Integrated Marketing Lexicon Part 1

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It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the lingo and options when it comes to digital marketing. Here’s a quick primer on some of the tools and technologies available today.

app Short for application. An app is a self-contained software program that’s designed to perform a specific function and downloaded to a desktop computer, smartphone or tablet. Customers must visit a “store” maintained by the device manufacturer (like Apple’s iTunes Store or Google’s Play Store) to download an app. Marketers are developing free branded apps that allow customers to access information, be entertained or connect with the brand. (An example: Anheuser-Busch’s Track My Bud app.)

When considering an app, marketers should determine whether a stand-alone software program (that customers must take action to download) is preferable to a responsive website that’s viewable on mobile devices (no download required).

augmented reality This technology brings print communication to amazing life. A customer points her smartphone (enabled with an augmented reality app or reader) at a code embedded in a print piece to activate additional content. This content could be a pop-up window of additional information, a 3D projection of an image or an enhanced view using the phone’s camera. Layar is a company that’s developing both the AR reader and the embedded codes for print materials. The technology is in its infancy and it’s pretty amazing; marketers are just starting to tap its potential. For an example, see how Ikea is using augmented reality in its print catalogs to show shoppers how an item might look in their actual home.

content marketing A strategy that uses information as the means of engagement with customers and prospects. Marketers create or compile information that’s relevant and valuable, offering it at no charge to their audience as a way to give context, demonstrate expertise and generate loyalty. A content marketing strategy is built on a robust website and uses blogs, white papers, e-mail newsletters, downloadable articles and social media to distribute information. Examples of content marketing: a food company that offers a library of recipes using its products or a paint manufacturer that inspires customers with a palette of color pairings.

gaming (or gamification) Anyone who’s played Words with Friends or Angry Birds understands the addictive power of computer games. Increasingly, games are going mobile—and marketers are using mobile, social games as a way to build loyalty with customers. Some brands are using elements of gaming in their marketing efforts; for example, Foursquare uses a series of badges to reward users for taking specific actions. Marketers should first understand their audience demographics: are your customers likely to play a game, enjoy it, tell their friends and evangelize about your brand? Learn more about gamification as a marketing strategy.

location-based marketing Marketers today recognize the importance of reaching customers whenever and wherever they want to be reached. That means using mobile and social tools to connect with them. Take it a step further, and you have location-based marketing, which allows brands to make special offers when a customer is in a particular city or even in store. For example, grocery retailer Kroger offers a mobile app that lets customers create shopping lists and access coupons in-store. Foursquare’s new advertising platform lets businesses market to customers who are in their vicinity.

Want to learn more about digital marketing tools and how they integrate with your print campaigns? Let’s schedule a conversation.