I was sitting in my office reflecting on how far direct marketing has progressed in the past 10 years. I remember the days of fliers, catalogue distribution, promotional merchandise, direct mail, and street handouts. These were the times when you would gage your audience by using polling or market research but overall it was a solid one-way communication. Television advertisements are one –way, print advertisements are one-way, radio is one- way, and the list went on.
Today with social media marketing, clients can create a great relationship with their audience; they can tell them why their brand is an important thing to consider. But even more important they can tell what their attributes are against their competitors; they can gather all kinds of information that consumers are inclined to give you if they are brand advocates. It is amazing what brand advocates or even detractors will let you know about their feelings which is priceless information to use in your marketing and promotion advertising needs.
In addition to everything else it is a great tool. Social media marketing uses web monitoring and crawling and social intelligence to harvest information about what is already being said in social media communities, and with those insights, we can create campaigns for our clients where we effectively go out and engage people in meaningful conversation. A lot of people believe if they have a Facebook page and a Twitter account they have social media covered; but the truth is that this is just 2 of many ways you should be reaching, engaging, igniting, and communicating with your audiences. We consider any of those and many more including blogs and message boards, posts, forums, video sharing sites, anywhere that people are having conversations on-line is a way for us to connect to people; hopefully to make a meaningful connection and a relationship with them then to convey what we are tasked in doing.
Social media marketing can be measured, monitored, and tracked, so the issue of return on investment is no longer an issue anymore. I shiver at the thought of where we will be in the next 10 years! In 2011 we are seeing great innovations in video marketing that will break free the chains of "You Tube." With custom players, video can be spread anywhere – across the entire span of the web – and allow viewers to learn more about the product as well as make a direct purchase from the player. And this is just the beginning. With a push toward two-way communication being the standard "modus operandi" for direct marketing the possibilities are limitless.
So my suggestion is to find the old promotional t-shirt giveaway marketing campaign and put it in a museum labeled "archaic" marketing of the 20th century.
Chas Salmore, a 25-year veteran of the entertainment and marketing industry, is the Founder and CEO of Marketingworks, Inc., ("MWKS"), a leader in social-media marketing and digital word-of-mouth influence.
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