Marketing has evolved tremendously in the last decade or so and with the advent of so many marketing channels like newspapers, magazines, outdoor media and the big guns – social media, brands have multiple ways to reach out to their customers.
But like we all know, too much of something is not always a good thing and marketers are now beginning to realize that not every social media channel provides the right kind of returns for all their efforts. In fact some of them don’t offer any returns at all and are more of a burden than a blessing. How then can marketers utilize social media and other channels to their benefit and ensure that they get the maximum return for their time?
The best advice I can give you is – don’t follow the brand bandwagon. What I mean is don’t simply jump into the next big thing without first evaluating its pros and cons and seeing if it is a perfect fit to your business.
Sometimes being on one particular social channel like Facebook may be extremely beneficial to a brand but being on another like Instagram or Snapchat does not give it any returns. This doesn’t mean your marketing ideas are bad, it simply means that perhaps that particular channel is not where your customers are. This could be for a variety of reasons. Maybe that particular channel suits a specific segment of users either by age, nationality or user preference.
For instance Facebook is one of the most popular social media channels out there and no matter what some people say about its decline, it has definitely had a resurgence in the recent past and is poised to continue being one of the best ways to target consumers. It caters to pretty much everyone in the 25-year-old and above segment so that includes recently married individuals to middle aged women to even grandpas. But if you want to reach out to twenty something techies who are part of the startup community you will have better luck with Instagram or Snapchat. Another noteworthy mention specific to Kuwait for instance, is that Instagram and Snapchat are extremely popular with a majority of the younger generation of Kuwaitis whereas Facebook will help you reach out to most of the expatriates living in Kuwait.
So the success of your campaign depends on a variety of things like your intended segment, the age group, the type of product and the type of campaign you want to run. But measuring your returns is extremely important to ascertain whether your time, money and efforts are paying off. If you’re not seeing any results through a marketing channel after repeated attempts, it is better to abandon it and prevent further loss of time and effort. Instead focus on another channel that may help you reach out to your customers better.
Another common reason behind marketing failure is having your marketing channels work separately from each other. Your campaign will work only if your channels, as well as tools, are coordinated and integrated into a coherent strategy. Integration will boost the reach of your campaign, too. So engage everyone on your team (and even people outside of it) to create an integrated and well-coordinated and timed marketing push. Instead of multi-channel marketing, opt for omni-channel marketing where all marketing channels and touch-points work in an integrated fashion as one (More on that in my next article).
It doesn’t matter how much time you spend on crafting your marketing campaign: You have no guarantee at all that your efforts will pay off. Sometimes marketing just doesn’t work the way you want it to. If the last campaign failed your expectations, looking at it in search of things that actually did work is a must: If you build a new campaign entirely from scratch, you’re guaranteed to lose a lot of time and risk making the same mistakes again. You also have to learn what didn’t work for you, so you can shift your focus and come up with strategies that actually might.
Marketing isn’t foolproof. Even the best strategies can fail but what’s important is that if and when they do, look at your data, get your team back to the drawing board and get back on track with a revamped presence.
Barry Rodrigues is Head of Marketing & Product Development at Future Communications and an associate advisor with the International Advisors Group in Kuwait. He has worked for industry leaders like Agility and National Aviation Services in various marketing capacities in addition to delivering marketing projects for the banking, hospitality and petrochemical verticals. For comments, please email Barry at [email protected].