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LI May2012

Golden Rule Days

Ask any newly minted Marketing graduates looking to start their careers what kind of marketing they want to do now, the answer to a person is “Social Media”. Sure, social media is immediate, inexpensive, and it seems like everybody is using it. But new grads, and some clients for that matter, may miss out on other marketing opportunities if they focus solely on social media. Here are a couple of reasons why.

Social channels are crowded

Have you looked at your email inbox lately? How about your Facebook or Twitter feed? The amount of digital content vying for your attention is dizzying. You might wait anxiously for this particular missive to reach your inbox, but how much email content can you really consume and retain every day? Social campaigns can be extremely effective if your message is spot-on relevant for your audience. Otherwise it is just noise on top of noise.

The shelf life is short — really short

Messages delivered on social channels travel down the page with each new message that is delivered by someone else. Consequently, the effective shelf life of a social message on Facebook or Twitter is about 3 hours. YouTube stays fresher a little longer at 7 hours.

Not everyone uses social media

There may still be good chunk of your audience that isn’t actively involved in any type of social media. They don’t Tweet, or put their mug on Facebook, or even surf the Internet. According to the Pew Research Center, only 13% of adults who use the internet also use Twitter. If your audience isn’t there, your social message and online efforts are wasted.

How do you reach those unplugged members of your audience and keep in touch with ones who are plugged in? The answer is to use an integrated marketing plan that combines the appropriate mix of traditional media (print, direct mail, television and radio) and social media when it makes sense.

Back to Class

Direct mail is a channel that is generating some interest again. Not surprisingly, some companies are returning to direct mail because the email inbox and social channels are so crowded. Millward Brown, a leading global research agency also points out that physical media including direct mail can “leave a deeper footprint” in our brains. Tangible messages that can be touched by consumers resonate more than digital content, which can be gone in an instant. The right paper, color, or image can trigger an emotion or reaction that is hard to duplicate in 140 characters.

There are some challenges using direct mail. Your mailing list and a relevant message are critical points of success for a campaign. Direct mail can be more expensive per response in comparison to social media campaigns. And the United States Postal Service is talking about changes that may extend delivery times and increase postage fees. Yet, millions of pieces of direct mail are sent to homes every day. When direct mail is done right, it works really well. Maybe it is something to consider for your marketing?

Study Your Market

The potential for really effective marketing increases when you use integrated marketing efforts and employ several channels to reach your customers. Not only does integrated marketing broaden your reach to different audiences, but also it reinforces your message no matter where your audience encounters it.

When we work with clients, we offer integrated marketing plans tailored to their goals and the audience, or simply focus on the marketing channel that best fits the target audience when budget is the concern. And sometimes, old school is the only way to go.

What do you think? Have you seen success with traditional marketing strategies over social media campaigns? Email us and let me know.

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