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BroadVision Marketing Blog

What Has Social Media Done to Marketing?

Posted by Jaco Grobbelaar on Sun, Sep 18, 2011 @ 10:00 PM

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Image via CrunchBase"]Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...[/caption]

Do you remember when the Beatles became an overnight sensation? Well, I do. I guess that makes me old. You know you are old when the songs that defined your generation are being played in the pharmacy or in elevators.

OK, so I get nostalgic about the good old days, when men were men, women were women and there existed real newspapers for Clark Kent to work on, TV for Superman to have his own series, and radio and direct mail as well as the first two were key advertising elements.

It was a super time for marketing and here are some reasons why:

1. Business people didn’t have to listen to customer. That was what focus groups were for. Other advertising was a monolog aimed at the customer. There was no such thing as dialog. While customers could complain to their neighbors about bad service or the poor quality of what they bought, who cared? We had the ability to crush small upstart businesses with our budget, not our good service or products.

Social media has done away with this advantage. Now small businesses can compete because complaints go over Twitter or Facebook to many more potential customers. The small businesses have a more equal playing field because marketing doesn’t just have to do with the size of your budget.

2. We could spend the budget getting expensive creativity for our magazines, direct mail and other media. Now, while  magazines and newspapers still exist, they have been shrinking. Direct snail mail is down from even ten years ago. Magazines can be seen on tablets. Now text ads are small, banners are small, we have 140 character tweets and so on.

Social media has forced us to be more creative than ever so we can market our company on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, et al. Our canvas has shrunken to fit on the internet and we need to be better at selling ourselves on a smaller medium.

3. We had measurement platforms that we could understand, like  Nielson, ABC, Arbitron so we could receive reliable numbers in proven decades old forms.

Analytics have surely changed in this brave new world. Now we have reduced our metrics to actionable and relevant statistics rather than pouring over the data dumps of the good old day.

4. It was easy to keep our marketing jobs. All we had to do was what we had been doing. We could easily make our numbers and keep our jobs. No worries.

Now social media has people scrambling as new technologies and devices are popping out of the ether. We don’t have any historical data to show us how to continue being successful. We have to take chances. That makes our jobs no longer safe. The risks are higher, but then so are the rewards.

5. We could drink Margaritas for lunch. No one has time for that anymore, and that’s too bad because we had a good time.

Times have changed. Marketing has greatly changed. I am glad that I am around now to see the difference and to be part of that difference. I wouldn’t go back. Would you? Please leave your comments in the box below.
Jaco Grobbelaar, owner of BroadVision Marketing, helps business owners and business professionals put marketing strategies in place that consistently secure new clients. He can be reached at jaco@broadvisionmarketing.com or 707.799.1238. You can “Like” him at www.facebook.com/broadvisionmarketing or connect with him on www.linkedin.com/in/JacoGrobbelaar.

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Topics: Small business marketing strategy, Branding

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