We were brought up in a time when the television had become pretty mainstream in India; every household had one; a time when people read newspapers in their entirety, and magazines were devoured cover to cover.
Our idea of advertisements back then was limited to television commercials with catchy jingles, newspaper commercials, and huge outdoor hoardings — many of which were in fact hand painted by artists.
Advertisements in general, were few and far apart, compared to today. Naturally then, they were easier to remember and recall. Brands changed their commercials infrequently, because of the high inherent cost of getting new creatives made. This made it easy for customers to recognise brands.
However, this kind of marketing — now referred to by business schools and researchers as ‘traditional marketing’ — left the advertiser in the dark with regards to how his advertisements were performing.
Even today, there is no accurate way to measure client conversion based on overhead hoardings, television commercials, and newspaper advertisements. This is especially true for B2C retail manufacturers of products, who hardly ever get the chance to engage with the end users of their products.
One couldn’t say with the least amount of surety whether a customer had purchased a product on whim, or because of exposure to an advertisement. In most cases, companies that paid for creating and distributing ads couldn’t even gauge whether or not their target market was liking their ads.
‘A brand whose ads are not likeable, often gets ignored by targeted end users.’
Advertisers had no way to measure the effectiveness of their brand development and promotion initiatives, and so, they needed to sanction expensive market researches to find out how the general public felt about various brands.
With the advent of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, not only has the world shrunk in size, but advertisers and marketers have found a way to reach specific target segments based on demographics, interests, age-groups, and even locations.
Social media marketing has enabled advertisers and brands to observe how many people have responded to their advertisements, how they have reacted, and more importantly, how many have actually purchased their products and services from their e-commerce websites or online platforms in response to their ads.
Being able to measure the outcomes of social media marketing campaigns in real time has made it easy for brands to see what’s working, what isn’t, and how to improve out communications to get the results we want.
This, in turn, has made brands more conscious of their communications, more responsive to feedback, and more easily accessible to their customers. We’d say, it’s a win-win.
Share your thoughts with us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or in the comments below.
Of course, if you need assistance with optimising your Social Media Marketing, we’re happy to help!
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