Social media - what implications and opportunities for marketing
By Paul Kennedy, Head of Consulting, Callcredit Marketing Solutions
Social media has rapidly emerged as a means of consumer interaction. Through this, consumers have found a new voice, shifting the balance of power from institutions to people. People want to spend less time making decisions but have less faith in traditional sources of advice. Social applications provide a new environment within which people can share information and experiences on issues and services. People will form their own opinions more quickly; The ability of the organisation to control your messages is declining. People will rely on their peers as they make online decisions, whether or not organisations choose to participate. Brand building is going to be therefore about recovery and less about absolute control of the message.
For brands, this threatens traditional communications models – innovative new ones are needed to better engage customers, enabling them to engage on their own terms.
Organisations that fail to recognise this will become increasingly removed from their target audience and as a result be less successful in achieving their marketing and customer engagement objectives.
Social media is defined in many different ways, but is essentially the democratisation of voice, conversation and opinion; a new communication layer on the internet. There are two camps of opinion – those who see it as something to be embraced and incorporated into the organisation and those who see it as irrelevant and a waste of time. At a recent conference, a straw poll was taken by Callcredit of delegates – over 95% believe it is relevant to their organisations.