There’s a great article in today’s Globe and Mail called “The Marketing Maze.” In this article, three marketing Mark Ferrier of Traffik Group, Jeremy Gayton of Taxi, and Greg Salmela of Aegis Toronto, explain how small business can master marketing in the world of Facebook and Twitter. It’s a must read for small business people.
Here are some key quotes:
Jeremy Gayton: “The biggest strength of social media is the ability to have a conversation with a consumer. The flip side is you’re putting your brand into the hands of consumers and they ultimately take control over the presence of that brand in the environment.”
Mark Ferrier: “One of the things we counsel clients on is that you just can’t dabble in the social media sphere. It’s not a tactic, it’s a platform where you can put your brand on a pedestal and have consumers interact directly. You need to understand how that works — what the key influences are — the same way you would evaluate a media plan 10 or 12 years ago.”
Mark Ferrier: “…the spirit of marketing will deliver on the consumer need as consumers have higher expectations, more access to information and don’t need messages anymore. They need value and clear consistency.”
Greg Salmela: “The marketing perspective is that you go in with fireworks and you buy up all the media and just blast your name out there and say you’re the best. So why not use that as your positioning? It makes sense. But it doesn’t make sense on a human level. Human beings work with a certain inbred protocol. There are certain rules about how to be invited or become a member of a social group. That applies to corporations as well as you and me. I think the biggest mistakes are not understanding your audience; or understanding your audience, but not in terms that relate to their everyday life.”
Jeremy Gayton: “If you’re cutting edge for the sake of being cutting edge, you could end up shooting yourself in the foot. But being cutting edge for the sake of being compelling and cutting through the clutter is something all marketers must take into consideration.”
My take on this is that the arrival of the recession and the “free” cost of social media has created the perfect storm of marketing. In a time when you need to market the most, you can do it in the cheapest ways. There’s never been a better time to be a marketer because you can invent the rules right now.