- 7 mistaken beliefs of ‘modern’ marketing- by Andy Hanselman
Posted by andyhanselman on Thu, 21/04/2011 – 13:08
We’re in ‘interesting times’! The rise in ‘Social Media’ and web technology, the tough economic conditions, the rapid pace of change and the ‘globalisation’ of the world seems to amplify the good and the bad when it comes to ‘marketing’. I speak and present on marketing and customer care to all sorts of businesses at all sorts of events and I come across some really successful marketeers and quite a few ‘not so successful’ in my audiences. The ones that don’t appear to be doing so well seem to hold to one or more of a number of ‘mistaken beliefs’ when it comes to ‘Social Media’ which I can’t help feel are holding them back. (I’m sure there are lots more, but these seem to be the ones I still see quite a lot):
Mistaken Belief One: We’ll stick to the ‘real world’!
They’re scared, intimated or unknowledgeable about ‘social media’ and today’s communication channels, and therefore stick to what they believe is the ‘real’ world as opposed to the ‘virtual’ world. The reality is, of course, that the ‘online’ world is the ‘real’ world! With over 500 million on Facebook, and over 140 Million ‘Tweets’ sent per day, this is the ‘Real World’, so ‘Get Real’!
Mistaken Belief 2: It doesn’t affect us!
I was speaking at a conference and was approached by the managing partner of a local ‘traditional’ law firm. He explained that he understood that the ‘interweb’ was ‘catching on’ and that lots of youngsters were using it to listen to music and watch videos and that yes, it was good for booking flights on, but as head of a well established and professional lawyer he could see no real relevance to his business. As I knew he was coming to the event I had a slide ready for him with the image of ‘RateYourSolicitor.Com’!!!! That made him think!
Yes, it does affect you, but it affects different businesses in different ways and at different paces– the challenge is to work out how, and what you need to do to maximise the opportunities and minimise the threats – yes, it’s the old SWOT analysis.
The key however, having done the SWOT, it’s the ‘So What’? What are you actually going to do?
Mistaken Belief 3: It’s either / or!
I sometimes get asked ‘Andy, should we market ‘online’ or ‘offline’?’ It’s as if it has to be one or the other! There are still too many people separating the two things. Social media is a potential marketing channel, as is direct mail, TV advertising, face to face networking and lots of others. The challenge is to identify what works for you. A starting point should be to ask ‘when it comes to marketing, what are we trying to achieve
a) as a whole’, and then
b) ‘from each ‘channel’’?
The challenge then is to maximise each channel accordingly in line with objectives and resources, not simply one or the other.
Mistaken Belief 4: Leave it to the IT Department Or ‘The Youngsters’!
No, no, no!!! You wouldn’t have your IT team doing your accounts would you? Or answering your product enquiries, service support calls or manufacturing or delivering your goods? They may well be asked to develop and provide support for the systems needed to make these things work, but they wouldn’t actually do them. It’s the same with social media marketing systems and processes.
Equally, the younger members of your team may well be more ‘knowledgeable’ about this stuff and that’s brilliant. Yes, ‘tap in’ to that knowledge, encourage and support them, but crucially, go back to point 3 and get them to help you ‘deliver’.
Mistaken Belief 5: He who shouts loudest gets heard
We do loads of ‘tweeting’ and ‘blogging’ they say. They compare sizes of ‘following’s and ‘friends’ as if that’s all that counts. I have bad news for them – I’m afraid size isn’t everything! It’s just like any other marketing – it needs to be targeted, relevant and ‘value adding’. It’s easy for people to ignore and ‘opt out’. Just because they signed up once doesn’t mean that they’re actually listening! Engagement is key, and it’s engagement with the right people: customers, potential customers, signposters, influencers, hey, even suppliers! So, don’t just ‘shout’ -think about the messages and crucially, think about who they are targeted at!
Mistaken Belief 6; It’s just about attracting customers
Yes, Social Media can be a fantastic way of raising profile, making connections and attracting customers. It can however, do a lot more than that. The best users of social media are those that use it to listen to, and engage with their customers and communities. They use it to build relationship and have conversations – it’s about thinking ‘dialogue’, not diatribes’!
It can be a also a fantastic opportunity to spot trends, highlight issues and ‘tap in’ to what’s going on – it’s about ‘listening’ and observing – too many people are simply missing out on this amazing source of ideas, opportunities, and yes, maybe leads because they are too busy ‘shouting’ not listening. You’re obviously not one of those people or you wouldn’t be on the Businesszone website reading this, but could you do even more ‘listening’, ‘observing’ and ‘spotting’?
Mistaken Belief 7: The ‘old rules’ don’t count any more
The fundamental principles of marketing haven’t changed. My definition of marketing is ‘finding, attracting and keeping the customers you want while maximising your profits’. It’s EVERYTHING you do to find your customers, win them over and keep them coming back for more. Social Media can help do that as long as it’s seen and used as a channel, not the only channel (unless of course that is what the marketing strategy calls for (see point 3 (again!)).
I’d love to hear your thoughts and views – any other ‘Mistaken Beliefs’ we need to challenge?
Andy Hanselman researches, writes and speaks about competitiveness, and works with forward thinking businesses to help them improve their performance