How To Reach Your Ideal Customers In 2017

03/28/2017 03:20 pm ET Updated Mar 28, 2017

There is no doubt that 2017 will be the year that online advertising outpaces television advertising sales for the first time in history, which readers can assume means that advertisers feel more eye balls will be fixed to desktops, tablets and mobile devices than traditional media channels. Although audiences will continue trending to these devices, and advertisers will have to continue to adapt to reach their customers on these mediums, there will be many new variables for media buyers to succeed in this still relatively new and constantly adapting space. Even though things are trending digitally, traditional media advertising is not to be ignored. With so many advertisers moving into the digital arena, there is a big opportunity for brands ready to use a creative approach to gain customers via traditional media channels as well.

Big Data Approach

The attraction to new media for advertisers is the ability to use big data and high powered analytics to be able to track customer’s behavior and influence their decisions online. “Using the data our company can gather online gives us the ability to deliver extremely specific customer’s to our clients,” says Eric Shafer, 28 year old President of Prosprio.com, an advertising agency that uses big data and custom analytics to generate extremely targeted customers for auto insurance companies, universities and law firms. “In the past our clients had to rely on television and radio ads which were very difficult to track the performance of. Now we can learn specific information about behavior, like where on the page users that turned into customer’s clicked before buying, and use tools like Lookalike Audiences to analyze data sets that predict which users will fit the exact buying criteria our clients are looking for. This essentially allows us to be able to predict who a perfect customer will be before even paying to show them an advertisement.” Lookalike Audiences are a tool available on Facebook Ads, as well as other platforms, that allows media buyers to upload a list of customers that have bought from their company in the past. Using big data, it analyzes similarities in buying customers’ profiles like occupation, geographic location and interests. An algorithm then determines similarities between customers who are likely to purchase a specific product or service, and shows ads to those users based on this criteria.

Broad Branding Approach

Thanks to new media and social media sites, there are dozens of new no cost ways for brands and businesses to promote to new customers. The big data approach uses data and analytics at the ultra granular level to target customers, the opposite of this is the broad branding approach. This approach consists of using every possible channel to promote a product or brand.

Chicago actor and entrepreneur Vito Glazers is one individual who has mastered the broad branding approach for his personal brand and for his businesses. A background in digital advertising gave him an edge in mastering social media channels as they first came to market, building an engaged audience of over 100,000 followers between sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. “Once I built the audience, I had the power to do anything. I raised money for real estate deals, started an agency doing social media consulting for celebrities, and booked high paying media, reality television and acting opportunities that generated even more exposure and business.” From reality television to real estate, 31 year old Vito Glazers may be on his way to being the next Donald Trump thanks to mastering the broad branding approach. The primary difference between broad branding and the big data approaches is that the big data approach requires a brand to be very laser focused and specific in its marketing goals.

The broad branding approach is just about being everywhere possible at once. Glazers used Facebook Live to do weekly discussions about American politics, posted luxury lifestyle content on his Snapchat, and used Instagram to promote charity, in all cases rarely even promoting the actual businesses he was involved in. “My approach to branding was just get people looking at me and get their interest. Everyday I would get flooded with messages on social media of people asking what I do, or what I was selling. Customers come to me not even sure what they are being sold, but they want to buy.” Having a personal connection or face to a brand is an important element of making the broad branding approach work, but having great content is important for the approach to work too. If people fall in love with a brand organically, they will come back to buy whatever that brand is selling.

Traditional Media Approach

With so much focus on new media, it is easy to overlook the traditional media approach. Up until this year, television, radio and print still outpaced digital media. Although one can assume that the reallocation of budgets will certainly be exponentially redirected to digital media in coming years, traditional media still has massive, highly engaged audiences. One difference between traditional media and digital media, is that audiences can be much more captivated and less distracted than audiences that are on their phones or laptops being hyper targeted by advertisers. Running radio ads at a time when people are commuting to work, or playing commercials during a television show with a specific audience can be much more effective in captivating that audience than displaying an advertisement in their Facebook newsfeeds with ads to the top, bottom and right distracting them. Direct response advertisers have made fortunes with the traditional media approach by purchasing Run Of Network traffic, buying unsold ad spots across various properties for a fraction of the price. Another successful method of implementing the traditional media approach is Cause Based Marketing. This is the method used by Attorney Jeffery Leving, who gained international notoriety for reuniting Elian Gonzalez with his father in one of the biggest international custody battles of all time. Even before that case, he was already a household name in many areas from his caused based television and radio ads. Leving has a specific mission, “The mission of my firm is to reunite fathers with their children and make America, and the world, a better place.” By having an authentic and purposeful mission, traditional media audiences are more likely to be engaged and not feel they are being sold. Brands that align with causes that are relevant to their business are better poised to have success using a traditional media approach. Mr. Leving’s caused based marketing strategy is now even taught in colleges and universities and has been imitated by hundreds of organizations because of its effectiveness.

Regardless of which approach, or combination of approaches businesses or brand use to get in front of their ideal customers in 2017, the year is poised to be a successful year for advertisers who can creatively adapt to the fast changing media landscape. Advertisers who know who their customers are, who know where their potential customers are searching for or viewing content, and who reverse engineer their marketing strategies to get in front of the most ideal audiences, will have the highest chance of succeeding in the increasingly disruptive advertising landscape.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS