Social media has turned marketing on its head. In every sense.
Marketing managers find themselves beleaguered by the number and complexity of media that they are expected to embrace and conquer even for what has always been the most straightforward sector – B2B. As quickly as they understand the dynamics of one method of communication up pops another one – until the choice is both bewildering and extravagantly large.
Like children in a sweetshop, managers further up the chain, or stepped sideways from the marketing discipline, want it all. They aren’t so worried if they are satifying a need, why just take the licorice when you can have the chocolate and the sherbert fountain, and the marshmallows and the sours, and the jelly beans… But all this approach delivers is a stomach ache and no memory of the taste from each individual component.
Marketing for events has become a little like this. Wanting email and direct mail and contra-deals and editorial and blogging and groups on LinkedIn… but unless you stop to work out the strategy before you start all that happens is you have run around like a headless chicken for a few months and guess what? You still don’t have any delegates for your event.
But this is where the smart organisations are getting their act together. They have taken a long hard look at what email and random social marketing hasn’t got them, and they are embracing once again the old school of intelligent PR and great direct mail to form the backbone of their campaigns. They aren’t spending as much money on these elements, but they are creating targetted shots that are really hitting home on their targets.
These same organisations are the ones who are also investing in specialist knowledge to help them build and maintain a social media campaign, managed and directed by a marketing manager who is not expected to be all things to all media.
Sounds like the way things were done 20 years ago – only better…