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Consumer Awareness, the Web and the Advent of Advertising

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This is a guest post by Megan. You can read the guidelines to guest posting at our write for us page.

It seems that getting in touch with people is much harder than it used to be. It used to be that a business could place an ad on TV or radio and business would be booming. But today, advertisement exists as a different world entirely. The world of consumers being nudged by ads during their favorite show has shrunk considerably since the advent of Netflix and iPods.

These venues have replaced traditional TV and radio. It makes sense. With Netflix and iPod there aren’t any interruptions, which eliminates commercial airtime. When a commercial comes on during that defining moment in a person’s favorite TV drama, they get angry. The best thing for businesses to do is to find a more passive venue to interact with their customers.

Social media is huge. If a business doesn’t have a personal Facebook page, it might as well hang itself. So many people log onto Facebook and Twitter every day, and those who do tend to go back multiple times per day. What are they doing? They are checking on things that matter to them. They are updating statuses and tweeting about their experiences.

Experiences are key. Today’s people are experience-oriented individuals. It’s why traditional advertising is met with such contempt. Facebook and Twitter create an experience without pushing it upon people.

It’s actually so passive that it’s almost dismissible. For instance, Facebook has recently added a feature where when an individual mentions a business in their status update, they are able to “like” it. This is the newest way for businesses to track people who like their products or services.

Twitter is the same way. When a person chooses to follow a company’s Twitter page, they are signifying that they like that company. How can businesses market to these individuals? By tweeting and updating their statuses. These updates appear in news feeds for all those who are following them, for Facebook and Twitter alike.

Another way for businesses to interact with their customers is to hold special events. People like going to events, especially young people. When businesses tweet and update and announce their special events, more often than not their customers will come. If the event is extra special, like a sale or maybe a grand opening, they are likely to come with friends. These friends could be potential customers if they aren’t already. And if these potentials have a good experience, they are more likely to join the tribe and follow the business.

Another way for a business to reach more people is to update their education. Online universities offer everything from business degrees to criminal justice degree; they nearly have every degree that a traditional school offers. And they are also becoming more popular amongst the younger generation. So if more businesses were to interact with these institutions, they would have a better chance at reaching them.

Because the world has changed so much since the creation of the personal computer, businesses need to change too. That means using un-traditional methods to reach old and new customers. Innovating with social media, sponsored events and education are three ideas that businesses could and should use. Because when they finally catch up with the youth, the youth will already be on to the next thing—whatever that may be.

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