Traditionally, marketers think of outcomes like they think of the weather – you sit back and see what happens. Suffering from the lack of true and authentic knowledge of their audiences, or any provision for real-time data or analytics, they are consigned to a passive role: spend money and hope it creates the intended outcome. Well “hope” isn’t a strategy.
Not so with Social Media. With Social, there is no passive tense. Social media allows the marketer to jump into the fray and to CREATE outcomes instead of being a victim.
Take for instance the example of TV. In the traditional model, media buyers would buy spots, ensure that the commercials ran, and then get feedback on their reception 3 months after the fact. Furthermore, the feedback they got was not particularly nuanced. So if change was in order, they had to employ their best guesswork based on 3 months of retroactive data to tweak and hone. Then, another “Hail Mary” pass resulting in hope becoming the marketer’s best friend.
Today, the opportunity to make the switch from hope to strategy abounds. With over a billion people offering opinions and discussing their likes and dislikes on the social web, marketers have an incredible opportunity to understand their audiences in real-time and to use this data to make instantaneous data-driven decisions across a host of areas from; new product development, creative messaging, campaign development, TV buying, digital media buying, keyword buying, content creation and the list goes on and on. With the data, smart marketers can make mid-stream changes to the expressed interests and attitudes of their target audience. At the heart of this is technology and an interpretation methodology that offers deep insights and takes the guesswork out of marketing.
Passivity is anathema to today’s marketer, brand manager, media buyer/planner, advertiser, and content creator. Real time-data-driven decisions allow for the industry to get on its front foot and create more engagement and dynamic outcomes.
Paul Dunay is the Chief Marketing Officer of Networked Insights, a leader in social media analytics, and author of four “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies, Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies, Facebook Advertising for Dummies and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition. You can learn more here.