As you may be aware, there is a wealth of research from around Ireland and the world claiming that businesses are shifting their marketing spend away from traditional media towards online & social media marketing while others struggle to see its return on investment.
The Marketing institute of Ireland have recently published their 2012 Irish Digital Marketing Sentiment Survey. Despite its limited sample, the report contains interesting findings to guide small business. But what is the right marketing communications strategy to take given that major players in America are pulling out of Facebook advertising while online experts warn us away from cold calling in the conversational environment of social media?
I believe that the best approach is to consider the evolution of advertising over the past 100 years. Advertising has evolved… again. We have already seen disruptive mediums emerge such as radio, television, email and the internet itself. History has shown us that as marketing professionals or business owners we have a growing choice of communications channels depending on our business model and customer type. Online & social media are additions in our marketing toolkit and are not intended to replace other existing marketing mediums.
Going online or using social media is a choice our customers make. To get at certain customer types the internet & social media currently cannot replace the power of a large company’s television campaign or full page spread in the Metro newspaper. Online marketing and social media are more akin to sponsorship in that (when used correctly) they help our audience enjoy their lifestyle while they subtly receive messages about our brand which in turn generates awareness, positive associations toward your brand and ultimately sales.
It’s true, there is a shift away toward tradition advertising methods but this means that we have greater choice in which method to use and are learning how to blend them together into a powerful marketing strategy. The key message for small business is that depending on your business type, you can communicate directly to customers by building your website and linking it with your Facebook business page and post your videos via Youtube. You can also use Twitter and LinkedIn. They are free channels to use but require time and maintenance to get the maximum value.
- 20% of respondents spend over 50% of marketing budget online in 2012.
- Most common online methods are Email campaigns, SEO, Social networks and online display adverts.
- Customer engagement and value for money are the top reasons marketers’ use online marketing.
- 58% said that online gives them more accountable return on investment than traditional means.
- 70% are on FB, 61% on LinkedIn, 61% on Twitter, and 44% on YouTube. 6% use other (unspecified).
- Social media is mainly used for building audience relationships & brand awareness.
- Majority see the value of social media while circa 30% aren’t yet convinced.
- Social media main concerns are increased workload, needing to remain up to date and reputational damage.
- 37% of respondents (MII members) have a mobile website while 42% don’t have mobile site, apps or QR codes.
By Robert Farrell.
For more information contact me via Linkedin ie.linkedin.com/in/robertfarrell1/