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Social Media Marketing vs Traditional Marketing
Author: Brea Buffaloe
Class: CIS 3810 NET1 Professor: Pearl Weisel
Introduction When the average person thinks of marketing, they think of advertising and promotions, but there’s much more to it than that. According to the American Marketing Association, marketing creates, communicates, delivers and exchanges offerings that have value for users, partners and society. Marketing can be a commercial, a press release or even a Twitter account. Marketing is more complex than many people know and with the rise of the internet that complexity has increased greatly. The internet has broadened the marketing spectrum to internet marketing, which in turn includes subsections such as email marketing, search engine marketing and social media marketing. In this paper, I will discuss the differences and similarities of traditional marketing and social media marketing as well as how they can be used together. I will explore real life business cases to show the importance of social media marketing today, and how traditional marketing still plays a major role in reaching consumers. What is Social Media Marketing? Whatis.com defines social media marketing as marketing who’s medium is social networking websites. It encompasses social media optimization, to increase website visitation as well as promotion through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. According to Hensel and Deis (2010), what sets social media marketing apart from other traditional marketing, is the two-way communication aspect of it. When promoting through social media, the audience is allowed to and often encouraged to participate in the conversation or interact with the content
provided. In traditional marketing, where you deliver your message to the consumer and they listen, in social media marketing it’s less about you and more about the consumer and what they’d like to interact with. They also write about the rise of “The Attention Age,” beginning in the 21st century and has brought about the ability to “create and consume information immediately and distribute it on the Internet,” which makes social media an important medium in today’s marketing world. People are now used to getting and sharing information instantly, and expect that from branding as well. According to Mary White, social media marketing trainer and consultant, there are seven major types of social media websites: 1. Social Connections: these are sites that are usually used for keeping in touch such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and MySpace. 2. Multimedia Sharing: sites that make it easy to share things such as video and pictures. These sites include YouTube, Flickr and Instagram. 3. Professional: these are sites made to foster career growth. The most popular of these sites is LinkedIn. Others include informational, educational, hobbies, and academic related social media sites. There are many news and article sharing sites such as Digg and Reddit as well as internet forums, wikis, blogs, review sites and podcasts. Another reason why social media marketing is of great importance today is because of its ability to facilitate and provide a greater reach in word of mouth among consumers. Hensel and Deis state that what once was a few people telling a
few friends about a product has now increased to telling a few hundred or thousand people. They state that Facebook traffic has increased over 200% and Twitter traffic over 1500% and they are still increasing. This is why social media marketing, just like any other marketing campaign, needs strategy. According to Hensel and Deis, you must determine who your customers are, if the information you will provide is relevant to them and does it create value. Social Media Case Studies One way social media is used to market brand online is though social media advertising. There are options to advertise on almost every major social networking site. For example, there are Facebook Ads, Promoted Tweets, which are tweets that can be targeted in search results or come up in Twitter timelines, Facebook Promoted Post, which are similar to promoted tweets, coming up in user timelines of people who have “liked” the brand page, LinkedIn Ads, etc. Adidas is one of the largest and most successful sports brands in the world. According to Social Fresh’s case study, the Football (soccer) section of the brand had the goal of becoming the top talked about brand of that year’s World Cup in South Africa, raise awareness of their new football boot, the F50 adiZero, and to bring the action to their fans online. What was their solution? The use of social media marketing. Adidas focused the conversation on their Facebook page. They also connected their efforts to the 46664 charity for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Their approach started with Facebook ad campaigns, including premium page ads and premium video ads allowing users to see the new boot “in
action.” They also used Facebook apps to create games and interactive content such as “Player Type ID,” which allowed users to choose which football players their friends resembled and “Matchups” which allowed users to simulate outcomes of football matches and share with their friends. They also provided rich content directly on the page, covering games and giving behind the scenes content from South Africa. As a result of their Facebook campaign, targeting males ages 18 to 24, nearly 2.3 million people connected with the Facebook page, new connections increased by 12,973, interactions reached more than 863,000, daily impressions were 500,000, video views were over a million, awareness of the new boot increased 21 percent in Spain, 20 percent in the United Kingdom, 15 percent in Germany, 13 percent in Italy and 8 percent in France and ad recall also increased. Adidas continued to leverage social media after the success of their South Africa World Cup campaign. As stated, the campaign not only allowed them to gain awareness through ads but to also increase interaction with the brand and foster word of mouth by allowing people to share interesting content with friends online. In the previous case study we explored how a big corporation uses social media marketing, in 2012 Sarah Cox conducted a qualitative case study on The Bandee, an online accessory retailer and wholesaler, that showed the effects of social media marketing on small businesses. This company’s focus was more with being personal. Advertising wasn’t their concern. They were more focused on engagement, content sharing, announcements and customer service in order to build lasting relationships with consumers. They would often respond to specific
customers’ questions and replies, even negative ones, openly, on Facebook as well as Twitter. The Bandee not only built strong relationships, but they facilitated word of mouth marketing through social media. They not only spoke about themselves on social media accounts, but other companies as well, and in turn those companies would return the favor. Also, by responding to consumers openly and hosting contest and giveaways, consumers would tweet or make Facebook posts about products more often. Although less measurement was involved in this study, the client confirmed that number of fans, engagements, relationships and word of mouth increased, resulting in an increase in customers. What is Traditional Marketing? Unlike social media marketing, or internet marketing in general, traditional marketing tactics have been used by companies for a very long time and according to Valencia Higuera of Demand Media, have success rates that are repeatedly proven. These tactics can include print advertisements, commercials and radio spots. Print advertisements include things such as outdoor billboards, magazine advertisements, newspaper advertisements, flyers, etc. Although traditional marketing methods usually aren’t interactive, they are proven to be effective. Traditional Marketing Case Studies The Magazine Publishers of Australia released a study in 2004 revealing the effects of magazine (print) advertising on consumer goods. They compared magazine advertising integrated with television advertising and compared it to television advertising alone. It showed that magazine advertising mixed with
television increased brand health significantly more than television advertising alone. One brand that was studied was General Mills. Their campaign consisted of full-page color magazine advertisements, 30-second television advertisement and a few outdoor advertising. Results showed that using magazine advertisements increased awareness of the advertising by 11 percent, increased “serious consideration” of the brand by 18 percent, increased brand trial by 12 percent and increased purchase frequency by 11 percent. With the rise of internet marketing, some people argue that traditional marketing methods are dead. However, as you can see from the case study, they are still very effective. Not only is it still effective, according to an AdWeek article, it’s increasing in effectiveness. Kenneth Hein, author, stated that Point Logic found that in terms of impact, television advertising moved from seventh to fourth among 25 touch points. Also according to the article, the Advertising Research Foundation analyzed 388 case histories on television advertising and found that it was number one in increasing awareness. Pros and Cons of Traditional Marketing Traditional marketing methods have many advantages as well as disadvantages to consider when creating your marketing mix. In the Cox’s Bandee case study, the owner of the company did not want to use traditional methods because she felt that people don’t like to be bombarded with advertising. It is forced on the consumer, for example, when you are watching television, you don’t choose to interact with the brands that have bought advertising time, you have to if you
want to watch that show. Speaking of buying, traditional advertising methods are usually significantly more expensive that online methods. Especially for small businesses, buying television or radio time, billboards or magazine space isn’t cost effective. According to Stella Richard, social media manager, traditional methods effectiveness is much harder to track in comparison to internet marketing methods. According to Higuera’s article, with internet marketing, it is required that the audience has internet. Although the internet is increasingly adopted by people, anyone that receives mail, listens to the radio, watches television, gets a newspaper, etc. can be exposed to traditional advertising. This way makes it easy to bring your brand to consumers, rather than consumers having to look for you online. Also, as mentioned before, there are many more cases proving the effectiveness of traditional advertising over social media and internet advertising mostly because of how long it has been used. Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing Social media marketing comes with its fair share of cons as well. According to the Hensel and Deis article, social media marketing comes with privacy and security concerns involving the internet. There have been cases when consumers’ information have been shared with marketers online and then misused. Social media is also considered very time consuming and filled with scams and harassment. Sometimes it is hard to gain credibility online if you aren’t already a well-known brand. Social media is also well known for controversy due to its informal nature and the mistakes of people handling brands’ social media accounts. Benny
Evangelista of SF Gate gave the example of comedian, Gilbert “the Aflac Duck” Gottfried who made fun of Japan while the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters were getting worse. Because Gottfried was partnered with the insurance company and featured in their television commercials, this reflected negatively on the brand. It isn’t explicitly stated in the article, but as you may imagine, a negative brand image can damage sales. There are also many advantages of social media marketing listed in the Hensel and Deis article such as measurability due to the massive amount of data you can collect online. Almost everything online is recorded and that can be used for measurement of success as well as for developing new strategies based on accurate data. Social media marketing is also low cost. Anyone with an internet connection can create a brand Facebook page or Twitter account and begin social media marketing. Even paid advertising can be significantly less expensive online than in traditional media. Social media marketing encompasses many interactive features that traditional media doesn’t have. According to Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Group (2010), some of those features include sharing features, social interaction though embeds and widgets, real time updates, social personalization to better the user experience and authentication to increase interaction. It states that “companies must integrate customers behavior on social networks to their corporate website to increase relevancy, word of mouth and trust.” There is one con to this though, according to Owyang, there are so many features it may be hard to figure out which ones are best for your company.
Another disadvantage to social media marketing is that many companies do not see the return on investment in participating. According to Donna Hoffman and Marek Fodor, marketers should turn their thinking “upside down.” Why does the return on investment have to always be money? What are the goals of your social media campaign? To increase awareness, to increase meaningful relationships? All of this can positively affect how much money a company makes. They suggest that marketers should broaden their thinking to include more qualitative analysis for the results of social media marketing. Conclusion According to Christine Perkett (2010), “it’s important to remember that social media in and of itself isn’t a marketing or PR strategy: It’s but one promotional tool in the smart business marketing toolbox.” A great example in her article is the traditional method of event marketing (tradeshows) integrated with social media. She states that it can increase engagement with the brand pre- and post-event. One famous successful integrated campaign is the Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, which was very successful as a television advertisement and as a Twitter and YouTube campaign. According to AdWeek, "the fastest-growing and most popular interactive campaign in history,” and increased body wash sales 107 percent. Both social media marketing methods and traditional marketing methods prove to be effective methods. This is why we shouldn’t discount one or the other. As shown, integration can be highly effective, generating sales as well as increasing interaction with consumers, essentially capitalizing on the advantages of both methods.
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