Monday 28 May 2012

Email vs. Social: Making sense of the Digital Media Divide

Posted by Cosmos Star Consultant on 00:26 with No comments
As the race for marketing supremacy went digital, brand managers around the globe took off at a blistering pace, trying to establish the next outpost on the digital domain. Resources were allocated and spent without batting as much as an eye-lid as everyone was caught up in the frenzy of chasing the next shiny thing.

A fear of sorts seemed to have formed a firm grip over them all, a grip that constricted their strategic think-tanks and afflicted them with tunnel syndrome. It appeared to prevent them from focusing on the very basics of brand strategy, the very foundation on which one builds the edifice of a brand that has the unwavering trust of its fans.

The lure of the social media life and it’s so called phalanx of ‘benefits’ has failed to hold ground with at-least one particular brand. Just as things appeared to be reaching a fever pitch, the largest automobile manufacturer in the U.S. – General Motors sprung a surprise on everyone. It announced that it was pulling the plug on ad spends across Facebook. Having been pretty much the advertising platform of choice for brands big and small, this single announcement has shaken everyone up from their reverie and got them to rethink their decisions. As the first serious cracks in the digital bubble make their appearance, brand managers are starting to wonder about the alternatives.

The urge to come up with the next best thing has so enslaved strategists, that the solution (s) they seek might be lying in plain sight, yet somehow have failed to recognize it for its benefits. For long, the humble email had held pride of place in the savvy brand manager’s arsenal. Most brands have been running email campaigns for a long time and have reaped the benefits of having built up a captive and loyal fan base. But as the glitz and glamour of social media took over, email marketing got relegated to the sidelines. Marketers, instead of ploughing more funding into this lucrative option, chose to side with a vehicle whose return on investment figures are still rather hazy.

In-fact, recent surveys are pointing out to a 30% contribution factor for email marketing, to the company bottom-line. A performance this solid and dependable is only but a distant dream for the digital upstart.  Most brands admit that they do not have a dedicated team of resources for email marketing initiatives and manage to allocate a shade less than sixty minutes out of the entire day to such activities. This far, a majority of email marketing initiatives have taken the one-size-fits-all route to click-through-rates.

To get closer to those coveted conversion numbers, marketers are going to have to go personal. Brands need to take into consideration the quality and strength of the relationships that are built through sustained email marketing efforts. All that is required are a few directed efforts at personalizing the message and fine tuning it to suit the interests of pre-selected groups, in a way that each one is delivered an individually customized experience. Thus, market segmentation tactics that take into account the multiple needs of a diverse range of customers hold the key to achieving those desired results.

With Social Media still at the early stages of development, brands would do well to shake off the lure of ‘likes’ and ‘follows’, and focus more on strengthening a foundation that has existed for years.

More reason why, the time seems ripe for Email Marketing to begin its next onslaught and show the upstarts what it’s all about.



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