Target Consumers Where they Spend Time
Since an exchange involves two or more people, it is natural to think of the market in terms of people, individuals, or groups. Clearly, without the existence of people or businesses to buy and consume goods, services, and ideas, there would be little reason for marketing. Since people create markets, it is essential to target clusters of people and the locations they visit to better implement marketing strategies. The World Wide Web has become an important, albeit virtual, location where companies are spending more time and money to target and influence consumers .
More and more consumers are shopping online, rather than traditional (and physical outlets) such as stores and shopping malls.
The Rise of Social Media
The Internet, or more specifically, the World Wide Web, has eliminated time and geographic constraints for both consumers and businesses looking to connect regardless of physical location. Social media sites have further aggregated user content around similar topics, tasks and people, creating online communities that have proven to be lucrative targets for online advertising. As of December 2012, Facebook boasts over 1 billion active users, with over half accessing the social network via a mobile device. Personal information ranging from birthdays and profession, to family photos and multi-user gaming yield insightful intelligence for marketers looking to improve promotion to niche and hard-to-reach markets.
Targeting Digital Natives and Other Technology Users
Besides the rapid adoption of Internet technologies among consumers and businesses, the world is now seeing a generation of people born after the emergence of the commercial web come into adulthood. Often dubbed, "digital natives," these individuals have only known a world with the Internet, and are just as or more comfortable interacting with brands in online rather than offline environments. More importantly, they understand the value of digital technology and use it to seek out opportunities, whether to initiate friendships, judge a brand or make a purchase.
Consumers are also increasingly accessing information from mobile devices, versus desktop or laptop computers. Busy and hectic schedules are prompting people to view and access brand messaging on the go from their Smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles. The growing legion of mobile users, as well as the increasing sophistication of online purchasers and their preference for relevant, digital content, will continue to push marketers to produce targeted, messaging for the web.