There are so many different possibilities for advertising these days that it would seem that life has never been so good for those of us working in the marketing industry.
Not only are there more platforms waiting to market your service or product (think Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Slideshare, LinkedIn etc) but there are also hundreds of analytical software applications that reveal how well your ad campaign is doing and provide hard numbers detailing who is reading your ads, where from, and for how long, etc…. It’s as if marketing has suddenly transformed into a quantifiable science from the hit and miss, creative, artsy kind of job that it was before.
But despite this apparent renaissance in marketing’s capabilities, marketers overall, do not seem happy. When they gather together en masse the overall mood is one of skepticism, stress and negativity – as if they no longer truly believe in what they do.
The problem it seems is good old overwork – they feel they are being asked to spread themselves and their limited resources too thin.
A recent study by DNN entitled Marketing Got Complicated confirms this finding. DNN set out to investigate what 300 marketers in medium sized companies in the USA truly think about the surge in advertising opportunities for promoting their products and the results may surprise you if you believed that life is all roses in the marketing sector.
These days there are so many media outlets and so many marketing software applications readily available that it ought to be easy to get out there, get yourself noticed, and sell your product, right?
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Quite the opposite, in fact. Marketers in mid-sized companies are kept frantically busy because practically every media outlet is perceived as a high priority.
According to the DNN report, three quarters of USA companies employing 1000+ employees use at least five different applications to market their products or services, as do one third of companies employing less than 100 people.
However, just because the marketers are busy jumping from one application to another doesn’t necessarily mean that there is more money rolling in for the business. It turns out that there are so many “priorities” to concentrate on that in the end nothing gets as much attention as it truly deserves.
Social media is perceived as the hottest form of marketing and the one most likely to generate mega rewards in very little time. Everyone wants to get in on the act – or ‘acts’. Nobody wants to miss out on any one of the new social media platforms that have sprung to life recently – it’s as if we’re all frightened of what we might miss out on if we don’t join in…
In the DNN survey almost 9 out of 10 companies said that it was important to them to have their own, dedicated on-line community and to engage on several social media platforms. This has resulted in widespread marketing across a broad spectrum of media, but with very shallow content and much fewer posts than would be ideal for each specific platform.
Consequently, despite the high number of posts out there, the impact has been disappointingly low in terms of shares, likes, referral and network traffic, etc. So the marketers are working like crazy but with very little to show for all the time they spend doing what they do!
To compound matters, there’s just too much information being churned out every day from too many people. Too many blogs and too many retweets of the same message so that no-one really reads anything anymore and instead hits the delete button because it will probably be resent again by someone else anyway so why not clear out your inbox and look at it next time?
In the DNN survey almost 4 out of 5 companies said that it was difficult to attract the attention of their target audience, and more than 7 out of 10 said that they had problems knowing where their target audience was online.
So what needs to change? There are no easy answers but perhaps marketers who are overwhelmed need to go back to what worked well in the past. There’s just no point in spreading yourself so thin that you fail to have impact anywhere at all. Realise that it’s better to have no Facebook presence at all than a presence that doesn’t look good. Don’t even begin with Twitter if you can’t engage in the conversations you may start. Understand that sometimes it is true that less is more.
Instead, find out where your ads used to have the most impact and build on that and do it well. Focus your time, resources and abilities on where you can do a great job and can generate the results to show for it.
Engaging social media requires sound business strategies and the resources to implement them – is it really for you?
Who are the people you are trying to reach and which form of media are they most likely to use? Smaller businesses don’t necessarily have the resources needed to get involved in every platform out there so you need to pick and choose which will work best for them.
Rather than jumping on every band wagon that comes along, why not concentrate instead on the ones that get you where you want to go? Who is your target market and how can you best reach the majority of them? Once you know this you can hone your campaign to achieve maximum results using all the competencies at your disposal.
And as for building brand communities…
This whole brand community thing – do you really have the time and budget to dedicate to this?
Do you really have enough ideas to be able to consistently generate new high quality content on a regular basis that will keep your users coming back for more? Perhaps you have a great idea to get your brand community up and rolling, but can you keep it active and dynamic over the long-term?
Be sure of what you are getting into before you begin or you may find out that you have bitten off more than you can chew.
Managing brand communities with Wisdek >
Make quality your obsession – in the end it’s what counts most.
With all the information being put out there, if someone decides to actually spend their valuable time reading what you wrote, it ought to be worth their while. Take your responsibilities seriously and make your content as good as it can be.
In the end, quality always shows through and will get recognition where a more hurried and less considered campaign is more likely to generate very few results. Check your facts and your details and pay close to attention to what you are trying to achieve. With care and patience your work will bear fruit.