Is your marketing campaign producing results?  Are you using advertising as a part of your plan?  Maybe through newspapers, or some TV or radio advertising?

Traditional advertising vehicles still offer some value; however, they represent a shrinking platform for reaching truly engaged audiences.  The evolution of technology, and its impact on how we receive messages throughout the day, has made them less and less effective.

To put it simply, you need to think outside the box.  Literally.  Let’s look at one very popular box…

Your TV

The boob tube, the telly, your good ole television.  Everyone has one, right?  It seems like a fail-safe, 100% effective way to reach people.  After all, it reaches you!  It must reach your target audiences…

You can even watch your favorite TV shows out here!

Sure, TVs don’t seem to be going anywhere, any time soon.  The way we communicate through television changed very little during the first 40 to 50 years of TV watching.  But in the past few years, the landscape has evolved quickly.

In 1999, the TV-watching landscape was changed forever with the introduction of the first digital video recorder, or DVR.  Allowing users to record their favorite shows on a hard drive, TiVo gave viewers the opportunity to easily fast forward through commercials (without dealing with VHS tapes!).  By 2004, TiVo had 2 million subscribers, and shortly thereafter, cable and satellite TV providers began offering the devices for a monthly fee.  In 2009, it was reported that 32% of homes had a DVR unit.

Then, with the release of iTunes 8 in 2008, millions of users began downloading and watching their favorite shows on their computers or iPods.  Earlier that same year, the website Hulu.com went live, and ushered in thousands of new and classic TV shows for immediate, repeated viewing – without traditional commercial advertising (the shows I’ve watched contain two or four, depending on the show length, 15-second promos from the same national brand).  In the past two years, millions of people have started tuning in to their favorite shows in a different way. Yet, even with these new options, most of us still prefer sitting down in front of the ole TV.

Then it changed…again.

In the past few months alone, Apple launched a new and improved Apple TV, a unit that streams your downloaded content right to your TV, allowing you the best of both worlds.  Digital-quality content with limited or no commercials, enjoyed on an extra large plasma or LCD HDTV.  When the new Apple TV was announced in September 2010, it almost immediately had a 2- to 3-week backorder.

Then in October 2010, Google announced Google TV – a partnership with Sony to produce televisions that operate on the Android platform, allowing users to integrate their television and Internet experiences.

Admittedly, these are all really cool devices.  But what does that mean to you, your advertising, and your overall marketing plan?

Well, when we’re watching our digital quality shows on our fancy TVs that we have stored on our computers, or we’re streaming from a website, what’s missing?

The commercials, of course.  The messages.

The ways in which we can interact with consumers are becoming more unique, more creative…and some might say more difficult.

It’s not just television advertising that’s evolving.  Internet radio providers playing commercial-free music, including Live 365 and Pandora, are extremely popular and gaining traction, particularly now that smart phone apps allow users to listen on-the-go.  Sirius Satellite Radio, as of October 2010, has 19.9 million subscribers listening at home, in their car, or at work.  While there are some limited commercials on Sirius, it still remains largely commercial-free.

So, what do we do to adjust, to combat this technological and cultural shift?

Well, we get creative.  Explore new, emerging outlets.  Work with the evolving technology and utilize these outlets to interact with target audiences and resonate with our message.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  It can be a really fun way to truly communicate, and not just toss a message at someone and hope it sticks.

Here’s some ways to get started:

  • Read news stories about technology and social media.  Print them out, bookmark them, do whatever you have to do to stay current on trends and technology.  When you see a post or a story about a company you admire, and how they interact with their target audiences, think about how you could do something similar.
  • Interact with your target audiences through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare – or your corporate blog.  All of these sites are currently being used by people and businesses on their computers, phones, iPods, and yes – even their TVs.  Don’t have profiles on these sites, or are you missing a blog?  Contact Haley Marketing, we can help.
  • Clear communication, targeted messages, effective branding…although the technology and outlets for these tenets have changed, the basics of successful marketing have not.  While you’re paying attention to all the new ways to communicate, don’t lose sight of the basics.

And finally, if this is information overload, don’t worry, Haley Marketing offers these services and more to help you stand out, stay top-of-mind and sell more.  We are relationship marketing experts…and we have tech geeks who thrive on discovering the best ways to use new technology to reach your target audiences (really, we love this stuff!).  Check out some of our products and services, and give us a call at 888-696-2900 if you have any questions.  We’re more than happy to translate all of this into a targeted plan for you.

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