A TV reporter the other night referred to the Internet as ‘The Information Superhighway’, a phrase barely used since dial-up was a boy. It was almost surprising he didn’t use another outdated label, the ‘World Wide Web’, given it’s a far more accurate description than comparing the Internet to a road. An even better analogy is to the human brain: billions of interconnected transmitters and receivers exchanging information at the speed of light. Of course, dial-up was more like the speed of sound, but we are entering a new era.
Ever since the Internet’s first steps we’ve been promised this baby would change the world – and it already has – but as the man said in the movie, ‘you ain’t heard nothin’ yet…’
Australian businesses have to to realise the true potential of the most powerful communications tool mankind has ever devised, and giving it the attention and resources it deserves.
Major companies are now shifting up to 40 per cent of their total marketing budgets online in steps to maximise the impact on their businesses of the Internet’s limitless reach and endless possibilities. Jetstar has announced it will dedicate 40 per cent of its marketing budget to online initiatives, up from its six to seven per cent investment last year. That is a massive increase.
Jetstar’s online presence includes an interactive website and email marketing as well as social media such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter and viral campaigns on YouTube. Head of marketing and PR David May said the response to Jetstar’s online campaigns over the past 18 months had been phenomenal. Its fifth birthday sale in May last year – offering 1000 seats for two cents each, was conducted entirely through Twitter, on which the airline now has 6000 followers. It used Twitter to announce its new Sydney-Melbourne route and 10,000 free tickets, and uses social media to inform customers of news, sales, route launches, special offers and announcements, and respond to queries.
David may rates social media as a far more cost effective means of reaching customers than traditional media, as does Philips Lighting, whose head office has dictated an increase in its online marketing efforts to 30 per cent of its overall marketing budget.
It makes sense for an airline like Jetstar, which is essentially an online business, to invest heavily in online marketing, but the benefits are there for all businesses. Consumers now turn first to the internet to research a product or service, so achieving a high position in Google’s search results through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is invaluable.
Viral campaigns are a great way to increase brand awareness and promote new or special events or products. Check out Old Spice’s brilliant series of online videos that have repositioned the brand from ‘your Dad’s daggy aftershave’ to something much cooler thanks to clever, funny and memorable spots that people forward to their friends. That’s viral at its finest.
Nielsen’s 2010 Social Media Business Benchmarking Study, the first of its kind in this country, revealed that almost half (47 per cent) of the large businesses surveyed were redirecting money from print media to online. A third were taking money from direct mail to online, 26 per cent from digital and 15 per cent out of TV. In addition, 21 per cent of large companies and 40 per cent of small businesses planned to expand their marketing budgets to fund social media, with the majority allocating between five and 20 per cent of their total marketing budgets to social media and 70 per cent planning social media campaigns this year. Half of those surveyed said they risked losing touch with their customers if they didn’t.
The future we were promised is here and it’s clear that if Search Engine Optimisation, corporate blogging, sponsored search engine links, email marketing and social media are not part of your marketing strategy you will be stuck in the past.
At Exa, this is our specialty. We are Australia’s leading web development company when it comes to optimising our clients’ positions in Google search rankings. We understand and have built our company around the marketing power of the Internet. Talk to us to find out how we can help you.