Thursday, October 27, 2011

Marketing Problems Reach Across Channels

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Marketing Problems Reach Across Channels

Author: Maria Elena Duron

The way people communicate has really evolved. Consumers have the upper hand nowadays, as they are smarter, more technologically savvy, and they have better control of what they choose to read and view. Marketers have their work cut out for them since they really need to understand today's customers and address their needs and desires.

If you find marketing a pain and think that going online can help you market your brand better, think again. Marketing problems reach across channels, and not understanding basic marketing can only be amplified online. Whatever media you choose to use are just tools that are there for your disposal – but before you can successfully utilize these tools, you need to go back to your basics and be better at marketing in the first place.

Social media has become one of the most popular tools for marketing today, but successfully using it isn't simple. And just because everyone is doing it doesn't mean that you should just jump on the bandwagon and hope for the best. The keys to a successful marketing campaign in social media are understanding what works and planning your strategy comprehensively – the main problem of those who fail is because they jumped blindly into the game without any idea or plan of what they want to achieve.

So what are some of the problems that people encounter in social media marketing and how do you resolve them?

1. No clear idea of your goals and objectives

Before you get started on social media marketing, you really need to define your goals and objectives. What do you really want to achieve? Do you want better customer participation, audience engagement, more foot traffic in your brick and mortal store, increased ROI?

When you go into this platform without any clear goals, then you'll just forge blindly ahead without knowing if your campaign is really effective or not. Going into social media shouldn't just be about keeping abreast of your competitors – it's about knowing your objectives and doing your best to achieve them.

2. Inability to scale

Now that you've decided to use social media in your marketing, you also choose to utilize all the platforms that are available in order to ensure that you get your share of the market. Sounds like a good idea, right? Not really. The problem with too many channels is the inability to scale – you find yourself unable to manage all of your accounts, which results in unsuccessful campaigns.

It's far better to concentrate on one or two social media platforms where most of your market is and really work on a successful campaign. But if you really believe that you need to be in more than two social media sites, then make sure to use an integrated technology tool to manage them all well.

Also, it is a marketing mistake to try to target everyone who could benefit from your product or service – it is far better to target those who are actively searching for your product or service, since these are the people who really want to use them. Though you may think that many people can benefit from the product you're offering, they may not really be receptive of your efforts to convince them of it. So focus on a much smaller audience who will really receive your campaign well.

3. Inconsistent approach

Consistency is key to an effective and successful marketing campaign. As a brand, you need to be consistent with your social participation so that you can engage your customers continuously and make sure your message resonates with them.

You can't just start a campaign and then hope for the best. You need to consistently plan, monitor, and ensure that you continue to offer great content. Don't let your brand fade away with an inconsistent approach to social media marketing. Before you even enter this campaign, make sure that you're really committed to pursue it.

4. Lack of a personable and qualified social media person

When it comes to social media, people enjoy interaction with a real person, not a faceless entity who answers in monotone. So you want to really put a face to your social media efforts, so that people can really identify with this person.

Of course, you can't choose just anyone to represent your brand in your social media campaign. You need to put someone who is socially and technologically savvy to ensure that your campaign is successful. If none of your team members fit the bill, then you may have to look elsewhere for the face of your social media campaign.

It's a good idea to actually look at your community and know your brand advocates – one of them could actually be an excellent social media representative for your brand. It also helps that this person may actually know most of the members of your community already, so he or she may know the best way to reach them.

Always remember that marketing problems reach across channels, so you need to ensure that you plan efficiently and set your goals from the outset so you can ensure a successful campaign. Don't just jump on the bandwagon – make sure to do your research first, check out your competitors, and understand the platform before proceeding.

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About the Author

"Maria Elena Duron, CEO (chief engagement officer), buzz2bucks | a word of mouth marketing firm, is skilled at making networks "work" and harnessing powerful online and offline buzz, she facilitates online visibility services and word of mouth coaching and workshops – taking companies and professionals from buzz-worthy to bucks-worthy,"

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