What exactly is situational marketing?
Situational marketing is an approach to any consumer-based advertising activity, designed to draw public attention to a specific product or service, generate viral influence and, ultimately, sell it to potential customers. While it borrows from many different advertising channels, its core strategy revolves around the idea that certain kinds of consumer behaviour lend themselves to the creation of particular kinds of brand awareness. While traditional forms of marketing endeavour to capture the ‘buying public’ with the promise of great deals, situational marketing tends to seek out the ‘non-buying public’ by capitalising on the unique ways in which the buying public interacts with brands.
In the context of social media, this can be seen as looking at fan pages, user activity on social media platforms, promotional videos or viral videos posted by companies themselves, and the way in which consumers are drawn to them.
While these elements of social media can all potentially offer valuable situational marketing opportunities, marketers need to understand the best way to engage with these behaviours and the best way to turn them into profit makers. It’s not enough to have a video posted online, presented as some kind of impressive scientific breakthrough. Instead, it needs to be promoted in such a way that it becomes the common topic of discussion, with a link provided to your website by providing additional context and detail.
The beauty of this strategy is that it can be adapted to suit the particular needs of each individual company or brand.
If a marketer is working with a predominantly social media client, it might make sense to focus efforts on YouTube or Facebook as well as Twitter – after all, if you’re dealing with a niche audience, you’ll find it easier to move people to your website, rather than trying to get them to click on links within the promotional material or press releases. A similar principle applies when marketers are working with a larger brand, which is trying to expand its presence in a number of different areas. The same strategy can also prove very useful when marketers are preparing for an upcoming event: by setting up relevant social networking profiles, as well as monitoring and engaging on those that will most likely attract interest, you can ensure that your marketing strategy comes together just at the right time.
However, there is one aspect of situational marketing that is particularly useful for those involved in promoting mobile apps: namely, that the app has to be absolutely top-of-the-range.
The success of any marketing campaign relies on having one’s message gets through to the target demographic at the top of their minds; if an app isn’t top of the range, then no amount of branding or promotional activity will make the slightest difference. Marketers must therefore ensure that an app has been designed and built from the ground up with both quality and usability in mind.
When considering how to go about situational marketing for a mobile brand, marketers should consider a few things.
The first is making sure that the product will stand out from the rest of the crowd, and that it will offer something more than what the competition is offering. This is why many companies that produce apps choose to add their own personality into the offerings – whether through video, audio or text – in order to make them stand out from the crowd and make them memorable. By doing this, the company is then able to build up their customer base and maintain it over time. This is known as brand loyalty and is one of the major drivers of brand recall.
With regard to this, marketing professionals may want to bear in mind that it is not only good taste, but also a smart business decision to use situational marketing strategies to grow a loyal customer base.
While the approach may not necessarily pay off at the upfront, it will eventually pay off in the form of increased profits and brand loyalty. Of course, it should be noted that mobile technology is constantly changing – and so too may the strategies and techniques that would best suit a particular brand or company.
Some people might view this type of situational marketing strategy as a form of advertising in disguise, and in some regards it is – however this argument would fall flat when it comes to the current events industry. When you look at some of the top-rated television programs on TV today – such as Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” or The Late Show with David Letterman – you can see how situational marketing has become integral to some of these programs. In fact, some may argue that this is the future of media and advertising. The inclusion of comedy is designed to keep audiences entertained, while serious news events are designed to inform and entertain.
The point is that any marketing strategy, regardless of its nature, should evolve along with the audience and their needs.
Today, there is no longer a need for an advertiser to solely rely on traditional forms of advertising such as newspapers, television or radio. By incorporating an all-inclusive situational marketing plan along with the latest tools and technologies, companies can ensure that they reach their audience and stay there. The best part about this is that the process doesn’t have to cost a lot of money – and most importantly, it doesn’t have to take long.