Social Media is NOT the only tool in the Marketing toolbox
I started out this post with the title “Social Media Marketing is no Island” to reflect the idea that SMM is not by itself “out there”. It should be an integral part of the Marketing toolbox. With all the hype around Social Media, it is easy to forget that it really only covers 1 of Kotler’s 4Ps of marketing, namely Promotion. Of promotion, it is only 1 of your promotion options. Let’s dive a bit deeper:
- Product – Social Media can help you with ideas around features for your product and you can get feedback on your product from customers online, but Social Media does not drive the actual development of the product.
- Price – you can find out about the price that you should charge through online research and maybe even asking what customers are willing to pay, but Social Media does not set your price. You set your price based on manufacturing costs, competitive pricing, etc.
- Place – whether you sell physically or virtually, social media doesn’t have a big role to play in which distribution channels you use. Determining distribution channels is a factor or strategy and market analysis.
- Promotion - this final “P” is where Social Media does shine and is a great tool to use. But there are a bunch of other great tools available as well. Depending on your industry, there are other ways to reach, influence and engage potential customers that can be more cost effective (i.e. you get better results at a lower price). Listening to many of the ‘Gurus” out there, one would think that social media is the best and only tool for all marketing promotions. It is NOT! In a B2B Enterprise SW sale, a solid whitepaper is a must. In a B2C sale of a product like a Snickers bar, you might use in store displays. You won’t use an in store display for a B2B enterprise SW sell and I haven’t seen any whitepapers on Snickers bars. Like whitepapers and in store displays, Social media does NOT apply in the same way to all marketing promotions.
The Bottom Line: Determine your Marketing Objectives and then figure out which marketing technique / programs you are going to use for Promotions. Social Media Marketing can be a great tool to compliment your other marketing initiatives, but shouldn’t be the only tool.