In 2013, the medium is still the message.
When establishing a business, conventional wisdom dictated that the most important factor was “location, location, location.” That’s still the case – but today, the “location” happens to reside in smartphones, tablets and laptops. As a result, we’re seeing a shift in how companies share their traditional marketing and communications messages, with their mobile presence becoming increasingly important.
Advertising gets personal.
Demographic and psychographic targeting have long been recognized as a critical underpinning of any advertising campaign. Media directors purchase ad space and mailing lists based on TV, radio and print audiences that reflect their desired customer base. Today, sponsored ads on Facebook, gmail, Twitter and other platforms are able to extend a campaign’s reach very cost-effectively through messages targeted to an audience based on their known online habits. It’s relatively simple to adapt advertising creative to social media – and reach the consumer when he or she is ready to make a purchasing decision.
Media relations are more nimble.
While there’s still a need for that old staple, the press release, social media help companies get the word out faster. Like everyone else, journalists use mobile devices (and, increasingly, create content for them). Tweets and Facebook posts are great ways to hit the reporter’s inbox with timely announcements and story updates that help them ensure that news is as fresh as it can be.
It’s more about loyalty than the program.
Typically, loyalty programs have rewarded customers for spending a certain amount of money or making a set number of purchases. Social media are changing that model: Now, the focus is on compensating customers for endorsing a company, product or service. “Like” a company on Facebook, and you may be immediately rewarded with special offers or invitations. In effect, online consumers are becoming brand advocates spreading positive word of mouth – which is one of the most effective forms of advertising. And it’s a form of loyalty that savvy companies are paying to cultivate.
Their ubiquitous presence has made social media an important part of the marketing mix. Sponsored links and ads on Facebook and Twitter can replace direct mail and augment traditional media placements. Media relations via social media can be a better alternative to email and faxes. Online loyalty programs expand a company’s reach beyond immediate customers by positively influencing potential customers. Should businesses be setting aside budget dollars for social media marketing? Absolutely. And they should be able to come up with the funds by trimming some of the money spent on conventional tactics.