It is a sign of the times, that previously sacrosanct marketing channels are now coming under intense scrutiny by the bean counters. As any marketer responsible for door 2 door or face-to-face will testify. I’m seeing whole channels being sacrificed by big brands as not only does spend have to be triple justified but also how consumers are engaged with. In the increasingly open social world, corporate reputations are easily put at stake with clumsy looking marketing approaches.
The gut feel of many marketers decision-making is giving way to a pure statistical driven approach as the size of the chicken must be proved before it’s hatched! As most good marketers know it is often those unusual and innovative ways to contact and convert people which can yield the best results. It is only through experimentation and rigorous testing that untapped pockets can be grown into rich seams.
Let’s face it - Social media is where most brands prospects and customers spend their free (and often work!) time. However getting consumers to buy in this environment is notoriously difficult. Just relying on ‘fan’ and ‘like’ building in social media is unlikely to produce tomorrows customers in any significant volume. Similarly with mobile, there is huge potential but without the economies of scale and inventory selection to cost effectively turn eyeballs into leads and customers. These emerging media channels are easiest to justify against TV/Print/Radio media. However, to truly crack these channels requires innovation and appreciation for the way the audience expects to be communicated at a price which fits into your cost per acquisition model.
Social Lead Generation rather than straight customer generation is likely to show the way in which to utilise social and mobile best. Marketers have just got to try to think up novel and engaging ways for consumers to communicate with brands so they turn themselves into leads and customers.