A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project found that nearly one third of U.S. adults prefer to be contacted via text message rather than by voice calls on their mobile phones. Social commentators may have you believe that this trend means more and more adults are using technology to shy away from direct contact. They may attribute this to a fear of responsibility or an aversion to real, personal connections, blah blah blah. The smart marketer will tell you, however, that it hardly goes that deep. Rather it's a statistic that speaks to the growing demand for smarter, more personal advertising. In essence, the technically connected American is making a stand. And the message is "Stop broadcasting and start talking to ME."
In the fast-paced, ever-connected, always-reachable world of the average young American, the lines of life and work are becoming increasingly blurred. The normal 9 to 5 workday schedule is basically non-existent. Therefore, time has become more and more valuable. That includes time that we have to watch advertisements. This trend has a direct effect on marketing, and digital, mobile, and social media advertisers are zeroing in on it.
Consumers no longer accept that they have to sit through a myriad of ads to get to their desired content. Who has that kind of time? Consumers are tired of having marketing messages dictated to them. They're over having no control over what sort of messages they're bombarded with. With the growth of Internet capabilities, smartphones, and the ever-expanding reach of social media into every aspect of our lives, it's no wonder that traditional marketing tactics are failing to work. Think about it. How many people sit and watch cable television anymore? They don't. They record their shows or order them OnDemand and watch them on their schedules.
Hulu is a prime example of this new, tailored wave of marketing. Hulu allows a user to tell them if the commercials are relevant to them or not and then customizes what ads pop up during their shows. Most are even interactive. Hulu listens. Hulu learns. I don't know about you, but Hulu is my new best friend. Rather than being broadcasted to, Hulu engages customers with the types of messages they want to hear.
Digital marketers are getting hip to the new trends in the messaging preferences of consumers as well, allowing customers to opt into mobile text messaging in promotions and deals. By listening and growing with the technology, the smart marketer is staying engaged with its clientele.
Marketing has to evolve with not only new technology but the preferred method of messaging for its target audience. So, if it seems that the young adult demographic is telling you to talk to the hand don't take it negatively. There's probably a mobile phone in that hand. You can still reach them. Just shoot out a text.
* This article originally appeared on Talent Zoo's Digital Pivot blog