“Good marketers see consumers as complete human beings with all the dimensions real people have.” – Jonah Sachs.
Will the traditional marketing strategies still work in 20 years? the rise of new media had changed the advertising and marketing communication planning in general, and integrated marketing communications specifically. This brought complications, but also a lot of benefits. Customers are now part of the marketing, they engage with each other, recommend products or they could potentially burn a product to the ground. They can come up with the marketing messages companies want to spread, new products and provide you with customer insights. New media made it all possible because we would have never been able to gather all that information about our customers without the mobile phone and the power of social media. New media, therefore, is serving as a beneficial factor in online marketing strategies.
Firstly, the internet opened the gates to online communities such as Facebook and Instagram. A place where people can share, like, comment and interact with each other to achieve personal or shared goals. These communities serve as a platform for customers to share ideas. Through new media is has become much easier to build your brand. Traditional media only caters to a fixed group of consumers. Regular magazine readers, people who are watching TV or people who pass by an advertisement on the street. Social media reaches out to a larger audience, not just that, but social media also has to potential to reach out to a wide range of demographics. A wide range of consumers is sharing information on the social media platforms, if people share the branded content with each other this could raise the awareness and improve sales.
Improved customer service
Brands are also given the power of better customer service. They are now posting on the companies’ Facebook pages, helping each other out in blogs or private messaging the companies. New media also gave companies the chance to respond quickly in case of a crisis. If there is something happening that sheds a company in a negative light, they are able to respond online quickly to justify the mistake being made. As a result, the company will gain customer loyalty.
What specific information should the company gather, and what is the most efficient way to obtain accurate data? One of the biggest benefits of new media is its measurability. Search engines can now measure customer behaviour, but also create a forecast for future behaviour by using keyword search volume patterns. New media allows companies to use collaborative filtering. They can see what interest their target group has, and what they are searching for online. New media has provided marketers to gather data faster and easier to create customer specific applications such as direct mail and personalized adds. Marketing experts also argue the disadvantages of the upcoming of new media. Many companies jump in the social media marketing bandwagon, barely planning or assessing the effectiveness and impact this strategy can have. But valuable information that is also available such as values, lifestyles, motivations, needs and priorities is neglected. Companies lose control when they publish something online. Consumers can use your content to criticize your products and have the power to damage the company’s reputation. Content is available for everyone has no filter. Everyone can comment and share, so also negative comments will have an influential effect on consumers. The ways consumers communicate with each other has changed through the upcoming of new media. consumers share and communicate with each other about different products and how they obtain them. Allowing consumers to share their experiences on various social media platforms, blogs and in chats. They serve as partners and retailers. Also, they are strongly connected with other consumers. They can even contribute to creating companies’ marketing messages.
Relationships and Co-Creation
The social media marketing strategies require a change in how buyer/ seller relationships are defined. It is the evolution of smart customers, smart markets and smart companies. Engagement with customers is a valuable thing in the social media universe. Making them feel empowered and provide them with a more immediate connection improves engagement between the company and consumer.
My Starbucks Campaign
One online campaign from Starbucks shows how customer engagement and customer relationships have changed. Starbucks realized that making the consumers part of the company could increase customer engagement. So they created the @mystartbucksideas campaign on Twitter. Consumers were asked to submit their thoughts about how to improve the existing products, share their ideas about their local Starbucks and even to suggest new products. Since then Starbucks has launched more than 300 ideas from this campaign. the page made consumers feel like they are a valued part of Starbucks and are motivated to engage with the company.
In conclusion, new media has opened the eyes of many marketers that it has the potential to use the information available on all these platforms to improve their own brand position, data collection for key insights in the market, and also more brand engagement on social media, through more active consumers. Customers are not only customers anymore; they have become valuable partners. But these can only be results if the social media marketing plan is well executed and planned.