We have all experienced marketing techniques and approaches, some of which are still used today. If we think back over the last 20 years, we will recall things like… Flyers in the local library, competitions on confectionary wrappers, letters with a cheque with your name on it (All you need to do is claim!), telephone sales, being approached in a local mall, email marketing, text messages and more recently… The use of Social Media, PPC, SEO and cookies!
However, have the fundamentals changed? When I think back to University and studying Marketing; it was always about the 4 P's (as proposed by E. Jerome McCarthy in 1960) and occasionally argued by many the 5th P too… The 4 P's are often expanded to the 7 P's, but we'll park that. The four P's as most marketing/business professionals will know are… Product, Price, Promotion, Place; and the 5th P - People.
To put this in a simplistic way; it's about having the RIGHT Product, at the RIGHT Price, with the RIGHT Promotion, in the RIGHT Place. For those who include the 5th P - People, that would include; with the RIGHT People (employees). In my eyes, this is basically what marketing is. How many times have you heard the phrase, 'It's about getting your marketing mix right' or 'What's your marketing mix'
Can the same principles of marketing be used today on social media? Where on platforms such as twitter you have a maximum of 140 characters (for the time being at least!) to get your message across, sometimes even less if you choose to include pictures or a link! You can see how this has changed the landscape of marketing altogether.
I would argue the technological advancements we've seen in the last 15 years and what we are going through now, eclipse any period since the invention of the wheel!
We have to be honest and say in the ever changing world we now live in and with organisations such as Google, Facebook and Twitter making changes to their algorithms and functions as they see fit, that a teenager at school could conceivably know more about a particular social media channels than you or I. But, the question is, does that mean they know marketing, or if you prefer, does that mean they understand social media marketing?
It is important that we understand the tools we have at our disposal and the effect they can have on our businesses. However, that doesn't mean that we have to necessarily be the ones using them?
An example I often use is this. We all know how to make a cup of coffee, but we still go to Costa (or another coffee shop). Why is that?
It's simple; mostly for convenience and secondly to save time. The same with social media marketing, you may understand the basic principles of social media, but does that mean that you're the one who has to do it? Could your time be more effectively used elsewhere and is it cost effective for you to be doing your own social media, when you could be out there securing new accounts/clients/customers?
Imagine, every time you wanted a coffee that you got out from your bag, a thermos, coffee beans, a grinder, sugar and milk, not forgetting your cup and spoon. If you visualise that, it just doesn't sound productive, does it?
To conclude, it's vital to get Social Media Marketing right! We need to implement the Marketing Mix and use it when creating your social media strategy and/or campaign.
I'm sure we've heard of many businesses and organisations that have spent money on so-called social media experts or marketing agencies, only to find that a few months down the line they have not got the promised results and have spent £000's! This is why it's vital to get the right person or Digital Marketing Company. It's also important to know who the individual is, what's their background and experience, and in the case of an agency, who are they and who works for them? I believe a good way to start would be by asking the individual or agency one question… “Have you heard of the 4 P's?”
Founder & Director Soc-Med Ltd