Classic marketing and social media marketing are two very different approaches to reach the same goal – to gain brand awareness and acquire customers.
For example the direction of communications for classic marketing is unidirectional, where the brand pushes out information for the consumer to view, while social media marketing is bidirectional meaning the consumer is given a voice. Both mediums are necessary for a brand, but social media allows a consumer to provide feedback and to feel closer to a brand. As we learned in this week’s lecture, social media allows consumers to own a brand’s messaging and be a part of it. Consumers who feel a connection with a brand are more likely to share their experience with it, therefore further spreading brand awareness. While bidirectional communication benefits both consumer and brand, this type of communication does require brands to actively monitor online mentions. This of course is more time-consuming than classic marketing but the information that can be gleaned from online monitoring is extremely valuable. According to The Guardian, two-way conversation “allows consumers to take part in brand activity through co-creation,” and “it can even mean using social media as a development tool where consumers suggest improvements to products.” For example, according to this CMO article, a television ad for Reliant Energy spurred viewers to post on social media how much they enjoyed the ad’s music. After seeing this trend, Reliant Energy bought the rights to the song so that consumers could download it. Social Media Examiner explains, “The better you can match a consumer’s needs, the more likely they will be to buy from you. The better you can engage them and show that you listen to their needs, the more likely they’ll become loyal customers.”
Both classic and social media marketing can work well together. Brands can include a hashtag or social media icons on a billboard, print ad or television ad , encouraging consumers to bring the conversation online. Though social media is better for communication purposes, according to this Forbes article, classic marketing is still necessary because it “opens the door” for companies to customers.
Availability is another key difference between classical and social media marketing. Using classical marketing, consumers can only provide feedback to brands via phone during regular working hours or email or direct mail, which is often ignored. Social media, however, allows consumers to message, comment or post about or directly to the brand. While this is great for consumers, this can difficult for brands. According to this article, 42% of consumers complaining on social media to brands expect to receive a response within an hour. Furthermore, “57% expect the same response time at night and on weekends as during normal business hours.” This expectation is obviously very difficult for many companies to meet, so while 24/7 availability is more convenient for consumers, it can put a strain on companies and their relationships with their customers.