Social media leaves traditional marketing and communication efforts outshouted, outscoped and outsold

Is Social Media just another new communication channel adding to the existing traditional marketing communication channels like radio, television, cable or web advertising? To answer the prevalent question, let’s consider their business models. The existing channels are fairly straightforward wherein marketers pay for their companies’ message space/air space and transmit of their desired advertising message wherein social media connects users and facilitates widespread distribution of content/message- transforming the traditional marketing forcing companies to alter their business strategies for communication.

I believe that social media leaves traditional marketing communication efforts outshouted, outscoped and outsold. Let’s see how.

  • Volume: Traditional marketing content is being dwarfed by the exponentially greater volume of online user-generated content. In the past, when it came to competing for the market’s attention, brands competing against one another. For e.g. Flipkart vs. Snapdeal. The sheer volume of user-generated content dilutes the paid content and renders traditional marketing outshouted.
  • Viewpoint: An increase in message volume naturally brings forth a variety of viewpoints. Through social media, client opinions commingle with the very different viewpoints of the marketers. It’s likely that a prospective buyer of online product can find ten different viewpoints on the various products available to him, making the singularly-focused content generated by the e-commerce company’s marketing increasingly outscoped.
  • Value: Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Delicious encourage clients to post their mind, experience with the brands they are consuming, be it e-commerce sites of flight booking sites etc. The inherent value is that this content is timely, targeted and real. Though the content isn’t always positive, it’s derived from a personal interaction with the brands. For example, a buy of e-commerce site like flipkart.com posted about the delivery services and the quality of the product delivered. Such relevant information are hard to be found in the company’s website. This rich, experience driven information available on social media platforms which many consumers are looking for, leaves traditional marketing challenged and outsold.

Also, let’s understand the difference with Coca-Cola’s traditional media usage vs. its social media usage.

Television Commercial vs. YouTube video:

Let’s consider 2 similar videos which has the same message (Coca-Cola bringing the world together one Coke at a time) to its consumers. The Television commercial video, “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” wanted the world to drink Coke and learn to sing to make the world a better place.  One the other hand YouTube commercial “Coca-Cola Small World Machine” was an initiative by Coca-Cola to help connect India with Pakistan. Both the videos were meant to advertise the company and its product. However the striking difference between both the video was that, TV commercial was not interactive with professional singers singing the Coke song while the YouTube video was about real people who were able to experience the machine.

Company’s Website vs. Facebook page

 

 

The website is more of a corporate page with financial information and regional data but the facebook page has a more “fun” appearance. Also the page act as a community interacting with each other with comments and replies.

Corporate Career Page and LinkedIn

The content about company information might be more detailed on the company page, but the important information is available on both sites. Though the information is the same in both the sites, however the look is not. The LinkedIn page is more user friendly, especially when looking for career possibilities and also the viewer is able to see what connections they have with individuals in the company.

information currently available.

How is Social Media Marketing different from Conventional Marketing communications?

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. Thus, Social Media is basically designed to reach an audience ONLINE. Traditional Marketing is designed to reach an audience OFFLINE. Conventional Marketing is done through newspapers, TV advertisements, Radios etc. Below are the few points which can distinguish the Social Media Marketing with Conventional Media Marketing:

  • 2-Side V/S n-Side: Conventional Media marketing is mostly a two sided conversation , a TV commercial or advertisement specified for the target audiences while Social Media marketing is an n-sided conversation which can be shared with everyone and there can be to and fro flow of information in the smallest possible time. Hence Social Media Marketing is the most elegant and efficient way of advertisement with broader reach.
  • Lateral Platform “Noone has a Bigger Voice”: Social Media is a platform where content is created collaboratively. Noone has a bigger voice than anybody else. If a consumer comments are writes about any of the updates of the company than only, the content is created or aggregated. In conventional marketing techniques, this may not hold true. The big banners and the big brand ambassadors may outnumber the number of complaints or dissatisfaction among the brand consumers.
  • Supply Side Emphasis V/S Demand Side Emphasis : In the conventional marketing techniques, a lot of emphasis is on Supply side as in what can be supplied, the same is marketed irrespective of the demand but incase of Social media Marketing, emphasis is on Demand Side. What people want, their demands and their needs, accordingly the product is customized. The most of social media marketing tries to find out what are the current requirements of the user and accordingly product is designed.
  • Why V/S Why Not: Conventional Marketing techniques emphasizes on “why “ a particular product is launched, why a particular post should go live but Social Media Marketing has turned the funnel upside and now people think about “Why Not?” rather than thinking about “Why?”. The unlimited space and the right to put up anything and everything of social media has changed the way the industry is looking at.
  • Linear Returns to Scale V/S Profound Network Effects: The Conventional Marketing technique may work at any point in time and can increase your margins by a percentage but the Social Media Marketing results into the profound effects. The ability of a user to connect with others and than sharing with rest of the people has given domino effects to any campaign. It could be positive or negative. It’s just that every small thing being entered in Social Media can reach to hundred’s and thousands of different people.

Social media marketing is not a replacement for other marketing tactics and we highly recommend that you continue to do what has worked for you in the past.Traditional marketing activities that still work for you, like advertising in a newspaper, sending direct mail and attending networking events, are still essential.However, for most, social media marketing is now a critical component of an effective marketing strategy.In fact, social media marketing works best when combined with other marketing activities, especially email marketing.

Social Media Vs Conventional Marketing

The key to be successful in social media marketing is understanding the differences between social media and conventional marketing. Using the same methodology to run social media campaigns as traditional marketing campaigns may lead to a huge waste of resources.

Conventional media includes TV, newspapers, banners, signs, billboards, magazines, etc. Social Media, however consists of Blogs, forums, networking and content websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and so on. Social Media is all about THEM (the consumers) whereas traditional marketing is all about US (the Brand). As I recently learned in a course I took on Social Media Marketing, Marketing is where the brand presents information that the consumers are expected to process or use, as planned by us (the brand). Social media marketing is where we provide the content that consumers will work with, as planned by them.

Traditional media delivers a single message through one-way communication to the largest audience possible. The message goes out while the advertiser waits and “hopes it sticks”. Social media delivers several messages through two-way communication to an audience that is interested in the brand, and the aim here is to draw response from the user.

While traditional marketing may have more professionally created content in the form of ad campaigns and slogans, one that is created through Social media is more authentic. Since it is user generated to a large extent through encouragement from the brand, it is able to create a much larger range of engagement and a sense of community among users. It is an ongoing effort without a fixed start and end date like a conventional marketing campaign.

As traditional communities are being increasingly replaced by social networks, it is now about joining the conversation, rather than disrupting it. Companies need to “Be Social” and not “Do Social”. Mass customization is the mantra, and social is a great channel to leverage on this, rather than the conventional method of mass marketing. Marketers today need to tailor their strategies to the individual and to each platform differently, as each has their own rules, customs and ways of customer interaction. Just creating a single campaign and blasting the same message across different social media websites may cause the message to lose its authenticity.

As Social Media continues to increase its presence, it is imperative for today’s marketers to make the right decisions to include a balance of both strategies. The relevance and appropriateness of using social media needs to be properly studied before just deciding to take the plunge. Once the correct marketing mix is decided, then a strategy needs to be formulated to integrate both media together. One could promote their Social Media presence via traditional media, as an example. It is also important to keep your message fresh to keep people interested in this new day and age of snowballing information.

In the end, it is important to remember that companies should use Social media marketing to ensure they have a better shot at Marketing. As it has been said:

“Social media is the ingredient, not the entrée.”

 

How is Social Media Marketing different from Conventional marketing communications?

With the advent of social media, marketers are rethinking their strategies to acquire and retain customers. Traditional marketing demanded less of customer interaction and feedback and more judgements from the company’s side. Social Media is all about people and their views. Company or the brand has a very little control over it and hence, designing a full proof social media strategy is extremely important for a company’s long term sustainability. As we all know that traditional media mean books, newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, printed advertising such as flyers, brochures, billboards, posters. Social media is found on mobile phones and the internet as blogs, and on various social media platforms for example Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Type of Marketing – Conventional marketing is uniform, structured and clear like advertising campaigns and service hotlines.Social Media marketing is unclear, dissected and spread out like status updates, tweets, blog articles etc.

Direction of Communication – Conventional marketing is unidirectional where the consumers are passive and listening. the information is spread only by the company.In social media, the communication is multidirectional where both company and customers interact and share views.

Scheduling – Conventional ad campaigns are long range and planned for over a longer period of time. Social media campaigns are spontaneous as they are more of responses or reactions to comments and posts.

Scope – Traditional marketing is targeted towards a segment. Social Media campaigns are broad and open to public. No specific segment is targeted in particular.

Risk  – Risks in social media campaign is higher as compared to conventional marketing. This is because virality in social media is very high as compared to conventional media. One wrong or negative comment about a consumer can trigger a tsunami of negative reviews regarding the brand.

Cost – Traditional media is very expensive as opposed to social media which is often free of cost.

The power of social media is increasing every single day. What is becoming more prevalent is that not having a structured social media strategy for marketing will negatively affect a brand’s reputation. 23% of brands do not have a strategy to manage negative social media comments, 26% of brands have a tarnished reputation due to negative social media comments, 15% lost costumers due to negative social media and 11% lost revenue due to negative social media.

92% of internet users read online previews. Of those who reads, 89% trust online previews. 72% trust online previews as much as word of mouth.the funnel for social media marketing is the opposite to traditional marketing , with the former looking to find new customers through word of mouth and through the recommendation of retained and loyal ones.

People like to choose either traditional or social, but the real benefit comes when both types of marketing are used as complements to one another.With social media marketing, content is the key to success. This will determine whether one gets audience’s attention, or drive them away.

Finally, marketing strategies must overlap.At some point, marketing strategies need to converge to give the best outcomes. For instance, if one is selling software, he/she can find new customers and educate or inform the existing ones about new products or updates through social media and/or the use of video in creative ways. But, if one sells plumbing equipment, he/she might split the marketing efforts into two ways – social media for educating customers, combined with traditional methods like direct mail, banner ads or TV spots to help him/her do the actual selling.

 

Social Media Marketing vs. Conventional Marketing

“Social Media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to the community.” ~ Simon Mainwaring

Social media has taken the marketing world by a storm. It has connected people all across the globe, making it possible to share and discover things while rooted to one spot. It is slowly replacing certain conventional methods of marketing, most significantly research. Earlier research was only about face to face interviews, surveys, focus groups etc., but today with the power of social media, there is much more one can do.

Marketers are relying more and more on social media research to gain the insights they need while designing a marketing strategy.

Here’s why:

IT SAVES YOU A LOT OF TIME & MONEY

As opposed to the months of planning and executing traditional research methods, social media research can get you the data you need in a matter of   hours or days. For example, you can search hashtags on Twitter related to your brand or industry and find out what people (consumers, customers, and competitors) are discussing about.  Also, thanks to the expansion of the big data analytics space, understanding the market has become a lot easier for companies. All you need to do is type a few keywords in a listening tool and get the information you need instantly!  You can also conserve money on interviews, surveys, focus groups, discussion groups and other expensive methods of research.

GENUINE CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

important aspect of social media research is honest (more often than not) feedback from customers. Traditional marketing research methods are limited to a particular set of questions which are sometimes forced onto customers, who might not give candid answers. But when it comes to social media, people post their opinions without brands even asking for it. This data could give you more information than the short responses you would get to questionnaires or surveys.

BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR

In general, traditional methods of research involve you asking consumers a set of predefined questions, which will yield definitive responses. But on social media, engaging with your customers can help you gain a better understanding of their behavior. You can learn about their preferences and know what kind of content would strike a chord with them and gain answers that give you information you might not acquire otherwise. This information could be used to create a brand image that would stand out and relate with customers.

REACH OUT TO WIDE AUDIENCE

Social networking sites have countless people, young and old alike interacting with each other on a daily basis. This means that you can reach a wide and varied audience. Your research efforts will not be restricted to a particular demography. You can find out what appeals to different age groups, regions etc. and customize your marketing efforts to suit each group. For example, you can find out which age group talks about your brand the most and you can concentrate on them more while designing marketing strategies.

CONVENIENT METHODS

And best of all, you can do all the above mentioned things sitting at your desk. You can get all the necessary data at the click of a button. With the help of social media listening tools, one can set up searches related to their brand or industry and gain extensive data in no time. The sheer convenience of social media research is making it more and more popular these days.

But the growth of social media research does not make traditional research obsolete. It is still paramount in the marketing sphere for various reasons. Also, despite the merits social media research has, it falls short at certain places, which is why it cannot completely replace conventional methods.

So why is traditional market research still important?

COUNTER BALANCE HEAVY USE OF ONLINE METHODS

These methods have been in practice for a really long time now. Marketers largely continue to rely on them because they are effective and provide valid data. But there are those who are biased towards or heavily rely on online social research methods. Using traditional methods once in a while is an effective way to directly engage with the market.

REACH PEOPLE NOT ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Two, you can reach people without internet access or those who are not on social media. Social media research is limited to people who avidly use its platforms. But in countries like India, where only about 10 percent of the total population has an online presence, the data you get represents that small percentage alone. This is why traditional methods are still necessary to gain proper insights.

TARGET A SPECIFIC DEMOGRAPHY

Another problem with social media research is that you do not have a properly defined customer base. People might hide their profile information or not provide correct information. You cannot get specific demographics for your research. For example, if you wish to get customer feedback from a particular region in the country, it would be a lot easier to go to the place and conduct surveys than trying to nose out people belonging to that region from online conversations.

Both methods of research are equally important in the marketing world. Finding the strong points of each and combining them in the right way can provide optimum results.

Traditional Marketing Vs Social Media Marketing

The same principles of traditional marketing applied to social media marketing may not derive the same results as desired. Hence in order to run successful campaigns, it is important to understand the differences between the two and leverage upon both in an efficient way.

The Funnel

In traditional marketing, the funnel represents the process of finding and converting new prospects and finally sustaining the converts. It is represented as a funnel since the number of customers that flow from the find to the sustain stage keeps decreasing.

In social media, the process of find to sustain can be represented as an inverted funnel. Using social media, we can have lesser number of customers at the find stage. But in accordance to how the model works, the few finds will spread the word and bring in more people at the convert and sustain stage.

This would be the most important difference that we need to keep in mind when using the two marketing techniques.

Engaging the customer

In traditional marketing the relationship between the customers and company is one way. The company talks “at” the customer. The way traditional marketing is carried out is not focussed and aimed at the masses. There is no concept of customer engagement.

Social media marketing is based on the creation of original and value-added content that attracts customers. The content which can be in the form of blogs, articles and videos should be such that they provide interesting information to the customers. The unique and interesting content compels the users to return to the social media sites and to engage with the brand through posting content and commenting.

Reaching out and creating awareness

Traditional way of advertising through ads and print does not reach out to as many customers as it used to. Now there are ways of tuning out the advertisements since the customers find them intrusive. Bombarding the customers with irrelevant offers and products may irk the customer creating a negative aura around the brand. One advantage of the traditional marketing is the control over the content that the company wants to circulate.

In social media marketing, the ads are customised for customers based on their preference and choice. It reaches out to customers who are trying to engage with the brand. Engaged customers share their content through social media which creates an increased level of awareness amongst their network of friends and family. There is a network effect created. Custom content can also increase search rankings as links are shared thus leading to an increased visibility for the brand. One downside to this is that the content being published cannot be controlled by the brand.

Cost

Companies spend a lot of their marketing budget in traditional ways of advertising such as TV advertisements and also print ads. With customers increasingly becoming specific and aware of what they exactly need, the effectiveness of TV ads is reducing. Most people find that to be intrusive and skip the ads altogether making the ads obsolete and rendering the budget spent on advertising redundant.

Social media marketing in that aspect is very cost effective and is more efficient in reaching out to the target audience. This is compounded by the viral nature of social sharing. Considering that a lot of consumers make their purchase decision based on the recommendations on social networks, this comes at almost no additional cost to the company and thus is very cost efficient.

Thus social media marketing though seems much more powerful than the traditional way, there are chances that it can backfire and hence should be used cautiously along with the right mix of traditional way of marketing.

 

 

Social Media Marketing vs Conventional Marketing Communications !!!

In today’s regularly changing and fast paced world, advertisers are scrutinizing the genuine contrasts between social advertising and customary promoting. Is one superior to the next? Is one more suited for one sort of business over an alternate? Furthermore is one on the edge of death while the other is blasting with life?

Social media has rapidly integrated itself into our everyday lives, both personal and professional, and it’s perhaps had no greater impact than on the world of marketing, with consumers and brands seeing enormous benefits and changes.

But how does social media compare to traditional marketing?

The advantages of social media marketing are numerous.

It’s cheaper. You can reach thousands of 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

It’s not all gravy, though. Social media campaigns can be time consuming and the impact can disseminate very quickly, whereas traditional marketing campaigns, certainly in television, can produce short term results that have greater tangibility.

 

Advantages of Social Media Marketing vs Traditional Marketing:

 

  • Inexpensive vs Costly
  • Interactive / engaging vs One way / non reciprocal
  • Measurable vs Hard to measure
  • Customised marketing vs generally only Mass Marketing

 

Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing vs Traditional Marketing:

  • Time Consuming vs Quick and gives immediate results.
  • Information fades quickly vs Information is permanent more tangible.

 

Key difference of Social Media Marketing over Conventional Marketing,

 

  1. Social Media is not only about plain advertising it’s much more than that.
  2. Social Media Marketing also influences Market Behaviour
  3. Social media continuously uses new evolving technologies like we saw in the fridge magnet example of Red Tomato Pizza.
  4. Social media is real time ie. as it happens its continuous and instantaneous like the Oreo campaign during Super Bowl “Dunk in the dark”

 

So have we decided which form of marketing is better?  Both forms have clear strengths and weaknesses.  In order to pull out the most advantageous qualities, both forms of marketing should be used together.

This seems to be the biggest misnomer to many.  People like to choose either traditional or social, but the real benefit comes when both types of marketing are used as complements to one another.  Traditional marketing is actually just as effective today as it was before the internet was invented.

Social media marketing is not a replacement for other marketing tactics and it’s highly recommend that one should continue to do what has worked for you in the past.

Traditional marketing activities that still work for you, like advertising in a newspaper, sending direct mail and attending networking events, are still essential.

However, for most, social media marketing is now a critical component of an effective marketing strategy.

Social Media is an Important Part of Your Marketing Mix, but Not the Only One.