Some days I get down when reading blog posts, discussions, seeing speakers talk about new marketing channels like social media or paid search. I have to remind myself that we live in a world where everyone is getting their mega horn on to blast out opinions. Some are on target, others a bit skewed and some are extrapolating case studies into generalizations.So here’s my take on some current marketing myths I see. Please note that I’m not saying these tactics don’t work in a well developed marketing plan that works in conjunction with multiple marketing channels. I’m debating those presenting these tactics as a single, standalone strategy.
- Social media will kill email. Email can be a burden and require time to manage the flow of messages, archiving, etc. It’s true that social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn allow us to message and communicate with other in place of email. But these new communication channels are not killing email, they may be reducing it for some users, however email is not going anywhere. Corporations are not going to use Twitter, Facebook or texting to communicate directly with customers for e-commerce ordering and other secure communication, for example.
- Paid search is all you need to drive traffic and conversions to your website. For some business, paid search is a great tool for driving online conversions, acquiring customers and generating revenue. These businesses tend to be e-commerce with short sales cycles and low price points. For businesses with longer sales cycles, more expensive and intensive purchases, paid search may drive people to your site but will not covert into a sale immediately. Paid search can generate some awareness but other forms of advertising may be best for specialty products and markets with complex buying cycles. For these companies paid search may not be the best spend of their marketing budget. Also paid search works best with a strong organic SEO plan that continues to drive traffic when the paid search budget dries up!
- Book authors are experts because they have been published. Some authors are experts because they have demonstrated their expertise through years of experience and professional work. Others may be great writers that have worked in publishing and see the value of a specific technology. While others may just be lucky enough to be first to market and in the right place at the right time. I follow Tom Webster’s advice and tend to be skeptical until I see some evidence and thought leadership that supports claims of expertise.
- Anyone can be a blogger. While it is true that anyone can create a blog easily with platforms like Blogger and WordPress a blog is more than just writing posts and a blogger is more than being the writer. It involves being an advocate for your readers, staying abreast of your subject matter, digging for answers to questions, creating an editorial calendar, focusing on a subject and being consistent. Heck I don’t even consider myself a blogger. I’m a marketing professional that writes a blog. A blogger is someone so dedicated to their audience they post 3-5 times a week. There’s a difference.
- Social media is the only channel that allows you to have a conversation with your customers. True that social media allows for interactive communication between a company, its employees and customers. But it does not allow you to communicate with all your customers since not everyone is on social media and you it may not be a preferred channel of communication for every situation. Email, phone conversations and going into a store to talk to a real person are all still alive and well and will always be viable alternatives to a social media conversation.
- Traditional marketing is dead. While social media has created a new channel to communicate with customers, it’s not a replacement for traditional media. The challenge for marketing professionals always has been and always will be to find the right marketing mix for their customers. If the majority of customers are heavy social media users then yes social media can be the primary channel. Yet we still see billboards, commercials, print ads, posters and other traditional forms of advertising that have not died since the social media exploded the past few years.
What do you think about these myths? Do you agree or disagree with my myth busting?
Brian McDonald started Square Jaw Media to document strategies and techniques he had used over his experience working in marketing and communications since 1990. During this time Brian wrote about many of the exciting Raleigh social media events where great knowledge was being shared and tries to share some of the tips and tricks. . Read Brian's full bio.