Marketing Moguls Change Directions with Social Networking

December 9, 2010
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Here is your Small Business Thursday Tip of the Week:

Small Business Marketing StrategyIf we pay attention to what the big boys are doing, we can learn a lot. I have talked about it before – model savvy businesses like Starbucks (what they are doing online) and scale it to meet your needs.

Advertising has traditionally been about delivering a consumer message about a product. The small business often takes their lead from the giants in how to gain the consumer’s attention and traditionally giants in manufacturing have marketed the product not the company. Consumers bought it or they did not and the job of advertisers was to tell the consumer just how great that product is.

Web 2.0 certainly led to changes or should have and as the giants in industry entered social network marketing and brought the old ideas with them.  Some businesses new to the web and social networking continued to try and tell the consumer just how good the product was and force them to hear it. However social networks are a two way street as far as communication goes and consumers began to talk back.

Smart companies went with the flow and they learned not only to tell the consumer what they wanted them to hear but to also hear what the consumers were telling them. Marketing methods had to rely not only on sales statistics but on give and take with live consumers.

Small businesses should take this lesson to heart when it comes to marketing on the new web where communication is not just a one way street such as a television blaring out an ad or a popup appearing on a consumer’s browser. Today’s marketing relies not only one sending out the message but reacting to consumer views on what that message means and how they perceive a product.

Branding becomes important in this new era because it is easier to speak to a consumer as a known and trusted brand and organization than as a faceless entity. Interaction with consumers and addressing their concerns has led to a new era in marketing for the giants and this method can also work for the small business attempting to connect with the customer base.

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