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A Marketer’s Status Update: Don’t forget the past if you want to be around in the future.

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Marketers who work solely within the social media space have been screaming and boasting that relatively new technologies have offered opportunities to access an immeasurable amount of data. They emphasize that this newly found data fuels and creates better marketing. They’re absolutely right. This stream of data can and does offer insight into the ability to form predictive consumer behavior based on gathered data.

Based on my past attendance record of motorcycle shows, it’s a safe bet that I would be interested in purchasing a ticket for the next show. Or, based on my coworker’s overpaying of dog accessories, he would be one in which to market high margin dog trinkets, or perhaps solicit him to purchase a pet picture frame to showcase their professional portrait studio session. Both examples are incredulously simple. However, they do illustrate the general premise of predictive modeling. Now let’s step back and acknowledge data-driven, strategic-marketing as a whole.

As a person that constantly fights with my digital addiction, one would think that I would be an overly-enthusiastic touter of this “new” phenomenon of using data to better one’s marketing. On the contrary, what these new-age marketers don’t tell you is that traditional direct marketers have been doing this since home computers cost the same as a family home. It’s a reputable and established practice that is now utilizing a new channel, social media.

Long before social media (which has also brought us the majority of mobile marketing as well as location-based marketing) there was print, direct mail, telemarketing, broadcast faxing, online display ads, online search, outdoor advertising, direct response television, direct response radio, email and more. Through data-mining, predictive modeling, a call-to-action, and most importantly campaign response analysis, the marketing population has been using data to fuel better communications for decades.

The bottom line is this: #SocialMediaIsHereToStay, period. Like it or block it, it has become engrained in our everyday life. It is important to remember that it is still just one channel, one medium, in a multi-channel world. Yes, it’s pretty cool. Heck, it’s probably the coolest channel by a long shot. It’s the new shiny tool in the toolbox, but it is just that, one tool in a full toolbox.

It is impossible to ignore the sheer awesome volume of users and content in the social space. Social media is excellent at increasing brand awareness, improving public relations, establishing a company voice, and engaging in customer relationships. That said, the staggering fact is this: traditional mediums still generate well over 90% of revenue! So to my friends and colleagues obsessed with social media marketing, remember, it’s all about smart integration and not about the newest (and coolest channel). To ignore the traditional channels and to only rely on social media for you and your company’s marketing is the outright wrong approach.

Now how can I get this message out? I’ll start with Twitter, Facebook and the company blog.

Bach Parker

Bach Parker is Business Development Director at Infinity Direct. Available 24/7 thanks to the smartphone, you can reach him at bparker@infinitydirect.com or follow @BachParker.
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