Scenario One: Consumer Viewpoint

A consumer opens the browser on her computer or mobile device. She is feeling hungry. She uses Google and searches for “healthy snack foods.” Google provides a list of results based on how well the marketing team behind the various snack food providers have crafted their search engine experience, how visible the sites are to search engines, and what products are most popular.

In Google, the consumer sees ad results on the top and the side of the page. Marketing teams have paid for these results to be placed on the page when the identified demographic searches for “healthy snack foods,” or if the consumer’s IP address is from a specific location, or perhaps even if the consumer is searching from a specific device (which might matter based on an audience profile of the users of a particular device).

As a user, she sees the first advertised result, and the copy in the advertisement speaks to her because it relates to one of her interests, snowboarding. The expert marketers at this company had bought Facebook data, and knew based on her Facebook activity that she enjoys snowboarding. Therefore, in the copy, the snack advertisement is adjusted and promoted as a great snack to bring on the chairlift. Sounds very accurate to this user, doesn’t it? It is almost as if it “magically” appeared in her social feed by chance.

The consumer clicks the link and is taken to a well-designed website, which showcases the snacks in a fun environment. In this environment, she notices that there are articles that relate to how healthy the snack is and why she should choose it.

The article is well written, and, as a result, she decides to share it with her friends. She clicks the “Share” button at the bottom of the article to post it to her Facebook and Twitter pages, and the link automatically opens to those networks.

Thus, the consumer found a product, learned about it, enjoyed what the product had to say, and shared it with others.

Did she convert from an observer to a buyer? Well, who knows? Maybe she will, but it may not be today. Maybe it will not be until she visits the store. However, now that her experience was shared, she might get additional engagement through a friend who loves the product and posts on her Facebook page, “Oh my gosh! I love these!” Maybe that converts her. The follow-through interaction may be unknown, but the steps she took to get to the point of sharing are quite compelling.

 Scenario Two: Business Viewpoint

A new brand wants to hit the market with a new men’s health product. Since the marketing team understands the actual product but not the marketing channels, the team decides it needs to learn how to market to the consumer in the best way possible. So the marketers decide to run a strategy initiative to find out more.

Through basic research (for example, a traditional test case), the marketers learn that the product category, although geared towards men, is actually purchased by females. At that point, the marketing team realizes that the push in the digital space should actually be catered to the women who fit the demographic of the main purchasers.

The marketing team decides to find out which avenues in the online market cater the most to this demographic. Through a digital audit, the team identifies a women’s family health forum online and a corresponding Facebook group where the demographic is fairly active. In these spaces, the demographic is constantly reviewing products they have bought for their boyfriends, sons, husbands, friends, and so on.

The marketing team decides to put together a sponsored campaign where samples are sent to participating demographics for a full review and a chance to win based on votes and shares of the review through the social networks. Now, through research, which began in the traditional marketing realm and ended in the digital marketing world, the marketers have created a specific, targeted campaign.

After the campaign, the marketers gauge the sentiment and attitudes toward the product. Using this information, they learn that the men wanted to learn more about the products, but did not want to visit the women’s spaces online. From there, the team adjusts and creates a micro-site geared toward the men. The messaging on the micro-site will be distinct and separate from the messaging to women on the larger, regular site.

Now the campaign is even more tailored to the specific audiences: the men will become educated on the product and the women will make the purchases.


andrew brown