Marketers at War: New Media and Asymmetrical Marketing Strategies
Part 1 of a 3-part series.
There is no one marketing plan to rule them all. Certain traditional strategies are timeless in abstract form, but the execution has to be ever-evolving to keep pace with not just the here and now, but the up and coming. If you're leaning most of your weight on your traditional media tactics, then it's time to dethrone some of your old strategies and create a new power.
Redefining the Media Mix
New media (not so new anymore) is the anytime, anywhere, interactive content that has come to define media in the 2010s. If a user can comment, ask, share, tweet, connect or click - it's new media. Plain old commercials are the stuff of the '50s. Sharable commercials that let you select which type of content you want to see? That's new media.
For years, ad budgets were dedicated to a solely or mostly traditional media campaign. You pay for an ad or marketing project and you get the equivalent consumer feedback because of it.
But nowadays? Brands are leaning towards an asymmetrical approach, one where varying tactics are used from multiple channels all with the goal of expanding their audience. Call it asymmetric warfare: the side with best-balanced strategy comes out on top (even the underdog).
A basic example of making asymmetrical marketing work for you is running online and social ads 30-60 days in advance of a major traditional campaign. This tactic can produce big gains for two primary reasons: The first is that the cost of duplication and distributions through the internet is delightfully low. The second is a bit more nuanced: Using new media to tease a campaign, introduce a new brand or product, or generally get the public comfortable with your company gives your larger, more traditional campaigns an extra bang for the same buck.
Highly targeted email and social media promotions, contests giving away digital goods such as e-books or high-resolution graphics, and similar strategies do very well in the online space. The use of viral media companies to distribute company-related information and tips can also provide increases in revenues beyond the costs of creation.
Asymmetry isn't without its complications. Companies have always struggled to find the ad spend sweet spot that pays just the right amount to just the right strategies for absolutely optimal ROI. Throw new marketing channels onto the budget pie chart, and the whole operation has to get re-balanced.
Businesses should always track marketing campaigns to gauge the profits; careful tracking of an asymmetrical campaign allows a company to purse related angles, try different versions of promotions and understand what works best for a customer base.
Small businesses are getting crafty with brand visibility and using traditional media as the catalyst for a larger payoff. They're giving back to the community by sponsoring local events and organizations - and in the process, they're producing loyal customers who spread by word of mouth and bring new fans into the online space.
Share of Mind = Share of Wallet
"What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? Virus? An idea. Resilient, highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate. An idea fully formed - fully understood - that sticks." - Dominic Cobb
It's admittedly difficult to get yourself into the mind of your customers. Companies spend millions on high-budget campaigns that target just the right subset of people, banking on a big return. To get a share of a customer's mind is to get a share of their wallet. We've talked about the importance of this type of relationship marketing, and how marketers need to be as close to the sale as possible.
Social as new media plays a big part in getting a share of your audience's buying power. You develop ongoing dialogue with a customer, you get to know their needs, and establish your brand as the one they need to come back. You are looking toward the future, not necessarily the now. You establish loyalty, loyalty that pays.
A business needs to remain agile in the new marketing mix. You'll want to align your long-term goals with your current marketing campaign. Keep a watchful eye of market changes by choosing short-term objectives that contribute to your overall long-term goals.