Fresh ideas for a venerable industry

BY BETH ENGLISH

Every day, you see them. People hidden behind screens. Maybe it’s a man behind a laptop at the coffee shop. Maybe it’s a woman staring at her smartphone in the break room. Maybe it’s even one of your children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, eyes glued to a tablet screen.

Fresh ideas for a  venerable industry

It’s probably you, too.

Most of us enjoy our devices. They keep us connected and entertained. Many are essential for work in this global economy. Screens have their place.

In 2007, the first iPhone made its debut. The world was operating much as it had for the previous decade. Sure, the internet had changed things, but we still watched TV at night and read the newspaper in the morning.

My, how things have changed in the decade since.

Newspapers are struggling. Traditional TV is, too. The traditional media advertisers have used for years have a limited audience.

So, what’s a marketer to do?

A number of smart people have been keeping an eye on this phenomenon. Erin Gargan, one of the speakers slated to talk with attendees at ISPA EXPO 2018 March 14-16 in Charlotte, North Carolina, published her first book, “Digital Persuasion: Sell Smarter in the Modern Marketplace,” last month and it immediately became an Amazon best-seller. You’ll read more about Gargan and keynote speaker Johnny “Cupcakes” Earle in the March issue, but needless to say, they will have some great advice on sharing and communicating in today’s world.     

Until then, don’t miss the article from Knowledge at Wharton about the rise of digital influencers. (See story on page 53.) I certainly have seen this concept work. When you follow a person’s blog, vlog, Instagram, podcast or whatever digital sphere he or she occupies, you are interested in their lives. You may watch, read or listen for sheer entertainment value, but usually there’s an element of curiosity about their lives and the things they value.

Casey Neistat, a New York filmmaker, co-founder of multimedia company Beme and vlogger mentioned in the digital influencers article, is a big hit at our house. We all enjoy watching his videos. We trust him. When he vlogged about his flight on Emirates airline, we didn’t doubt any of his experiences. Maybe that’s because we’ve seen him share when an airline disappointed him. He strikes us as truthful. Did his vlog make me curious about flying Emirates? Absolutely. Although, the $20,000 first-class price might be a wee bit of a deterrent.

Headshot of BedTimes Managing Editor Beth English
Beth English
Managing Editor

It’s not a stretch to see mattress makers developing those kinds of relationships with digital influencers. If this is something you choose to pursue, our article points out that you should take the time to make a selection based on who has the biggest overlap between their followers and your target customers and how likely they are to convince their audience to take action. To that, I would add to find someone who truly loves your product. When the feeling is genuine, it comes across.

Marketing certainly has changed, and it’s going to continue to change. But there’s no reason to be left behind. Go to events like ISPA EXPO and stay up-to-date on the latest insights on how to spread the word about your product.

After all, what you do improves the quality of life for people everywhere. Your message deserves to be heard. 

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