Internet & Online marketing : Making sense of marketing in the digital age by Mike Osswald

Internet & Online marketing : Making sense of marketing in the digital age by Mike Osswald

Image of Mike Osswald
Image of Mike Osswald | Image Source : LinkedIn

To understand marketing in today's

digital age I'd like to start with a

little history lesson if we go back

about 150 years ago in US history we

entered a period of time that was known

as the first technical revolution it was

this time we saw rise of factories and

production lines and railroads and for

nearly a hundred years in America we

concentrated our efforts on talking

about the basics of products and setting

up new markets and communicating we

talked about that in newspapers and in

billboards and on radio and for nearly a

hundred years we got by with this but

then as we moved into the era of the 50s

and 60s and 70s with increased

competition and mass production we had

to become more competitive and we used

persuasive selling and we had more

mediums like TV and telemarketing and

Direct Mail but it was in the 80s and

the 90s that marketing really came in to

the science and rigor that we have as we

learned that we could take an inward

approach of just pushing out products to

an outward approach where we could learn

from people and we learned to research

and develop products that people

actually wanted now let me move to today

which is really the second technical

revolution in early 2012 it was reported

that 55% of Americans had used a mobile

device to access the Internet now what's

more 31% of those said it was their

primary device and that means that about

17% access the internet only on mobile

devices and this was back in 2012 now

earlier this year it was determined that

25% of Americans actually have a laptop

a tablet and a smartphone all three

devices in 2013 tablets are outselling

all other forms of devices including

laptops and they're the fastest-growing

consumer technology ever

now that also means that with the

increased smartphone usage and tablet

usage that we are the mobile web is

supress surpassing the desktop web and

that's happening right now today so

where we're at is this world in which

from the time we wake up to the time we

go to bed we are using these devices for

everything from self-expression from

discovery and research and planning to

preparing the parts of our lives and

managing our life our finances our

health we're shopping the complete cycle

of purchase is there and the socializing

and also me time or simply being

entertained so this is the space that we

mark it in today and it's incredible

because in this span of 150 years of

everything we've learned we have an

environment where the devices that we

have in our pockets that are always

connected and so integral to our

everything we do they did not exist just

four to five years ago that's incredible

right so everything we know about

marketing has to change well know also

yes so I've been in this digital

marketing space for nearly 20 years and

I've seen the changes come in marketing

and markets and consumer preferences and

devices and I thought to myself well

really what has been happening that has

changed everything about what we know

and does anything really apply anymore

and I came to realize that if we do take

some of the things that we know and

reimagine if you will and modernize them

that we can get by and we can live in

this new modern age a marketing in the

digital world I should point out that my

definition of marketing is a little

simpler than most marketing to me is

really just telling people why you have

what they need and listening to what

they care about now of course I guess

I'll add that marketing is everything

that you're doing in life and anytime

you're working to persuade someone else

or or or it inform someone else that

they're the customer so everything here

applies to whether you're a business or

an organism

Asian or any type of situation in life

in marketing we learn one of the core

principles is plan your markets we

segment we target we try to optimize and

learn about the customers but often this

is done with research that's done yearly

or even less frequently it's done by

paying panels of surveys to tell us what

they want and it's more reactive about

what did they think about this thing I

want to sell than it is to say what is

it the people who want to buy things

like I want to sell think about them and

what matters to them and so I want to

change that into the first principle

which is called always be listening and

what this means really is to ask your

customers how they feel it means to

survey more it means to think about not

just your customers but about your

products and services in the mind of

your customers and it means to combine

things like marketing analytics and the

call center if you have one and your

frontline employees and all the people

who are involved in connecting with the

customer and really constantly listening

because the more you can optimize in the

faster you can optimize your products

and services they're better if you're

going to be in this rapid environment

promotion is about the nature of your

message and the things that you want to

talk about that's going to be different

whether you're starting a business or

introducing a new product or having just

a quick sale but today as you've seen

that opportunities have been so changed

in what you can do and quite frequently

the promotions that we have are too

infrequent or they are too similar and

we have this opportunity to be out there

much like we did in the hundred years

prior when we talked about practical

advice and tips and information as we

sold those products so my second

principle is always be talking and if

you're listening to your customer

understand what to say you can do a lot

more with the conversation in a lot more

places and you can be like the news

media or the lifestyle magazine and you

can be more than product in price you

can talk about your great business

mission you can talk about your great

employees you can talk about your

charitable contributions and what's

important here is that consumers who are

always connected are consuming

everything that they

can about the products that they want to

purchase so in fact you need to be there

telling them why they should buy from

you at the time that they're already

getting ready to purchase so it's

important to always be talking an old

principle of marketing that we learn is

about activation and activation is about

your marketing mix and where do I want

to engage in different places and

obviously as you've seen what we had for

150 years has changed and we have a

whole new suite of places to engage and

so we have to think further and faster

about activation so my third concept is

about always executing purposefully

because if you have to change the places

where you execute you need at least to

understand why you're doing it and

consumer preferences change and their

habits change and so you need to be

aware that there will always be more

Pinterest sand instagrams and other

kinds of tools that people use but you

can also understand that you can engage

in a different way because now you can

engage when they're shopping or when

they're socializing or when they're

planning their life's activities we have

the ability now to be more part of that

and we can execute purposely regardless

of place the 1980s were a time of big

business it was a time of a women's

suits with big shoulder pads it was a

time of big ideas it was a time

corporations thought that they needed to

have very large organization structures

and with these large and with these big

structures came in Evatt ibly poor

siloed communication between departments

so the concept that was developed was

this idea around integrated marketing

communications let's get marketing

departments and and PR and our

advertising let's get them to work

together but here's the thing after 30

years of doing this we're no better than

we have been when the ideas first came

out in fact it's even worse with the

pace of business change with the need

for people to you know have more

products in the marketplace and with the

pressures and demands of the business we

have all the more ability to stop

focusing on the customer and focus on

the day-to-day we have to change that so

my fourth principle is always be agile

if you are a small business or

you're already wearing many hats and

you're in a good place but if you're a

big organization you have to think

completely differently about what you're

doing you have to stop spending and

planning your budgets yearly you have to

pool your resources if you fail you have

to move on to the next thing you have to

understand how to work together across

not just the traditional of marketing

advertising and PR but include customer

service and support and product

development and research and everyone

needs to participate in an agile

marketing place that understands and

listens to the customer and creates

things they want and executes

appropriately so these are my four

principles for the modern marketing in

the digital age and they are broad they

go deep and they work well together and

they will work for you

Who is Mike Osswald

I have been involved with digital business strategy and user experience for over 20 years. My goal is to help businesses create the kind of engaging and helpful experiences customers desire, delivering the right messages at the right time and place, and acknowledging every person's power in the buying process.

My background encompasses 25+ years in marketing and management, primarily with manufacturing firms and their distribution channels, retail and e-retail clients. I've also worked with many service businesses, non-profit organizations, and health care firms and educational providers.

I focus on identifying future-forward, significant trends and technologies that can be refined to create breakthrough experiences. I work to create what comes next, nurture new ideas and embrace innovative strategies. I thrive on challenges that require unique solutions.

I’m always interested in :
* Business Analysis and Strategic Assessment
* User Experience and User-Centered Design
* Information Architecture and Functional Design
* Usability Testing, Field Research
* Process Change and Implementation
* Content and Product Management
* Channel Marketing and Collaboration
* Digital Workplaces and the Future of Work
* 3D Product Visualization, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality

Mike is the VP of Experience Innovation at Hanson. He holds a bachelor's degree in marketing management and an MBA with a marketing management focus, both from the University of Toledo. He is a member of the Usability Professionals' Association, the Information Architect Institute, ACM SIGCHI, and the Interaction Design Association. He is also the president and sole member of the Seriously Mad Skills with Post-it Notes Association, but isn't one to eschew the wonders of Scotch tape and small scraps of paper.

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