Social Media Marketing vs Conventional Marketing

Traditionally, we’ve prioritized our limited resources and time on trying to find and convert new prospects (the top of the funnel). Keeping those hard-earned customers (the bottom of the funnel) has often been an afterthought. That’s because, until recently, there was little we could do to keep existing customers that was drastically different from the tactics used to attract new ones.

And technology now enables us to influence consumer behavior both before and after the sale. With low-cost and easy-to-use tools like social media and email, we no longer have to hope that customers come back and bring their friends with them. Now we can reach out to our existing customers to remind them to come back, and make word-of-mouth as easy as clicking the share, like, or tweet buttons.

There’s little doubt that technology has changed our lives, the way we are influenced and how we influence others. But for marketing, it’s more than just doing the same old thing using new tools. Social media marketing isn’t your grandmother’s marketing—it’s different from what most of us have traditionally learned about marketing.

The advantages of social media marketing are numerous.

  • It’s cheaper. A lot cheaper. You can reach 1,000 people for a fraction of the cost using social media than you can through television, billboards or even email
  • Social media is the only marketing platform that allows you to engage and interact with your consumers – it’s a two-way relationship, which can be hugely lucrative for brands
  • The results are measurable, and marketers can take immediate action to spot trends and re-align campaigns
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING 

Two-way conversation

Open system

Transparent

One-on-one marketing

About you

Brand and User-generated Content

Authentic content

FREE platform

Metric: Engagement

Actors: Users/ Influencers

Community decision-making

Unstructured communication

Real time creation

Bottom-up strategy

Informal language

Active involvement

CONVENTIONAL MARKETING 

One-way conversation

Closed system

Opaque

Mass marketing

About ME

Professional content

Polished content

Paid platform

Metric: Reach/ frequency

Actors/ Celebrities

Economic decision-making

Controlled communication

Pre-produced/ scheduled

Top-down strategy

Formal language

Passive involvement

Social Media is about efficiency
There’s no amount of paid advertising that can realistically overcome a deficiency of earned media. Thanks to the real-time, public nature of the web, marketing and PR have been supercharged and we are now able to maximize this other half of the messaging model. Though this model has always existed, word of mouth tended to resist scale and relied largely on one-to-one or one-to-many interactions.  The dawning of the digital age has introduced unprecedented scaling capabilities to many of our communications.

Social Media disproportionately influences market behavior
Digital platforms like web, mobile, and social media currently have the highest efficacy among marketing channels in terms of overall, weighted value (contemplative of the market’s perceived trust, and reach and amplification capability of various communication channels). This is especially true compared to more “traditional” channels such as radio and printed materials. In fact, the weighted values attributed to these channels have experienced dramatic decreases even in the last year! Instead, folks are looking to social and web-based platforms to acquire the intelligence to inform their decision-making processes – and these platforms play a significant role as the go-to source for information.

Social Media involves evolving technology & platforms
Unlike largely “fixed,” static media such as print and radio, the mechanisms by which digital messages are delivered and the context within which individual members of the market receive these messages is constantly in-flux. Social media and digital communications depend on rapid innovation, changing platforms, and evolving social mentalities that sink or swim in real-time. They require a strategic flexibility to succeed, and often necessitate experimentation in order to understand how to best reach particular audiences through online engagement. The classic marketing texts of the past remained relevant for decades because – arguably until now – organizations could have one spokesperson, they did have the time to prepare responses before meeting the press, and they could leave a lot more behind closed doors.

Social Media is real-time & 24/7
Though it was historically done more passively, brands have always been building relationships in real-time – even while the CEO or other appointed spokesperson was off the clock. Today, the real-time nature of digital platforms have made organizations accessible at all hours and in all situations. And the public especially utilizes these platforms during moments of crisis – the very times when organizations in the past may have been particularly grateful for the ability to remain silent as they got their PR ducks in a row. Moreover, organizations are expected to respond to inquiries on social media platforms in real time. Unlike traditional media that runs as per a schedule and a plan, social media requires active management and necessitates the implementation of real-time PR strategies all day. Every day.

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