Thursday, December 6, 2012

Companies Begin to Include Social Media Marketing in their Marketing Plans

While many businesses use traditional marketing methods to attract new business and clients, others have added or completely replaced traditional marketing with new and innovative marketing tactics. Traditional marketing was based around the marketing mix which included promotion, product, placement, and price. This type of marketing referred to any type of promotion, advertisement, or campaign that was proven successful and was used by companies. One could often see these marketing practices on billboards, in newspapers, and on flyers. As technology was improved, new practices of marketing including the use of the television and radio emerged. Traditional marketing was continuously successful in grabbing company’s attention and increasing the clientele rate.

The internet has taken on a new form of marketing, including social media sites and online ad campaigns. 

Although traditional marketing practices were very successful, many companies today are changing their own marketing style and using a new approach. With the increasing popularity of the internet, more and more companies are switching from the traditional newspaper ads to social media sites to market their products and services. Through the internet, companies can develop webpages or blogs that provide up-to-date information on their products or services. Customers can then subscribe to news feeds and receive alerts to sales or company events. Companies with an online presence can also advertise their business on other popular websites to direct unique visitors to their company's webpage. MDG Advertising states that 64% of marketers are integrating social media into their marketing plans. Using social media as a way to market to an audience allows a much more diverse clientele. People from all over the world can view the company's advertisement, as opposed to only a community being able to look through a newspaper and see the companies ad. 

Companies should use both traditional marketing techniques and the use of the internet and social media to advertise their product or service. 

While newer marketing methods do work and can increase a company's client base, completely replacing traditional marketing with the latest marketing techniques can prove dangerous. Traditional methods have a high success rate and are proven. Internet methods are subject to clients or customers having access to an online medium and being Internet savvy. With traditional marketing, anyone with a newspaper, mail service, television or radio can learn of your business or service. Rather than customers going online to find your business or service, you bring your business or service to potential customers with print advertisements and other traditional methods. While traditional media has its advantages, social media is increasingly becoming more popular for companies. Although older generations may not know how to use a computer or surf the web well, the majority of people are catching on to the new technology and are beginning to use it quite often. Generation Y is full of technologically savvy individuals and will be the new CEO's in the United States. Also, the creation of smart phones have completely changed the game of marketing in that people from all over the world can at any time view the internet. This not only creates a more diverse marketplace, but it allows companies to constantly produce marketing ads that will grab the attention of companies and clients many more times than a newspaper would. One of the most used and successful social media marketing techniques is through the popular websites known as Facebook and Twitter. Companies are now able to place advertisements on Facebook that appears when people log into their account and look at their news feed. This is a great way to advertise to people because the amount of people who not only own one of these social media websites, but also check it several times a day is monumental. Janet Wagner, a marketing professor at the University of Maryland, spoke about how she believes companies should not choose only one marketing method. When asked which approach companies should use, traditional or social media marketing, and why, Wagner says to implement a program that uses both. 

She believes it is the most successful for a company to use both traditional marketing techniques such as newspaper ads, as well as ads on social media sites and blogs, because it makes a company’s name widely known and attracts a greater quantity of potential customers. Both traditional marketing and social media marketing have its advantages and disadvantages, so it is important for companies to implement both techniques in their marketing plan. By doing this, companies will be able to accommodate all types of people and get their products or services seen and heard all over the world.  

It is important for companies to understand what goals they want to achieve before choosing how to market their product or service. 

Whether companies decide to stick to traditional marketing solely, or supplement their marketing plan with social media advertisements, the target audience, medium, and desired outcome is important to take into consideration. A marketing method may be perfectly designed, but if put on the wrong medium, the marketing pitch will be completely useless. Websites such a Facebook and Twitter are great if a company is trying to gain brand exposure and customer communication, however, a company would make a poor decision if they used StumbleUpon to achieve this. Instead, companies should use these types of sites if their goal is to get a lot of traffic to their website. The CMO's guide to social landscape has a great photo of which social media sites are best to use for certain desired outcomes. Brian Burke, student at the University of Maryland, prefers social media marketing as opposed to traditional marketing because it is more accessible and the time he spends on the internet far surpasses the amount of time he listens to the radio or reads the newspaper. However, a fifty year old person may say the opposite and think traditional marketing practices such as advertising in newspapers to be more effective because they spend every morning reading the newspaper. Burke says most of the younger generation has replaced newspapers with the internet. For this reason, companies must decide what target audience they want to hit, what the best medium of advertising is, and what their main goal is. If they can answer these questions, their marketing method will be successful. 

In the end, if a company wants to develop a marketing plan that will pay off and attract new customers, implementing a strategy that includes both traditional and social media marketing is necessary. By posting ads in newspapers or over the radio, companies will hit older folks that read the newspaper in the morning or listen to the radio on the way to work every day. However, by posting advertisements on major websites and on blogs, companies will grab the attention of youngsters who spend plenty of their days browsing the web. By accommodating to all types of people, the advertisement will hit the most amounts of customers in the greatest amount of ways. 


Darryl Tay said...

“…implementing a strategy that includes both traditional and social media marketing is necessary.” – Indeed! Both forms of marketing should come hand in hand in order to achieve optimal results. Consider the elements of traditional marketing first to build an audience, and then use social media to improve communication and reach.

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