These are exciting times, because Social Media takes “Will it Blend?” to a whole new level with marketers. And for those of us who’ve been in the business for a while—it’s about time!
For years, marketing people and PR folks wore separate hats—had different skill sets, different agendas—even though they share a common purpose. It’s like the FBI and the CIA not talking to each other and sharing information about terrorism—dumb.
Even the birth of digital communications didn’t turn on any light bulbs at first, even made it worse by adding another silo, but the power and exponential growth of social media shows us why it is vital to string it all together.
Branding is the art of becoming known, liked and trusted; marketing is getting someone who has a need to know, like and trust you; PR is shaping and maintaining your image in the eyes of the public. Social Media enables, empowers, and provides the platforms where you can leverage it all… build awareness, amplify your message and build relationships. It’s all about building an emotional connection with people… and it not only blends GREAT… it makes blending to together essential!
It’s not surprising to me that traditional ad agencies are scrambling to morph into “interactive” agencies, “do social,” and blend everything together for the common good. Social media helps savvy marketers not only advertise to their prospects, but also glean information about them—develop relationships with them—and take care of branding, too—all from the same space.
The beauty of this is that your customers and prospects are already there! They’re accessing news, shopping, watching TV, reading their favorite magazines, texting and face-booking, tweeting—with the computers in their pockets. Why not combine your strategies to meet them where they live?
Does that mean we throw out traditional marketing tools and start over? Absolutely not, and I addressed this in my article on Marketing 101 Lessons. However, it does mean that we need to step back and take a look at the big picture, and how social can be integrated to actually amplify our PR and marketing efforts—not work counter to them. The information landscape has changed, so the faster we adapt to this change and figure out new, interesting, fun ways to work within it, the better we can become at developing and nurturing relationships with customers, prospects and partners.
Social allows us to blur the lines between marketing, lead generation and PR—and let’s not forget about customer service. So “Make it Blend,” people!