A few weeks ago I happened to be rummaging through my basement and come across a few old boxes from my days at Simon Fraser University.
While I quickly glanced over the remains of my $30,000 degree and the fond memories of adolescent stress, a box titled “Marketing Textbooks” happened to catch my eye. After giving it a moments thought, I decided it might be worth the time to look over these books – after all I’ve spent the last 3 years working in the marketing industry and not to mention – I paid a GRIP for those texts at the time (OK fine my parents paid for them but that’s besides the point). Anyway, after spending the next hour reading over them, I realized most of these books were vastly out of date and unrepresentative of what was taking place in today’s marketing world. Sure many of the principles remained the same, but broad topics such as: avenues to reach target demographics, how to engage with your end users and buyer tendencies were rather obsolete. Sure one can argue many industries have changed in the past few years (as well that school texts don’t paint the big picture) however I doubt many industries have seen such a huge change as the marketing industry has in the past 3-4 years…
Enter the Social Revolution
In the past few years the marketing industry has taken on a new life of its own – and continues to change, evolve and adapt to human culture (seemingly on a daily basis).
In today’s world – marketing is not a subject you can learn just from a textbook. It is neither static nor inactive. It is constantly evolving, it is creative, it is reactive and it is very very social. With the advent of social media and the massive impact its had on day to day life – even the way we seek and purchase products and services is very different than ever before. Virtually for the first time ever, brands are able to directly communicate with their end users and vice versa. Each customer or client now has the ability to ask a real question, share real feedback and have their friends, followers and all onlookers take notice. For better (or for worse), users are now able to directly influence the image of a brand (and brand managers better beware!). Relationships are now being fostered between the company and client – and how you engage with your fans and followers is of primary importance.
This is the era of customer participation. The old model was ‘informing, persuading and reminding’ and the new model is ‘demonstrating, involving, and empowering’.
- Mitch Mathews, Head of Marketing, Microsoft
With the ability to more effectively communicate with other real people (and brands) through mediums like social media – prospective buyers and clients can more easily discover the truth about a particular business. Seeing real comments on Facebook, up to the second tweets on Twitter and real reviews on sites like Tripadvisor all make for a more intelligent purchasing decision. In 2011, the impact of social media and its importance to marketing your product is undeniable. With over 750,000,000 active Facebook users alone, (and over 50% logging on daily), it’s a no brainer that tapping into Social is imperative. But that’s now old news isn’t it? For all of you still in denial, I recommend watching the Socialnomics, Social Media Revolution clip below:
“90% of customers trust peer recommendations. Only 14% trust advertisements”
So now that the world has taken notice to SM, brands are now scrambling to figure out how to engage with their target demographics…and that’s where this blog comes into play. The purpose of this blog is not to teach marketing. It is simply a forum to discuss, explore and share how individuals and companies are finding innovative, creative and effective ways to market their brands socially.
Be sure to check back each week for updates, case studies, interviews and thoughts on the social media marketing industry. If you have any comments or feedback, be sure to let me know in the comment box below!