There was a time, not so long ago, when marketing essentially meant advertising. Let’s face it – the marketing mix didn’t have a lot of mixers. Sure there were different places to put print ads. Who remembers the Yellow Pages, or the local “Pennysaver”? As someone born and raised in New York. The TV spots back in the 60s and 70s BC (before cable) were basically three categories: Cars, soap and food (or food markets). The reality of the hit show “MADMen”.
Social Media continues to morph and grow
Fast forward 40 years and nearly every day there is another platform to generate or distribute content, create bookmarks, build SME status by answering questions and who knows what’s coming tomorrow. Whether its Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and even more tools like Buffer and Hoot Suite. You can certainly make the argument that with a basic knowledge of these simple marketing automation tools, one could build out a campaign plan for the year, schedule it with the aforementioned tools, and that’s about it.
So when is SPAM not SPAM?
Here’s where the misunderstanding part of my subject originates. Because of the aforementioned and ever growing list of places to publish content, isn’t is starting to look and feel a lot like that dreaded word – SPAM!? Sending the same content or some subset or reference to the same content via different mediums reminds me of watching a TV ad, and then having to watch it again after its over. Even if I sincerely like the information, finding it over and over and over on each of the platforms I subscribe to can be rather annoying, especially when getting “fished” for likes, shares or comments.
Likes don’t pay the light bill, or the phone bill or the rent – Revenue does.
Let’s give you the benefit of the doubt. You’ve written a piece of content that is both informative and flows easily. The targeted reader can absorb the message, and you have just put another notch on your subject matter expert checklist. If you are a marketing professional, many clients ask for a monthly status on Facebook likes, LinkedIn shares, Twitter re-tweets. I push back as much as I can without insulting my client, and instead ask about the conversions, the phone calls, the emails. Is there anything statistically valuable that I do not get to see because I don’t get the phone calls or emails from people who want to know more? Is the marketing I am executing doing its job of filling the pipeline?
If the answer is not a resounding “YES!”, then Houston, we have a problem. Nowadays with so much emphasis on what is considered FREE social media, clients don’t see the same requirements of building a complete marketing plan and budget. In other words, while social media can definitely reach more of your desired market – your buyer persona – it is not a panacea. Done right, a sound marketing plan includes everything from email blasts, newsletters, direct mail, industry events, and every opportunity for my client to demonstrate their solution kills a “pain” the customer is experiencing.
As I made reference to in an earlier post, work backwards. I like to say “If it’s a year from today, what would be the results that would generate ‘high-fives’ around the room?” (Note: Selfish Cavs pic. Apologies to Warrior fans.) Now that we know that, let’s start testing messages until we’re sure one sticks. Let’s be where those potential clients look for answers to their problems. Spend a little money on AdWords, and print ads in pubs that fit your buyer’s niche. And yes, let’s get some social media marketing in there too. But make it part of the supporting cast, not a one-person show, or even the lead actor.
What do you think? Is sending even a good message across the ether over and over on different platforms worth the trouble? Please share your feedback.
As always, feedback on my post is welcome, and if you found my musing of any value, please like, share and re-tweet. Don’t forget to press that FOLLOW button up at the top of the page. And of course Thank You for reading what I think.
Ed Colandra Founder, Mindful Marketing Solutions, LLC
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