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Reynolds American back on the airwaves, but where is Joe Camel?

Published September 2, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Even with new technology available, companies still must keep their target audience—and their needs—in mind. The right localized marketing approach can vary from one business to the next, and the types of ads, along with their overarching message, could impact customer trends.

For example, Reynolds American is the second-largest tobacco company in the United States—it produces Camel cigarettes—and it just recently launched its first television ad in decades. The business is trying to push Vuse, its electronic cigarette brand.

According to spokesman David Howard, the idea was to advertise to smokers who want to change their lifestyle, but not add anything too flashy or over-the-top. The ad highlights the product’s technology, and explains where the device was designed and assembled.

“It’s about innovation,” Howard told AdAge. “There are no celebrities and no shots of people using it. The product is the celebrity.”

Howard added that the target audience is adult tobacco consumers. Starting next month, the commercial will run just in Colorado, as Reynolds is testing the product in small increments.

With e-cigarette sales increasing over the last few years—$500 million in 2012 according to industry estimates—it makes sense that more companies are trying to advertise to those customers. The same way that Reynolds is attempting to listen to its consumers, and create a corresponding marketing approach, businesses across numerous industries should take note.

Staying innovative without losing sight of your customers

It should come as no surprise that customers are the key to any business. If consumers aren’t happy with a particular product or service, companies will struggle. But, how will potential customers even know if they want to purchase a product or service if a lackluster marketing campaign fails to entice them?

With technology ever-evolving, it is becoming more common for companies to try to gather as much data as possible about their customers. Then, a targeted, direct marketing approach can be developed.

A recent Mashable article highlighted opinions from various business owners, who all had different ideas about how customer data should be gathered and then used. According to Jeff Eckerling, CEO of dog product ecommerce site Doggyloot​, a detailed form that customers fill out is helpful. It lets Doggyloot know details about the dog, because as Eckerling explained, localized marketing will be better with more information, because “a 10-pound bone won’t work for a 5-pound dog.”

Juan Cruz, co-founder of a gift recommendation app, had a slightly different idea. Cruz explained that it’s important for companies to collect information based on their own products. Additionally, knowing details such as number of logins per day, week or month, the length of each visit and actions taken on the site or app can all help in reaching out to customers.

A direct marketing program doesn’t necessarily need to be flashy, it just needs to speak to its target audience.

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