Mark Ritson, a professor of marketing told The Australian Financial Review , “If any marketer comes to me with a social media marketing budget I know they are an idiot, and poorly trained.” How does this statement make you feel? If you are anything like me, this probably sums it up….
I was pretty shocked to hear this from someone within the marketing field, especially as you would expect someone with Mark’s expertise in the area to understand how important social media is in marketing these days. According to statistic service, Statista, there are well over 2.08 million active users of social media worldwide. What marketer (aside from Mark Ritson obviously) wouldn’t want to tap into such a valuable resource?
Not only does social media have an incredible mount of users to communicate to, but it also allows firms to narrow in on specific segments of the social media population based on their likes and activity (Kaplan). Gone are the days where marketers could simply place an advertisement on TV or radio and sit back to count their dollar bills, consumers now find traditional media to be intrusive. We’ve all been in the situation where we are watching Masterchef grand finale and just as the winner is being announced, you guessed it, they cut to a Coles ad with Curtis Stone frolicking in apple orchards like a twisted scene from Baywatch. No one likes the intrusion and that’s why many consumers are turning away from TV and switching to playback services or Netflix.
Social media allows marketers to not only target the segment of the population that is most likely to purchase their product, but it allows users to receive advertising that actually might interest them. For example, I saw an event from 2XU compression pop up in my Facebook feed, believe it or not, I actually went along too! I 100% would not have gone to that event if it was published on TV or radio, especially as I don’t frequently use either of those mediums any more. The advertisement for the event was targeted toward my feed because I like 2XU’s company page, I fall within their target demographic and I am nearby the event. Traditional media doesn’t allow targeting like this and can mostly act as mass marketing.
An interesting point Ritson brought up was that 63% of people trust TV as oppose to 46% trusting the ads they see on social media. Fair point, but with users on social media increasing and the TV viewing population decreasing due to streaming services, this statistic is definitely changing. Social media marketing is incredibly important, the most successful brands aren’t doing campaigns on social media for shits and giggles. IT IS ACTUALLY WORKING. Marketers not only need to prepare for the future where social media will be the most efficient way to advertise, but they need social media marketing now.