The vast changes in media have triggered a revolution in marketing.  Rupert Murdoch noted it in 2006.

“To find something comparable, you would have to go back 500 years to the printing press or the birth of mass media… Technology is shifting power away from the editors, the publishers, the establishment, the media elite. Now, it’s the people who are taking control.”

Business Response

Business is quick to acknowledge the changes but their response is varied.  In a recent survey of small business owners

67% agreed that social media is a good way to increase business, yet 39% did not plan to use social networking in their marketing plan in 2010.”

79% of the  Fortune Global 100 are using at least one social media platform.  Most of the companies have had success with social media.

Office Max: “Marketing is all about change… At OfficeMax, we’ve embraced social media and incorporated it into our marketing strategy to reach today’s digital consumer through humor, entertainment and personalization.”

Cisco: “We see social media, such as blogs, as a great way to build your business and tap into the ideas and input of people using your products.”

Another study suggests “47% of brands are still in the experimental phase with social media”, meaning they “exhibit lots of social activity with little connection or integration with each other.”   Businessweek reports

“Over the last two years, social media have dramatically transformed the pace at which information is shared….71% of companies plan to increase their investments in social media, but only a third have guidelines for how it should be used.

Clearly there is a marketing opportunity!  But business owners and marketing managers are overwhelmed with the new learning curve and question its effectiveness. Agencies are active in the social space, trying to make sense of all the new tools and prove its value for their clients.  Yet a new evolving group, focusing on Integrated Media Marketing and using social media as art of a comprehensive strategy, is opening up new markets and strategic opportunities.

How are you on implementing Social Media into your marketing efforts?

Traditionally marketing is about advertising or promoting something.  We scream “something”; we hope it is loud enough to interrupt the consumers’ attention and motivate them to take action.  That’s one way to do it.

Marketing has progressed — customer databases target select groups and the internet provides customers with search that directs them to company websites. We say something to the world, await a response and then respond back.  But the communication is still one way.

Social Media, the New Solution?

Enter social media. Two-way conversations are realized in real time – open communication is the objective, controlling the message is almost impossible. The focus is to promote conversations among customers and potential customers. Each conversation is a “touchpoint” with the consumer and provides the company with insights, data and new marketing connections.

To date most marketers see social media as a tool or a component of the marketing mix. Social media is much more than a promotion tool; it is the “atmosphere” or cloud in which more traditional efforts are magnified, grow and flourish.  It requires a comprehensive strategy to be successful.

Social media has begun to impact business communications (e.g., branding, customer service, recruitment, organizational development).  But it has not been integrated into ongoing traditional marketing efforts and the marketing mix.

Integrated Media Marketing, Generating Marketing Capital

Enter Integrated Media Marketing, the next step in the marketing revolution. This strategy is the seamless integration of traditional marketing with online, public relations and social media. This builds on the recent Forester study,  No Media Should Stand Alone which suggests;

“All types of online media can play specific roles in meeting marketers’ objectives — especially when seamlessly working together.”

From the outset Integrated Media Marketing is designed to be holistic; it is not just adding social media as another silo to the other media channels; but blending or “entwining” the components (TV, radio, online, public relations and online marketing) as a unified strategy.  Social media must permeate all elements of their marketing mix, as the driving force of an Integrated Media Marketing Strategy.

This Strategy augments and synergizes the different media components to generate a new asset, marketing capital. The resulting marketing capital is greater than the sum of each of the media inputs, generating new value added by

  • Expanding exposure by effectively driving your message across all media
  • Efficient use of marketing dollars
  • Accessing the viral power of user distribution
  • Addressing sensitive and negative issues
  • Expanding customer touchpoints to gain new insights on their brand (corporate, employer); interactions on customer service; opportunities for recruitment and product research.

The Obama Presidential campaign successfully generated marketing capital with a unified brand of “Change”. President Obama’s team used all forms of social media and wove them seamlessly with traditional media and PR, while “integrating online advocacy into every element of the campaign.”  His expanded marketing capital resulted in an empowered volunteer network,  high approval ratings, 90% of donors were under $100 and a landslide election victory drawing from political center.

An Integrated Media Marketing Strategy develops engaging customer relationships which generates new marketing capital and a sustainable competitive edge.