Author: Anand Pandya
Every year around SXSW time, we are introduced to new technologies that promise to make things easier and make connecting with people as easy as flipping a switch. We’ve moved from the simple website, to interactive websites, to blogs, to social media. The desktop paved way for the laptop which interacted with smart phones which are merging into tablets. We, as individuals, have several different ways to consume information and ten times more ways than that to share it.
What’s that do to business? Naturally, a business needs to market itself, and the more channels individuals are using, the more a business has to enter that channel and market.
But what happens when old channels die to make way for new ones? After all, sponsoring AM radio shows and buying AM radio spots aren’t as lucrative a pull as, say, promotions via the web and social media. But companies must account for every medium out there, or they risk losing viable customer segments and chances to influence. The more new(er) media channels open up (FourSquare, Loopt, iPhone/iPad apps, Android apps, Windows Phone 7 apps, BlackBerry apps, etc.) the more organizations must “spread the wealth” of a marketing budget to reach out to every suspect customer out there.
It isn’t that it is hard for organizations to get into those channels. After all, most companies now have “social media managers” internally or “social media management” firms that are hired with the specific task of managing the brand in the digital space. (Though with the latest Twitter goofs by Bing and Chrysler, one sees how even that can blow up in your face.) The hard part for organizations is managing the volumes of data that flow through and how they all relate.
Fans, followers, connections, check-ins, impressions, clicks, opens, downloads, registrations…the list goes on and on – what am I supposed to track to gauge what’s working? How do I make sense of all of this “stuff”? I have to spend one more dollar of my marketing budget, and I’m not sure where to spend it It’s a case that almost all marketing departments are going through and need help with.