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How Social Media Changed the Rules of Marketing

By Rizwan Ahmad - 14 November 2015 No Comments
Whether you like or not, the popularity of social media has been a pretty disruptive force in the marketing and advertising industry.

Since its advent, ad agencies, marketing firms, and in-house marketing teams have had to become more proactive if they wanted to stay relevant. Social media may be seen as a fad, but smart folks know it’s not going anywhere.

So, you might as well buckle up and enjoy the ride. If you’re still thinking that social media has had little or no impact on the marketing industry, the following should help you rethink that stance.
How Social Media Changed the Rules of Marketing
Image Courtesy: blog.linkedin
Consumers are No Longer Passive
Do you remember the good ol’ days when consumers didn’t have a say and all they had to do was buy products without even being able to file complaints and speak out against brands? Well, those days are gone.

Thanks to social media, all brands now have a presence online and have to actively interact with their consumers. Gone are the days when it took organizations days to answer an inquiry.

Nowadays, people don’t even get on the phone to ask questions. They just contact the brand on social media networks and expect a reply within hours. Bottom line, consumers are now expecting brands to be reachable. Those that aren’t are typically ignored and kicked to the curb.

Reviews and Influence Play a Huge Role in Buying Decisions
Consumers no longer have to tolerate crappy products. Frankly, they don’t buy crappy products nowadays. You know why? Because they can easily go on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube, do a quick search for the product and see what people are saying about the product.

In fact, multiple studies have shown that reviews are now a part of the buying process. Social influencers too are able to get people to boycott or patronize a certain brand of product. These influencers typically have hundreds of thousands and millions of active followers on social media who trust and listen to them.

Brands can take advantage of their ability to reach these social influencers through platforms like NeoReach which are designed to bring brands and major social influencers together. This kind of reach wasn’t possible before social media.

More Targeted Ads
Relationships are playing a big role in marketing. In the past, that was unnecessary. All brands and organizations had to do then was simply roll out products and people would buy, regardless of whether they liked the colors or not –anyone remember Henry Ford and his black A model?-, or preferred custom options or not.

The consumers’ feelings at the time were irrelevant. It was all about the big corporations. Nowadays, organizations have to consider target demography, customer preferences, their likes and dislikes, habits and even eccentricities. Bottom line, there’s a lot more work involved in profiling the average consumer, although the availability of data does help. This is all possible courtesy of social media.

Value Proposition Has become Increasingly Paramount
Why would you choose 2 percent milk over acidophilus milk? Why would you choose Chobani Greek yogurt over Yoplait yogurt? It all comes down to an increasing emphasis on even the smallest value proposition.

Now, it’s not just enough to have an array of services or products. Your products and services must truly stand out and be better than others. Thanks to social media, consumers are more discerning, can actively criticize your products, can actually verify all the details of a product or service, and then choose one based on just one or very little difference.

It’s cruel, we know. But it is what it is. You have to adapt to the changing business landscape. The era of being lackadaisical about your products unique selling proposition is gone. You need to keep pushing and emphasizing every extra edge your product or service has. Businesses need to be more active and forward thinking if they want to survive in this age and era.

Social media has been and will continue to disrupt the marketing industry as it evolves. Smart marketers would do well to work and adapt with it as it evolves.
 Oscar King
About the Author:

Oscar King is small business owner and freelance writer who shares articles with insights into running a smooth and effective company through social media marketing. If you would like to learn more about Oscar, you can check out his google+ profile.

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