STOP!!! Social Media is NOT a Starting Point, Unless you are Using it to Listen and Monitor your Customers
Everyday I open up my email and proceed to read between 75 and 100 posts, articles and blogs on Social Media. Most I dismiss right away as shameless self-promotion, some have great nuggets of marketing wisdom but their social-media-end-all spin obscure the otherwise brilliant insight, few truly focus on how social media can enhance your marketing objectives and those are the ones I usually forward, tweet, share, etc. Lately, I have noticed an increased number of the latter and this is getting me excited. Could it be true that after all the hoopla and hype we are finally coming back to basics?
I would like to share with you two recent articles that serve to remind us that it all starts with a strong customer insight, a brilliant marketing idea and flawless planning and execution:
PepsiCo Argentina: PepsiCo is combining product sampling with storytelling in Argentina in an unusual vending machine that appears to manufacture Lay’s potato chips before your eyes after a real potato, rather than coins, is dropped in a slot. This campaign starts with a strong consumer insight (chips are artificial) and aims to dispel this misconception via strong visuals, innovative product sampling and high value trial. Expected results: Measurable , it can easily track sales increases in vending retail locations. It also leads to a high potential for Social Media amplification as video can be shared via YouTube, Facebook, etc. – Brilliant!!!! While Pepsi faltered for over a year with things like Pepsi Refresh – this shows that they are now getting “the real thing”
Mattel HotWheels USA: Mattel’s marketing strategy was to “activate boys of all ages” by making Hot Wheels culturally relevant again, says Gretchen de Castellane, the company’s senior manager for community and user experience. On the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500, Mattel’s brand team sponsored a record-breaking stunt, catapulting a life-size “Hot Wheels” vehicle off a jump and sending it the length of a football field, partnered with ABC, who broadcast the stunt which in turn motivated viewers to share in Social Media. The stunt now has more than 6 million views on YouTube, and won Mattel 12,000 Facebook fans.
If you start from a Social Media end all perspective – chances are you will fail. Having a Facebook page, tweeting 100 times a day or receiving a hundred likes per hour are definitely quantifiable but as a revenue generation metric they all fail miserably. A thousand SEO experts and costly SEM software would never have helped Mattel create a viral Hot Wheels Video or PepsiCo think outside the box when it comes to product demonstration. What is the formula for success you ask?, as easy as 1,2,3:
- Focus on your customer needs
- Develop a marketing strategy that fulfills these needs
Social Media should not be ignored, it greatly enhances step #1 if you use it to listen to and monitor your customers sentiments towards you and your competitors. Social Media can also speed up step #3 when you have a clear knowledge of where your customers congregate in the vast universe of the worldwide web.
Where we usually fail is in thinking that the priority is developing a Twitter or a Facebook , or God forbid a Google + , strategy as many “pundits” want you to believe. You should focus on your consumer/customer first, develop an overall strategy and at the end determine the best channels to “broadcast” your execution – it may start with a Point-of-Sale vending machine as in PepsiCo´s case, or a partnership with a broadcast network as in Mattel’s case. You will not know until you go through the steps.
Stay tuned for my next blog. In the meantime, please share your thoughts below; I appreciate each and every one of your insightful comments, and I promise to pay extra attention to any opposing point of view. You can also contact me via email: email@example.com, Twitter: @zeusofmarketing and Facebook: Zeus of Marketing. You can also find additional contact information via LinkedIn:http://www.linkedin.com/in/jrgrana
7 comments September 18th, 2011