I read an interesting post about how the rules of mass marketing, direct marketing & social media are so different in approach, content, analysis and results. Therefore, for marketers, the challenge of applying & measuring each of them is conflicting, different & downright confusing. The truth though is that data(at an individual customer level) is becoming the DNA for marketing and incremental byte-sized data from each of them come at different points of time - controlled to near-real to real.The key, therefore, is knowing how to use it, apply it basis the method of marketing marketers are executing or seeking solutions for, not making the mistake of transposing one type of marketing hypothesis to the other etc. are key factors of being a successful marketer tomorrow.
Take a look:
Mass advertising is like Classical Physics; large-scale, mostly intuitive and somewhat predictable.
Direct Marketing is like Atomic Physics; small/medium-scale, mostly logical, but the segmentation aspects start to show some bumps and troughs on what appeared to be smooth and simple.
Social Media is more like Quantum Physics; small-scale, counter-intuitive and usually unpredictable.
- Traditional marketers deal with everyones opinions in big bins like sales figures, national focus groups, opinion polls, etc. These roll-ups average out the inconsistencies of individuals and blur together to form tendencies, trends and preferences. The actions taken in mass marketing can expect a relatively consistent result (i.e. send out a coupon and you can expect a certain level of redemption and sales revenue to come from it and the larger the audience, the more likely it is to average out at a predictable result). This is the world that marketers are familiar with and all-in-all it makes sense if you know the system.
- Social Media on the other hand acts on the niche and individual level where things are a lot less certain. The complex nature of blog posts is hard to parse out into definitive numbers and trends.The lack of large numbers makes the reaction and result of social media efforts difficult to determine and measure. It is much more difficult to roll up all of these disparate opinions into a meaningful decision than to look at an opinion pie-chart.So in essence, social media tools have given marketers a microscope powerful enough to see what is going on at smaller scales.
...many marketers in the classical camp are not very happy with what they see, because it doesn't confirm what they thought they knew. Decisions which appear obvious when looking at large sample sizes becomes more nuanced and contradictory when you see everyone as an individual.