April 28th, 2011
For Easter/Spring Break, I want to bring back my first blog which represents the foundation to my writings in Social Media strategy. Referring back to your objectives not only keeps you grounded but also helps you maintain your direction.
Back to Basics:
2011 should bring basic marketing principles and common sense to new media.
If you’re like me, classically trained in marketing and strategy (which includes starting my career at Procter & Gamble), I bet you’ve wondered when the focus of social media development will switch from what’s technologically feasible to what’s necessary to execute real marketing strategies and achieve real marketing objectives.
Remember A/T/U – awareness, trial, continuity of usage?
My advice for all marketers and media suppliers is to focus the development on delivering against these strategies, which are the fundamentals of any marketing effort. For example, why should Facebook focus on developing a smart phone rather than on securing strong tools for marketers and fans that successfully build awareness and community? Why is Google running in every direction and forgetting about search?
Please do not follow the trends without a clear objective. Creating a Facebook fan page or tweeting 24/7 without an objective will mean no clear metrics are set and you‘ll only be wasting your scarce resources. Trust me, this is a topic that deserves its own blog series and I intend to tackle it in the future. A whole business is emerging now on metrics as if fire has just been discovered. The main reason why there are no metrics now is because there were no objectives to begin with.
Come back to the basics. No need to re-invent the wheel!!!
If you want measurable metrics, then review your current marketing strategy and confirm your marketing objectives.
Is your objective awareness? Identify which vehicle reaches the largest amount of your target demo in an environment that is consistent with your brand promise. (Do you have your positioning statement memorized and up to date?)
To date, Facebook has the largest probability of delivering against this objective on a B2C basis. For B2B, I would stay abreast of improvements coming up on Linked In. Also, explore Linked In Groups – chances are that there are some groups already created for your industry. If not, create your own.
Is your objective trial? Identify which vehicle is closer to your point of sale and to your customer. Stay abreast of the players in the location-based, mobile space. Nothing spells trial opportunity better than receiving a high-value coupon for your product as your customer is located at the point of sale. Current players like Groupon and Four Square deserve a closer look.
Is your objective continuity of usage? Most brands are focused on this objective. Only via continuity of usage will you ensure a sustainable and profitable business.
Continuity includes not only repeat purchases, but also referrals from satisfied customers motivating others to buy. Continuity includes all the variables that lead to that cash register ringing, online shopping carts filling up, or contracts being signed. It also leads to that share of pocket increase as brand extensions or improved versions are launched.
Continuity is the result of loyalty – “the Holy Grail” for marketers. This is why CRM has been so important even in pre-Internet years. It’s also THE area where social media can shine (and few, if any, have mastered it). Leveraging social media for loyalty development is the ultimate goal for marketers in this medium, and I predict that it will be the hottest trend this year.
This is my maiden blog entry. My objective is to have a weekly entry where I can share my thoughts on social media based on sound marketing strategies rather than hype … For once, have business objectives drive technology creatively rather than vice versa. I welcome your comments, topic suggestions and questions (email@example.com).
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @zeusofmarketing and Facebook: Zeus of Marketing. You can also find additional contact information via LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jrgrana