Over the last couple of months, I have seen and heard a lot of debate on social media - how it is changing consumer behavior, the implications for brands and how one thinks of it within the marketing mix. I am still forming my perspective on social media, but here are a few thoughts.
Social media is not changing consumer behavior. Connecting with others and sharing a perspective is part of the human condition. Social technologies only enable this to happen much more easily and on a much greater scale, such that information/knowledge is a commodity. The commoditization of knowledge fundamentally shifts more power to the consumer. Therefore, actively participating in the dialogue and forming deeper relationships with customers will help maintain the trust required to win their business.
Second, social media is not a brand value proposition. It is a way of doing business. In fact, it is a timeless way of doing business – know your customers, form strong relationships with them and take good care of them. Go even further for your best customers. I don’t think its any more complex than that.
Finally, social media is a key part of the marketing mix, especially deep in the funnel. Engaging with others through social media inherently requires trust, which also happens to be a highly relevant factor as consumers move from consideration to purchase to usage and finally to repeat. Thoughtfully including social media in your marketing mix will only enhance your overall marketing activity.
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