BSc Engineering student, digital marketing has always been something I’ve been interested in, but is not something I have covered in my lectures! I walked to the seminar room with a sense of the unknown but excited to learn about a little bit of the world of advertising.
Neil Sharman, the speaker for the afternoon, started the lecture with the mindboggling fact that people in the United Kingdom are subjected to over 1,009 adverts on an average day. This was baffling to me as I never really noticed the different channels and media that advertisers use to reach audiences.
Throughout his presentation, Neil Sharman continued to explore the influence of digital or as he describes it the “digital disruption” on modern advertising.
- Maths vs Magic
Sharman explains that a brand should be able to make use of all metrics and analytics available to fully understand their customer base and demographics. The brand should then promote those numbers and statistics to advertising companies to make sure that the readers being reached by your media are their target groups.
“Magic is about convincing them [the advertisers] that when they advertise in my newspaper is more than just the eyeballs of the readers. It’s not just space [allocated to the ad that] you are buying, but you are [also] buying the content readers that I supply you.”
The sweet spot, according to Sharman, is to balance those two concepts to attract the right crowd with the right medium to deliver the right message.
Sharman recommends brands to set objectives and goals based on metrics for continuously improved performance.
“Think about your long-term brand health instead of only focusing on short-term effects”.
The power of advertising, according to Sharman, lies with the content creators. Goals should allow creators to explore different routes to the reader’s attention, for example by bringing emotions to advertising which can then lead to actions or even adapting advertising to diverse audiences through various channels.
3. Evening Catch
The last thing that Sharman addressed that captivated my attention was the commuter mind-set. There is the video that he showed during the talk to illustrate his point, but to summarise, it is about changing the campaigns according to the time of day to adapt to the behaviour of consumers.
“Online advertising has never been as immediately actionable as now.”
He talked about the accessibility that mobile phones have brought to our consumerism habits and the short space of time that advertisers now have to capture our attention despite always being connected.
I certainly did not realise how much went on behind the curtains in digital marketing, from the pitching of ideas to the delivery to customers. It was a very informative hour and gave me a taste of what I could expect if I wanted to go onto study a Masters!