Traditional Marketing Versus Social Media Marketing

New Marketing Strategy

Many of you are too young to remember Father Guido Sarducci on Saturday Night Live. One of my favorite routines of his was the Five Minute University. For $20, he’d teach you everything that you’ll remember about a subject five years after you graduate from college and award you a diploma.

The graphic below presents the marketing version of the Five Minute University. These 12 concepts and how they interact make up the bulk of marketing implementation. Memorize and understand this graphic and you’ll be ahead in the game of marketing.

Twelve Steps of Marketing

But are the theories of old as applicable today as they were yesterday? Certainly there is some value remaining in the marketing mix, the promotion mix and the motivated state sequence but the game has changed sufficiently that traditional marketing theories are no longer as relevant as they were in the past. Outbound marketing will never disappear completely as inbound marketing becomes more prevalent. Smart marketers will use the best strategies and tools available, new, old and in a media neutral fashion.

In my opinion, the Intersection Marketing Blog by Vancouver Marketing Consultant Mark Smiciklas consistently provides some of the best developed marketing graphics on the Internet. The graphic at the top left of this post is from his blog. Mark is the Picasso of social media marketing graphics. I prefer to work in crayon, as you’ll notice from the graphics generated to support the arguments presented in this post.

The intent is to compare the traditional marketing mix with the social media marketing mix and traditional marketing strategy with social media marketing strategy. The social media lists aren’t comprehensive and are only offered to stimulate debate. However, in the spirit of Spinal Tap (these go to 11) a conscious effort was made to make the social media version at least one level louder than the traditional version.

Marketing Mix

What’s missing? PEOPLE. In a recent series of must-read blogs, Brian Solis calls people the missing fifth element of the marketing mix. But is this all that is missing? How about personal for the interpersonal communication that social media fosters? Publish represents the value of content marketing. Presence because in social media, your message is available 24/7. Promote represents the various social media platforms used to get your message out to your market. And proximity represents the increased value of location-based marketing and the future expected growth in this area. In summary, we can add at least six more P’s to the current marketing mix.


Marketing Strategy

In traditional marketing strategy, we talk about the importance of analyzing the five C’s: Company, Collaborators, Customers, Competitors and Climate. Social media marketing strategy requires additional areas of analysis. Content is the vehicle that attracts the traffic. Is yours up to par? How do you connect with your market? Social media marketing is all about connections and connectedness. Consistency of image, brand, communications, on-line presence and content is the foundation on which your future success is built. The contract represents the trust relationship that you establish through your social media efforts. It doesn’t happen overnight and it can’t be forced. Collaborative means that social media marketing is more conversational than unidirectional. The market is participatory and helps you to tailor your content to meet their expectations. And finally, concise means that video blogs should be three to five minutes maximum, blog posts should be between 500 and 1500 words and your message should be focused and on target.

What’s missing? How can we reconcile the old with the new? Once inbound marketing goes mainstream, how can we differentiate ourselves in the marketplace? And finally, what’s next on the horizon?

Please feel free to post comments and let us know, in your opinion, what will be the next big trend in marketing. Me? I’m content to call it a day after referencing Father Guido Sarducci and Spinal Tap in the same blog post. Make the change to social media marketing and help to formulate marketing’s future.


5 thoughts on “Traditional Marketing Versus Social Media Marketing”

  1. My comments have less to do with the theories you present, which are all on target, and more to do with questions I still have as a marketer, and as a consumer.

    What do you think of the theories of Reis and Trout in their original, revolutionary “blockbuster,” “Positioning, the battle for your mind”? When I read that book in, what, the 80s?, it changed my thinking more than anything previous, or since, until now.

    Next, I think the biggest change in marketing today, because of social media, is… MEDIA. In much the same way air transportation permanently relegated trains to “second best at best,” print media in all its forms is now increasingly irrelevant. Newspapers and magazines are “second best at best,” to electronic news and information. It has permanently altered the landscape.

    Last, I think Google, which in reality is the verb: “to look for,” has changed the way I, the consumer, thinks. When I have a need or a question, I simply type it into a Google window and the search engine will supply me with an array of responses. This is perhaps the most revolutionary development of all. We’ve never had anything like this.

    So Steve, I am interested in whether you think “Positioning” has any relevance today (I do). And my last two points are the ones I am most interested in hearing your thoughts about. They aren’t social media; one is media, the other is a profound change in the way we think.


  2. Hi Ron – glad to see that you’re commenting on this post!

    The Reis and Trout book is a classic. Positioning is the most interesting aspect of branding, in my opinion. A great example of implementation of their concepts is the way that Apple repositioned Microsoft in their television advertisements.

    I liked your comment about the railroads as well. They failed to jump at the chance to diversify into air transportation by myopically focusing on a narrow definition of their business activities rather than embracing the broader opportunity.

    Google has become a verb and is on its way to dominating the new communications landscape. I read that they’ve launched an online auction site to allow agencies and others to purchase display and video ads via the Internet. Ads are then placed online and on mobile. Their mobile operating system Android is proliferating and becoming the system of choice. And their push into cloud computing is scary smart. My bet is that they’ll emerge as the dominant force in new media within the next three years (if they aren’t already).

    The shift to inbound marketing has happened, in part, because of the innovative technologies and metrics created by Google.

    Thank you for the comments!

  3. Steve – Thank you for the comments and the link. I changed the phrase to media neutral based on the wicked logical evidence that you presented on your blog. Great to know that someone in industry is taking the time to read the ramblings of eccentric professors!

    Thank you for setting me straight. I’ve added your blog to my blogroll. Appreciatively, Steve

  4. Steven;
    What a great post – so refreshing to see the subject treated as the science it’s becoming rather than the old intuitive approaches we are perhaps more familiar with. But I do think there’s a concept which you don’t mention which is worth thinking about within the new realm of marketing: Marketing is a Process. Like all processes, it can be run – these days, because of Inbound Marketing and Marketing Automation – along the lines of a Formal Process Specification. I’ll return to formal process specs in a moment, but what I call Inbound Marketing Automation (IMA), today enables one to calculate Return On Marketing Investment or ROMI, for all online campaigns (and some offline ones, too). All good IMA solutions directly connect to your CRM system, tying actual sales opportunities to campaigns, thus enabling you to calculate ROMI. With that said, lets get back to formal process specs.

    A Process is run on the path of Continuous Process Improvements which essentially breaks the process down into 5 phases: Think, Plan, Do, Measure and Repeat. The advantage of running your marketing this way, is that you get better and better results each time you repeat the cycle.

    If this all sounds a little too theoretical for your tastes, this post provides sufficient details for you to take back into designing your own marketing process. The link is to an index, the Process Post is at the top of the list, but there are a few more formal Process specs (on how to run a Social Media campaign and Twitter for B2B users), so by all means scroll down the list a little to find them, too.

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