Marketing, musings, and the future

Social Media Doesn’t Sell Products, Good Marketing Does

As I went to the supermarket this weekend, a sign proclaimed “Like us on Facebook”.  The first thing that popped into my head was “why on earth would I do that?

So many companies have gotten caught up in the social media buzz that there’s almost a feeling that all that matters is that they have a social media presence. But companies, like my supermarket, that enter social media without a plan to engage an audience have forgotten that social media doesn’t sell products, good marketing does.

Funnel Based Marketing has been the classical way to think about marketing and I have found still provides the best ROI, albeit with a few tweaks in the new digital age.

Digital Age Tweak #1. Social media is an amazing channel for awareness.  In the old days of mad men it was all about the print ad, but many brands are finding that social media trumps the print ad, particularly for the 20-35 age bracket. The trick is in designing an interaction that will engage your target persona and in ensuring that you sustain an ongoing conversation. Social media is not a one time event like an ad production is

Digital Age Tweak #2. There is way too much noise happening now and it is really difficult to rise above it. Smart marketeers are starting to recognize that content marketing plays a huge role in getting above the noise. Content marketing is based on providing information that is relevant to the user and may not be product-centric. Because you have spent time gaining credibility with the user, he/she is now open to your persuasion marketing. A great example of a company that did this well is River Pools and Spas.

Digital Age Tweak #3. Think Omnichannel and immerse yourself in the customer journey. Potential customers no longer interact with a company via a single channel. They interact with sales and service people, the website (via multiple devices) and may even visit a physical store. Understanding how each of these leads a potential customer from awareness to purchase and how they interact is key in the digital age.

A company who has really revised their marketing strategy for the digital age is Nike, even dropping their spend on TV and print advertising by 40% over the last three years. Why? Their key demographic has given up television to hit a variety of online communities. Great example of how they’ve change their approach is the 2010 World Cup Campaign “Write the Future.” The campaign started with teasers that built a loyal online community base. Then the ad, featuring soccer stars imaging the riches that come with winning the world cup, debuted on facebook, creating a viral sensation. Digital and social media are channels. Without a good marketing strategy that targets customer behavior…well, they do no better than the old fashioned methods.


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This entry was posted on June 19, 2012 by in Uncategorized.


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