Take a moment to think about marketing. Without the interruption of your experiences with automated phone calls. No imagining flyers shoved in your face or conjuring an image of thousands of e-mails in your inbox. Think of it in abstract, a part of the process of selling and a part of everyday life. At the end of the day, nothing happens in our society without someone selling something.
Marketing yourself as an employee
Consider this. You have paid for your phone which you use to check your social media accounts. Did you know the social media platforms sell advertising, allowing a free service to users? Businesses need employees that are able to work to help produce goods or offer services. Employees have to sell and market themselves in a job interview to gain the position within the business. With these examples and at bit of context and perhaps many others springing to your mind , marketing can be seen to be ever present in our day-to-day society. Does it stand out that every process is somehow circular? Whatever activity there is it always comes back to the buyer for further action or reaction? It should.
The seller used to decide their brand message
We were sitting in a seminar focused on writing good content the other day. The trainers in the seminar mentioned that where the process of publicising a company was linear before social media. Now it has become such a big part of our lives that it has now formed a circle of sorts. Like bowling, the marketing mix before the Internet would have been a process where the seller decided what their message was then bombarded the buyers with it. This method allows no room for customers to express how they felt about these messages. With the Internet and online marketing strategies, it has shifted the process towards giving consumers a voice. The playing field now changes into what could be a game of pinball. Once the message, the metaphorical pinball, is out to the public domain, it will ricochet around consumers and reviewers, competition and other affected parties, open to their opinions and commentary.
Digital marketing – a communication circle
Understanding the customer experience
Brand image management.
For other brand image aspects of our company, we refer to a Brand Manual and advise employees on appropriate behaviour online. We also track when the brand is mentioned in digital channels alongside brand building activities. For most instances, there are identified standard operating procedures for handling commentary, while new occurrences are usually handled with advice from a designated Corporate Communications Manager.
The conclusion to be drawn, from here, is that the connectivity and conversations via the Internet are here to stay and brands must adapt to the new channel, especially as this allows for more freedom and an average reduction in some of the costs associated with marketing. However, it should not be mistaken for a complete shift in the field of marketing and a comprehensive strategy is still needed to ensure appropriate coverage.
The marketing mix on it’s head?
Has marketing or the marketing mix been turned on its head? Not quite. It remains the process of selling, with the addition of some new means to enable the conversation between the seller and the buyer. With the rather slow adoption of new digital tools across business-to-business companies, a new question arises: will older brands be able to give up the control over their identity that they have grown accustomed to or will they attempt to use digital channels as new methods of broadcasting?
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