By: Austin Jensen
First of all, lets look at what is meant by “traditional” marketing :
These forms of marketing have been used since the first marketing efforts began. However, through the years they have been updated, and restructured. Now, there is a new wave of marketing pushing through which is referred to as social marketing:
Social marketing is a world full of sharing, liking, commenting, networking, blogging, and interacting. It is a totally new look on marketing, and it is something that marketing professionals struggle with year after year. Experienced marketers are so used to traditional forms of marketing that it is difficult for them to make the transition into the social world. Many even ask the question, what is the difference between traditional and social marketing? Which is considered best, and where should I spend my marketing budget? So to help answer some of these questions, let’s take a look at a couple areas where traditional and social marketing differ.
Broad vs. Narrow Audience Spectrum
Traditional marketing is seen as having more of a broad spectrum. This means that if my fishing company put an advertisement in the newspaper whose circulation was 10,000 people, there is a good chance that 9,950 of those people have absolutely no interest in your advertisement. In this example, your company now has 50 people to work with who were exposed to your advertisement, took the time to read it, and acted on your advertisement. As a business owner you need to now convert as many of those 50 people as possible into customers to make that newspaper advertisement worth it. This is because newspaper advertising can be very expensive depending on how long the advertisement is running and how large the advertisement is. In one shape or another this goes for all forms of traditional advertising. It can be very pricey to reach many people, and at the same time many of those people may not even be in your target market.
Social marketing is almost the exact opposite. Social marketing is considered to have more of a narrow target. Let me tell you why that is. When you advertise on social media channels your company can be very specific with which people see your advertisement. For my fishing company example, I can go in and create an advertisement that will only be seen by men between the ages of 42 and 56 who enjoy fishing, outdoor activities, fishing magazines, boats, ect. As a company, if I have done my research on exactly who my target audience is then I can target those people very closely through social marketing on various social media channels. As far as cost goes, social marketing is relatively cheap when compared to traditional marketing practices. The main thing to remember is that for less cost you can reach people who actually want to view your advertisement, leaving less wasted resources.
There is another big difference when it comes to building relationships through your marketing efforts. Traditional marketing is seen as much less of a personal approach, and really does not aid your company is building a relationship with your audience. It is more of a check out my advertisement and then come to my store to buy what I am advertising approach. Don’t get me wrong, it is still an effective medium for marketing, but it is not very effective in building trusted relationships with your audience. Social marketing has turned all of that around to a certain degree. Your companies social media channels can help to humanize your brand. You are no longer viewed so much as just a corporation, but you can now position yourself to be viewed as a living, breathing, part of society. Using social marketing practices helps you drive engagement and interaction between you and your audience. The best part is that these relationships can be started and built for FREE. Just by having a company social media presence, you open yourself up to your audience. Allowing you to comment, like, share, and network with them to hopefully gain their trust and eventually have them become a customer! Personally, I love the idea that before I make a purchase I can go on a brands social media channels and see what kind of brand they are.
These are just two main differences between traditional and social marketing. I am in no way saying that companies should abandon their traditional marketing efforts and focus solely on social marketing. However, I do believe that it is time for companies to embrace the change and allocate more and more budget toward social marketing efforts. Not only will your advertising money be put to better use, but you will also have a better opportunity at building a relationship with you audience and allowing them to see your brand as another person they can trust as opposed to just a large corporation. I believe that no company should look to do a one-or-the-other approach. Companies need to work to be present in both traditional and social marketing worlds. One tip for companies would be to use their social media presence as a way to better understand their target audience (trends, habits, behaviors, likes, ect.) and then utilize that in your traditional marketing practices.
Let me know what your thoughts are on this subject. How will companies work to integrate social marketing into their budgets in the future? Is traditional marketing failing to keep up with social marketing?