Tradition, in marketing and advertising, is often a culture that is very difficult to shift to any large degree, and to change it completely would seem counter-intuitive or suicidal. Tradition is what has proven to work, and to begin questioning that tradition — to question the effectiveness of standard print marketing and billboard advertisements — can often seem blasphemous.
But already we are beginning to witness some serious shifts surrounding the cultures of traditional techniques in both marketing and advertising. Certainly, there still exists a traditional way around both mediums that businesses and consumers attempt to navigate alike, but that tradition is quickly becoming less and less effective. As Mark Twain so succinctly put it, “The altar cloth of one aeon is the doormat of the next.” In a world so heavily dominated by social media and non-traditional ways to go about attracting the attention of consumers, traditional marketing techniques are all but dead. Certainly, they still work and they are still effective in different applications, but social media has completely changed the culture of advertising and marketing.
Now, instead of focusing on simply sales and driving customers towards businesses, effective marketing and advertisement practices focus on developing relationships.
It’s No Longer Just About Selling
These days, marketing and ultimately selling is a much more difficult process. It is no longer just a matter of ensuring that customers know that your business exists through advertisements and expecting them to swarm to it. Instead, it’s about developing a relationship. Think of all of the businesses you have seen on Facebook attempting to sell themselves to you through your news feed via a 50% off coupon or a sale. Now, think of all of the times in which you’ve actually responded to those businesses. Once, maybe?
But most likely never, because when businesses try to sell us on Facebook or Twitter, we are often repulsed. We are put off, because businesses aren’t supposed to be selling us through social media. Are they trying to sell us? Definitely. But when it is laid out so blatantly without a fancy bow or ribbon on top we are taken aback. “Aren’t they, like, missing the point?” we might ask.
Engagement Builds Trust, Creates Sales Opportunities
And that is why creating an actively engaged base of current and potential customers (clients, fans, followers etc.) through social media is such an important aspect in rethinking traditional marketing and advertising. Social media provides important opportunities in that your messages — whether they be events, photos or relevant news — can be amplified significantly through viral sharing. One ‘like’ can turn into five, then 10 and etc. etc. Not only can your message be amplified and thus displayed to the friends of your fans, but its reach can also be extended all the way out to the friends of those friends.
Most importantly, frequent and consistent engagement builds trust. Constantly engaging with your fan base through social media means that those fans are frequently seeing and possibly even engaging with the messages that you put out on a weekly basis. The more often they see those messages, the more likely they are to respond to them, and the more likely they will pursue opportunities to purchase from or go to your business.
And we are just at the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a cataclysmic shift in the way that companies create and thus present themselves through marketing and advertisements. Companies that are focused more on engagement and experience (like these guys) will certainly reap the most substantial rewards when that culture shift is finally completed.
But until that does occur, know that traditional marketing is still very much alive and well, and most likely will for at least a few more years, if not longer. Now is simply an opportunity for businesses to get ahead of the curve and show off their creativity and capabilities in drawing in customers in different ways. Relying on traditional methods will only be a crutch a few years down the road. So why not throw those traditional marketing techniques out the window and come up with something provocative. Rethink tradition.
How is your business rethinking its marketing techniques?
Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester NY Advertising company specializing in social media marketing, web and graphic design, SEO and much more.