Monday, June 1, 2009

Multichannel Marketing Class May 27th: Social Media

We had a great introduction to social media from expert Dana VanDen Heuvel. Dana spoke of the crisis in mass marketing as people lose trust in mass advertising and are interested in blocking advertising. He also said that advertising impact is difficult to measure but the same could be said for social media at this stage of the game. Nonetheless, the internet and digital marketing has put the customer in charge and marketers need to monitor what is going on with blogs, social networking sites, customer reviews and the like. Dana said some companies are now using these types of digital media to supplement or even replace traditional marketing research, although I think marketing research will always have a role to play. The problem with monitoring what is being said on the web is that a marketer can't know the demographics of those that are participating and only one percent of those on the web contribute to blogs, reviews, etc. The results of only monitoring web buzz can be biased.

However, there are great benefits and marketers cannot ignore what is going on in blogs and social media. Comcast Cable has a mechanism to track what is going on in Twitter for example and to respond to and fix customer problems before things get out of hand (they responded after a famous YouTube video in which a technician was photographed having fallen asleep waiting for his own company to respond to a customer service call).

The bottom line is that marketers can't afford to ignore these new forms of media. Dana also emphasized the importance of collecting and analyzing data regarding conversations about a particular brand on the web and about particular customers. We talked about using data contextually in advertising to deliver more relevant messages so the material was a nice tie-in to what we will be discussing this week: Creating databases to implement multichannel campaigns and to analyzes the responses.
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