Thursday, May 16, 2013
Did you know that it has been three years since the first iPad was released? The iPad 1 is now obsolete. Owning a smartphone, tablet or laptop is now the norm, and device usage is changing consumer buying behaviour. One of these changes, that magazine publishers will have to adapt to, is called "Showrooming", a practice where somebody goes to a store to see a product but then buys it online for a lower price. 

According to a report by digital media strategy company GroupM Next and search marketing firm Catalyst, 26% of Canadian shoppers, after comparing in-store and online prices, will leave a shop and complete their purchase online for as little as a 2.5% discount.

For an example of how things are changing in another way, take how my neighbour fixed his car. He is a middle aged man with a wife and two kids. First, he talked with a mechanic friend to help with the diagnostic. Then he went on Youtube to see a demonstration video on how to fix the problem, and then did a Google search for the product he needed to get it done. And then he bought it online from an American vendor for significant savings after price-shopping at a local retailer.
The retail sector is going through an interesting metamorphosis right now that will affect advertising budgets for your magazine. Bricks-and-mortar stores are selling online and online stores are opening bricks-and-mortar stores. One of the keynotes at DX3, a digital marketing trade show, was by the CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op, David Labistour. He said 50% of MEC's sales are now online, and that the company has a person dedicated to Twitter communication as part of its customer service and marketing efforts. He also revealed some insight on the power of online product reviews: when a product had a positive review, its sales doubled; when it did not, the product went on sale.

To manage the 24/7 digital store model, marketers are looking at marketing automation technologies to manage customer data. What has emerged to solve this puzzle of interacting with your customer online, 24/7, is a concept called “Real-Time Marketing”. The vision is to create a personal one-on-one marketing solution that automates customer communications based on  artificial intelligence using “Predicative Marketing”. The predicative algorithms (software logic) are based on digital content consumption habits and predicting future needs based on their demographic profile.
The expected outcome of such technology is a continuous one-on-one conversation with the customer, with a personal touch. This type of technology will certainly change the way circulators and ad sales managers work. The real-time marketing concept basically takes a page from the direct marketing handbook for personalized direct mail programs, with a digital spin. The technologies can interact with the customer via email or website.

Another marketing automation technology is social media monitoring solutions. These technologies enable you to track keywords across all social media sites to monitor brand chatter. This chatter is the equivalent of brand mentions in traditional media analysis. And these next waves of technologies is just the beginning, says Arjun Basu, content director at Spafax. According to him, the digital world is just starting puberty.
About Me
Martin Seto

Martin Seto is the producer of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAS) with 30 years of life expereince in technology, advertising, media and creative exploration. He can be reached at marty(dot)seto(at) or 416-907-6562, and on LinkedIn.

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