Catching the eye — online marketing is about starting a conversation

Digital marketing image

Digital marketing image

Marketing is not a new concept. For thousands of years human beings have employed a variety of tactics to entice the interest of potential buyers. It’s called catching the eye –- and it’s a fine art.

In many ways, marketing is in our DNA. To achieve success as a startup one must learn to attract positive attention. It’s survival of the fittest in the startup jungle. Only those willing to evolve will achieve long-term prosperity.

The marketing process is also swiftly becoming more interactive. Billboards and print ads often appear boring in comparison to more communicative mediums such as touch devices and digital signage. In an environment where a brand or product can open a dialogue with a potential buyer why would anyone take a ‘one way’ approach? If you’re a startup with a digital-heavy presence, surely you would want to use all the tools at your disposal?

Despite this, many startups continue to apply broadcast standards to new platforms. All too often digital signage (read: banner ads) is simply used to transmit advertising that would otherwise be positioned on a billboard. Static and unintuitive, these solutions often do little more to entice the web-browser than their predecessors -– leaving potential customers as well as advertising or sales personnel feeling aggravated or discouraged.

The image orientation of digital advertising is also under-considered. Consumers are consistently bombarded by displays set to a landscape format. Even something as simple as making a change to a portrait orientation can often have a major impact on buyer responsiveness and attention on your startup’s website. This is true not just for adverts, but with content too — user interaction can be surprisingly increased just by adding an unconventional spin onto conventional website hotspots.

Touch solutions are infrequently labelled as such — without a clear indication of how to interact with the platform, many consumers simply ‘walk on by’ –- failing to benefit from this unique technology.

In these situations the startup loses out on a sales opportunity and valuable buyer data that could be leveraged to improve service offerings or products. It’s an unfortunate by-product of an unwillingness to evolve, to move with the times, and it’s a trick you’re missing out on.

Herein lies the challenge. In a world where cutting edge advertising technology is freely available and constantly changing, marketers are scrambling to implement modern solutions without applying adequate consideration to the content and dynamics required to realise success.

The result is a landscape that is advanced and exciting, and yet unintuitive and slightly clumsy from a consumer perspective. Whether you’re just entering the startup game, or you’ve been around for a bit, there’s a gap here to improve your digital presence and help you stand out from your competitors: keep the user experience in mind at all times, and adapt your advertising to the type of content on your website.

If you really want to benefit from these new technologies, your attitude towards these platforms must evolve. Consumers have come to expect more than just a static broadcast approach to advertising –- they desire interaction.

So next time you’re reviewing your advertising strategy, ask yourself whether that banner ad can do more for you than just one-way impressions — how can you get more interaction?

Today catching the eye demands close attention to buyer dialogue. If your startup can establish that connection, if you can strike up that conversation, you will see results.

David Ross


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