During the past few weeks I have been conducting research on the specific digital communications plans of a few companies. They are following all of the blatant necessary steps, but missing key components. One of those components is their customer base.
If you have an established brand and the majority of your customers share a certain demographic shouldn’t you try to cater to them? I recently observed one particular brand almost appearing market to themselves rather than their actual consumer base. Instead of constant turnover of employees, this brand had an obvious solution to the equation. The consumer demographic. It is not enough to just focus on whether a group is of baby boomer age, generation X or millennials. They needed to focus on the cultural demographic as well. Language, “superstitions or beliefs” and economy all play a part in brand perception. Luxury brands are keeping their brick and mortar stores open while other less expensive brands have been forced to close their doors. Luxury consumers want to experience the brand. They want to touch the product and have personal interaction with the sales staff. However, what happens if you are still loosing sales despite a fabulous digital communications plan, quality product and knowledgable employees? Review the demographic data of your consumer base. No marketing campaign can function without doing so.
I was recently speaking with a fellow business owner about website analytics. They informed me that they had the service, but rarely looked at the information. Unfortunately, they didn’t understand channels, bounce rates, etc. “Does it really matter? I have the website and my sales continue as they have.”
In an era of digital communications it definitely matters. Viewing channels allows a business owner to gain insight into how their website was accessed. Was it through organic searches, or did the company have to pay for those visits on social media? It is also assumed that a bounce rate of zero is awesome news, not so. Analytics gives business owners the ability obtain demographic information. For marketing purposes this is beneficial information. For years businesses had a general idea what their customer base consisted of and would market accordingly. Website analytics can save marketing dollars because it can narrow down the location, age, sex and the behaviors of the visitor. For example, the data is reflecting that the majority of my consumer base accessed my website via their cell phones. I could then utilize this knowledge to create an interactive marketing campaign to keep them engaged. Additionally, incorporating video streams into your website keeps bounce rates down. Visual information has more impact then the written word. Websites were once linear entities that served to disperse information. Consumers want to be interactive. It is all about keeping them focused on your product.
Having a hard sell? Look no further than your approach. Consumers want to buy into an experience. It is how the younger demographic takes in information. Your company needs them for survival.
Entrepreneurs who use older methods of advertising are missing entire demographic segments. I constantly view websites that do not obtain decent bounce rates because they are filling their webpages with words. Over fifty percent of those in the marketing industry know that photos and video streaming are trusted more by consumers than any written content. It is also a proven fact that consumers process visual examples faster than text. Entrepreneurs trying to improve bounce rates need to add videos and photographic experiences to accomplish this task.
Secondly, how often do entrepreneurs observe their website analytic data? If you observe organic searches are driving the majority of your website impressions, but social media is only creating a small portion of the unique sessions this data should correlate how to delegate advertising funds. Additionally, which languages, technology devices, locations, etc. are reflected by the analytic data? For example, if 36% of the individuals accessing your website speak another language. This knowledge could be used to offer website content in their language. Digital media campaigns should be interactive to gain consumer perspective as it relates to your product or service.
I am surprised that my digital communications legal case snapshot came to a climax already this week. I recently reported about the fact that digital streaming hasn’t been around that long in relation to other forms of communication such as newspapers, TV, radio, etc. and that new laws were being created as events unfold.
Honestly, I wasn’t completely in shock when I received a recent bill from a digital streaming service provider stating that my rates were going up. The bill gave a detailed description about how my bill would be going up approximately 6% due to a new royalty fee. So why is this new “Royalty fee” appearing now?? The statement said that I wasn’t charged in 2016 or in 2017. So why now?
A quick breakdown of the changes for you, in 1972 a law was passed by Congress that required radio stations to pay royalty fees to recording artists for music recorded after 1972. Royalties for music recorded pre 1972 was to be determined by the states individually. In 1995 as the age of digital streaming became mainstream a new law was put in place to protect recording artists. However, the law was rather vague and failed to address the previous law passed by Congress. A group called the “Turtles” sued one of the digital streaming companies and eventually won. The service provider had to pay the group $99M. Other recording artists filed legal cases and won. As a result, the digital streaming service had to pay $210M in royalties. (Jacobson, 2016).
The “royalty fees” are now showing up on consumer’s statements, but why now? The reason is that this particular digital streaming service won an agreement right to play music as they normally do through 2017, after that a royalties agreement would be put in place effective until 2022. It would then have to be revisited by both parties at the end of the agreement. (Marks, 2018)
How do you feel about the new charge? As a consumer should you have to pay for their royalty fees?
Jacobson, E. (2016, December 29). Music Industry Cases To Watch In 2017. Retrieved February 10th, 2018, from http://www.forbes.com
Marks, S. (2018, February 12). SirusXM: A Success Story (So Why Are They Still Paying Below Market Royalty Rates to Music Creators??). Retrieved February 11th, 2018, from http://www.riaa.com
I will probably catch quite a bit of flack for this post. I am a white female who came from a hardscrabble town. My parents, although divorced shared a common ground on things that they disliked. One of those things was racism in any form. They strictly forbid me from a very young age to have any friends who verbally, mentally or otherwise oppressed others with their words or actions. My father is deceased, but I can still distinctly remember his lessons about life that are now decades old. He explained that if I ever encountered anyone who ever made a comment about another person’s ethnicity, or otherwise that they weren’t very intelligent. He said, “You can’t argue with the stupid honey. They aren’t open minded enough to see things from another person’s perspective. Just get up, move and don’t associate with them ever again”. I am no longer a shy or timid girl from a small town. I now out people for their ignorant comments and hold them accountable. Again, his advice was from decades past.
So I find myself taking in media content this morning that directly groups me with those who DEFINITELY don’t share my perspective. I have never in my life wanted to see anyone or any ethnic group oppressed. I have had to work extremely hard to succeed…no silver spoon was ever in this mouth. I love working in a multicultural environment and learning about other people and their culture. I will also add that I find soft bigotry absolutely disgusting as well. Although I am white my immediate family is actually comprised of many different ethnic groups. When you first meet me you don’t know this fact. All that you see is a white female and the stereotypes that go along with it.
How can we as a society hold mass media accountable for grouping people where they frequently don’t belong?
I have always loved looking at illuminated manuscripts. I am intrigued by the fact that they helped to keep written language alive. However, they also represent the fact that the majority of people during that time were oppressed. Literacy was a luxury only a few could afford.
If we fast forward to today history is repeating itself. Some forms of literacy are still out of reach for those of lower socio economic status. The digital divide is here.
Globally certain regions do not have the fiber optic capabilities that the developed world currently utilizes. Additionally, some governments censor social media content and internet access in an effort to spin their own propaganda. The majority of the developed world has internet and social media access. Unfortunately, undeveloped countries are reflecting digital data usage that has been relatively stagnant for the past twenty years.
Socially, certain demographics have less access to digital media primarily due to finances. They can not afford an internet provider or even a device to access it from in the first place. This should be of huge concern across all demographic areas. As employment becomes more digitalized what does this mean for those without digital familiarity? Those with challenges are finding it extremely difficult to access the internet or social media. It hinders their ability to connect with the outside world.
Personally, the digital divide significantly climbs within the older age demographic. Many seniors are afraid to operate Smartphones or understand the benefits of certain apps. Across all age groups and races another hindrance is being unsure of how protect one’s privacy. We all worry about social security numbers, bank account information or passwords being stolen.
What are your thoughts on the digital divide?