For decades, Marketing was a one-way street. We designed, wrote and delivered corporate marketing communications – collateral, ads, direct mail and the like. It was all about the company speaking to the market with one voice.
Fast forward more than two decades and the old “Mad Men” Marketing model is all but dead. In other words, Social is the New Marketing. To see why this paradigm shift has occurred, let’s take a quick step back.
The traditional definition of Marketing goes something like this (from the AMA): “the activity and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large.”
Go searching for a definition of social media and you’ll find so many that marketing strategist Heidi Cohen came up with a collection of 30 Social Media Definitions. Personally, I like Cohen’s own definition of social media as “platforms that enable the interactive web by engaging users to participate in, comment on and create content” as a means of communicating with other users and the public. In this environment, the company/brand can engage in a two-way conversation with prospects, customers and the public at large.
With these definitions in mind, let’s look at 6 reasons why social media is the new marketing:
1. It’s about content.
Social media places the power of the media in everyone’s hands. Unlike the old days, nobody needs to own a TV station, a newspaper or a printing press to communicate with a virtually unlimited audience. All that’s needed is a computing device and an Internet connection. That’s huge because it gives companies, organizations and individuals enormous power to communicate, persuade and impact other people across the globe.
2. The concepts of messaging and positioning have morphed.
One-way messaging is out. Two-way communication via a variety of social channels is in. Marketing must both listen and speak to what the market actually wants to hear – not what you think they want to hear.
3. The never-ending campaign.
The old marketing campaign had a beginning and an end. The new one is a never-ending, living, breathing, organic campaign that requires constant care, feeding and nurturing.
4. There’s not just one target; there’s many.
Social media focuses on one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many communications. It’s no longer just the “message to/for the masses.” Now you can speak to one prospect, to many, or jump into a conversation of many-to-many.
5. Bring the brand to the table.
If you don’t participate in the conversation via social media, you’re letting the market define you and your brand – without any input from you and your organization. Far better to see social as an extension of your brand and use the tools to engage with and evaluate the impact your brand has on key audiences.
6. Focus on execution.
In Marketing, as in life, it all comes down to the details, doesn’t it? That’s where execution comes in. In the age of social media, effective marketing demands that we maximize and integrate all media: text, video, photographs, images, audio, presentation, design and more. Your brand isn’t just your website; it encompasses all communication and must speak with one, unified voice across multiple channels.
Have you made the leap to the New Marketing? More importantly, has your marketing made the shift: Is your marketing social and your social (integrated with) marketing? If not, use these 6 key points to rethink your marketing.
So what do you think? Is Social Media the New Marketing? What key reasons would you add to the list above?
Posted by Scott Mikus and Sheryl Roehl