traditional media

Classic Marketing v. Social Marketing

Classic Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

Multimedia communication is all the digital communication tools used to publicly dispatch a message.  Multimedia communication blends the old channels of marketing with the new technology of the 21st century.   Billboards are now digital, magazines are flipped through online and so on.  Traditional marketing is still alive and well.  It has just been updated.

In this post, I’ll focus on two aspects of classic and social media marketing: types of marketing available and how a company communicates with their customers.

Classic types of marketing are any channels that existed before the Internet: television, outdoor, print, direct mail, radio, collateral, events, etc.  These are all straightforward, uniform ways to send a message to your ideal customer.  While some companies are spending less in these areas than before, television ads, billboards, newspaper and magazine display ads, postcards, radio spots, flyers and the like, are still important pieces of any marketing strategy.

In my opinion, social and classic types of marketing are similar in that social media should be treated as another channel available to advertisers; another vehicle to carry the marketing message.  Its is just another piece of the pie and like all other mediums, it should get a percentage of the budget.

Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites.  This type of marketing is dissected and sometimes unclear, taking place through status updates, tweets, blog posts, video links, check-ins or any other message shared on a social media site, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Snapchat and more.  Often times, you don’t even realize you are being sold.

One difference between the two types of marketing is that social media advertising is significantly less expensive than traditional types of media.  It will cost less to have an intern post this weekend’s sale prices on a social media channel than it will to produce and air a television commercial stating the same information.  Because of this cost difference, many maintain that digital marketing will save your company time and money, not only in production of campaigns but in research costs as well.

Another difference between classic and social marketing is that digital media offers an  accurate way to track results.  With dashboards and analytics built right into most services, you can see in real time who saw your message, who liked it, who shared it, who clicked on it, who opened it, and more.  This type of information is more valuable to a company than anything previously offered by classic media.  It was stated in the book, CtrlAltDelete, “Google’s ad revenue is more than that of the entire US print industry,” This statement signifies how successful the leader in online advertising has been in direct comparison to its traditional industry competitor.

The second aspect I want to explore is how these two medias help advertisers communicate with their customers.  Before social media, if you wanted to make a suggestion, provide a comment, ask a question or file a complaint about a product, you would write the company a letter.  In most cases, you didn’t know how to get the address and if you did, you probably weren’t going to receive a response.  If you received a free sample in response to your communication, you were lucky.  This eventually turned into call centers where you could reach an automated system or sometimes a live person.

The advertiser would communicate with customers through display ads or commercials which is entirely one way communication.  The company would talk and the customer, if the ad reached this particular customer, would listen only.  Before the internet, if a company wanted feedback on a campaign they would need to rely on traditional market research strategies such as focus groups.

Social media has revolutionized communicating with a customer.  With this type of media you can interact and engage with your customers, respond to their feedback, have conversations, and often times, your brand can become a part of their daily lives.   One reason why social media has increasingly high participation is that millions of people are signing on to these sites through their mobile phone.  This allows the world to engage as often as they like from virtually anywhere.  Nobody wants to miss anything!  “More people have a mobile subscription service than access to safe drinking water,” is a powerful quote from our reading this week in CtrlAltDelete.

I appreciate social media and how much it has changed the marketing and advertising industry.  Being completely fascinated but intimidated by it, is what brought me to this graduate program.  But, I am a believer and to me traditional media is still king.  Even with incredible stats about the millions of people on social site, there are still a large percentage of consumers who do not have a smartphone or do not engage in the social experience.

It is clear that using social to complement your traditional media campaigns and using integrated marketing communications will turn the best results.