Tahera Akter Laboni says she spent seven years of her life making door-to-door visits with brochures. As a field level worker of P&G group, her job was to introduce products like shampoos, soaps, and pads to the housewives. “Some of them never let me enter their houses, shut doors on my face, but some of them were really kind and warm,” Tahera recalls her experience of marketing.
Printed media marketing has been a vital part of business promotion. But with the changing dynamics, the application of printed media promotion is not the same as before.
“It has been 4 years since I have established my organisation and we haven’t printed a single leaflet or brochure yet,” said Mr Sabbir Sarkar, founder of EnglishA2Z, a skill development organisation. According to him, going digital from the beginning is the reason why his business has survived the pandemic. Now the organisation is absolutely digital and they have been taking online classes at full stretch.
Advertising or marketing is associated with business development since the beginning of civilisation. Sellers in Egypt, Greece, and Rome would paint or carve advertisements onto prominently featured surfaces such as the sides of buildings or large rocks near paths with heavy foot traffic. The earliest known printed advertisement also originated in China.
Dating from the Song dynasty (960-1279 CE), an ad for needles says “We buy high-quality steel rods and make fine-quality needles that are ready for use at home in no time.” The advertisement also contained the image of a rabbit holding a needle, a logo for the brand. No wonder the advertiser was fairly farfetched and ahead of the time.
The dominance of the customer, extensive market research and rise of computer and digital devices have changed the advertisement world upside down. Social media-based new ways of business promotion have reached a whole new level.
The Phenomenal Facebook/Instagram Live
Live video has taken the world by storm. A well-planned Facebook Live broadcast is a great way to share thoughts, long-form contents that engage viewers, ultimately playing to the algorithm.
“My sales have increased by roughly 20 per cent and my page has got more reach than ever since I started doing Facebook live,” says Tania Tabassum, founder of Fashion Fairies.
“Live videos are more effective in the sense people get to see the product from different angles and of course in a better way. They get to ask the queries immediately which reinforces the purchasing mindset.”
OVC is the new TVC
Online Video Commercial or OVC is actually a wrong term that has been established in the media industry mistakenly. The actual term is Online Contents which refers to any material available on the web. Online contents include text, images, animations, music and videos.
Television Commercials or simply TVC had been the most appealing business promotion in the late 19th century; even in the early 2000s too. A TV commercial gives your potential customers an immediate sense of credibility regarding your business. But the problem with TVC is – watching it is always voluntary and you can change the channel instantly in order to avoid it. Also in the era of the internet, the number of television users are decreasing significantly. This is how online video commercials invaded the market.
“Online video commercials are made exactly how a TVC is made. The only difference between them is at which platform they are being used. TVC is confined to television whereas OVCs are being widely used in Facebook, YouTube, Instagram,” explains Mr Mahathir Spondon, founder of The Big Content marketing agency.
“OVC ads are more effective in the sense that it pops up when you are watching your desired content in social media and you can’t skip it. Even unwillingly, you have to watch it. Hence the ad reaches to the targeted audience.”
PR Hype in Instagram
Sending PR packages to Instagram influencers/models/TikTokers has been a popular mode of marketing in recent times. In this process, products are being sent to social media influencers and they help in introducing the product to their audience.
According to Mumu Tabassum, the owner of an Instagram based jewellery page named ‘Ray by Laiju,’ sending PR to influencers is a very helpful marketing tool. The whole process is convenient and the target audience can be reached easily.
“Honestly, ever since I started the business, i.e. for two years now, I have been doing PR promotion and our reach has increased exponentially. Now, we are finding our consumers relying more on word-of-mouth which is genuine reviews of their friends and family. With this sudden shift in marketing dynamics, we are reevaluating the market and our content strategy as well.”
The landscape of advertising and promotional activities of business has changed drastically since the inception of social media. As more and more people are gathering on these social connectivity platforms, these are taking the business promotion world by storm.
Kaniz Fatema is currently studying geography and environment at Dhaka University. E-mail: [email protected]