Changing channels: Marketsmith strategists offer tips for reaching audiences at NJAWBO event

Reaching the target audience is key for any business. Understanding the way that target audience receives information is also key.

That’s why Marketsmith Inc. and the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners came together Tuesday. To help women entrepreneurs better understand just that.

“We’re looking at a digital world. It’s the fastest-growing media channel and it’s continuously getting better,” said Alyssa Bartlett, a media planning supervisor at Marketsmith who, along with Kristen Costello, lead digital strategist at the company, led the presentation and discussion.

“In general, we always look for an omnichannel, mixed-media approach. Having your traditional mediums — TV, radio and print — and using digital media to amplify those channels and reach the user no matter where they are,” Costello said.

Businesswomen working in a range of industries gathered Tuesday at the headquarters of Marketsmith, a digital marketing agency, in Cedar Knolls for the NJAWBO Northwest Region Networking Lunch.

The focus of the lunch, titled “Today’s Digital Landscape,” was, according to NJAWBO, for participating members and other attendees to learn more about their digital presence and a consumer’s digital journey. Media innovations and latest trends in the industry were also a focus of discussion.

“It’s important to understand how your target is consuming media, so that you know you’re in the right space,” said Bartlett.

Bartlett said it’s important to layer on multiple tactics because, in our modern age of technology, consumers now have ample choices in how they absorb their content.

Costello says data is key, too. Especially when attempting to utilize every medium to its greatest potential.

“Data is very valuable in digital media,” Costello said. “Once you’ve decided what channels you’re executing against, you want to narrow what data is available to you. Digital media allows you to eliminate any of the waste traditional media blasts out.”

The mobile landscape is an extremely strong place to be, according to Bartlett and Costello. About 62 percent of consumers, they say, use smartphones or mobile devices to purchase online.

“There are certain creative formats that stand out stronger on a mobile device than others,” Costello said. “Consumers are spending 59 percent more time on mobile than they are on desktops. Over 40 percent of online transactions are completed on a mobile device. Mobile targeting drives site visits.”

Mobile devices are known for strong engagement, Costello said.

The presenters said television, however, continues to be the medium that reaches the largest amount of people. The combination of a TV and digital strategy, according to Costello and Bartlett, is the ideal method.

Beginning in 1978 and headquartered in Cedar Grove, NJAWBO is the longest-running statewide women business owners’ organization. The goal of its work is to help women achieve their professional visions by providing them the tools needed to develop their businesses.

NJAWBO is split into six regions — Central, MetroEast, Northeast, Northwest, Shore and South Jersey — that have monthly meetings to address the needs of participating members. Members serve as officers at the regional and state levels.