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Why Traditional Marketing Trumps SMM

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 10/11/2015 Kimberly E. Stone

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Traditional marketers understand marketing to be comprised of four mixed facets, known as the Four P's: Price, Product, Placement and Promotion. There are different theories about where social media fits into this picture. Some say it lies in the promotional sector with PR and advertising; others would argue that because you relinquish a portion of the conversation to the consumer, it's in a fifth category all its own: people.
With the prevalence of social media outlets and places to rant, rave and review, word-of-mouth marketing has become a streamlined force of communications and reliability for consumers -- but not necessarily for brands.
A healthy marketing mix revolves around the product and its price, as well as how its value is conveyed to the consumer for longevity, market immersion and trust. Though humanizing the brand is important, and thinking like the consumer is an integral part of gaining insight into what the next step for the brand should be, social media should be reserved for the sake of gaining intelligence, interacting with customers and managing crises. The online presence should act as an extension to already existing marketing messages, not the end-all be-all.

My advice is to consider every other aspect of the marketing mix first and to plan the social media campaign as a compliment to existing communications. It's important to catalyze marketing messages with major channels of promotion, and only use social media to interlace those messages and help to further communicate them to the consumer. I suggest using both push (traditional) and pull (social media + viral grassroots) marketing strategies to present your consumers with a 360-degree, well-rounded understanding of your company. Here are a few ways to do exactly that:
Use a visual ad to build trust and branding. Advertising's high barrier to entry reinforces exclusivity and brand prestige, makes competition a lot easier, and makes acquiring market share even more simple. Some people have wandered away from appreciating traditional advertising, and it's gotten a bad reputation for its high cost and lack of quantifiable results. And yet most people can reflect back on ads that have totally changed their mood, and if you can change customers' moods through imagery, you can also inadvertently change their decisions, too. Remember, both PR and advertising are designed to evoke emotion, one through words or text and the other through imagery. A picture says a thousand words -- and without a visual ad of some kind, that would be a lot of influential "words" to lose!

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