Social media and the ever changing face of marketing

Started by 7H3, Aug 23, 2015, 02:09 PM

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I work 9 to 5 as a vendor, which means I spend all day going from store to store talking to customers and retail associates about my the products I'm working with at that time. This is just one aspect of marketing and with the boom in social media over the past decade or so businesses of all types and sizes have added investment in these avenues for marketing purposes.

During store visits I find three types of consumers: Pre-Deciders, Unsure consumers, solution seekers. Pre-deciders are those who have for whatever reason already decided upon their purchase and are the hardest to sway towards another product, but it can still be done. Unsure consumers are those who may lean one way or another for a potential purchase to varying degrees, and are more easily swayed to any product a friendly face will recommend. Solution seekers are the most ideal customers as they tend to be completely open to suggestion. In all cases though it is important to remember that selling an unneeded product to a customer, or trying to force a certain product over another only contributes to a loss of credibility among the consumer and peers. Social media can be utilized by brands to influence purchasing decisions before they get to the store.

Before Facebook there was myspace, and before that several special interest social media hubs. (livejournal, xanga, ...) These along with forums were early inceptions of a broader internet community wanting to connect with other people. While some social mediums seem like they will never go away, such as: email, IM, and forums; newer means of doing the same thing have done better at focalizing communities en masse to different hubs. These more public spaces are much better at allowing in businesses and those businesses turning a profit from customer interaction or sales leads. This was not really possible at such a scale on older methods of communication that weren't public spaces. Even still there is still a market for advertising outside of social media it is becoming more and more apparent that the space to be in for advertising is social media.

Social media only goes so far to help customers to make a purchase in store if they don't close the deal online. There could be many reasons for this, but one I want to talk about is that a consumer wants to be affirmed in a purchase decision by a real person. To which live video streaming is a great solution. Seeing a person live can create an instant connection and, depending on the interaction, a trustworthy and real experience. The trust of a brand can make or break it. In store I am able to convince unsure consumers and solution seekers to value my product over a competitor's.

We are now entering the golden age of social video streaming. There have been plenty of apps and programs that do this service as well, but it seems some fairly new services have really caught the eyes of social marketing gurus and businesses alike. Before with Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, and other similar programs (apps) there are certain limits to its uses and has more specified purposes.

Video streaming in a public space is gaining that new "Wow" factor once (and even still) enjoyed by several other social media services. However, there is a key differentiating factor here which is part of the reason I have a job. Human interaction is a key aspect in sales, and what is the point of paying for marketing if it's not turning into sales. Utilizing visual marketing has always been more attractive and effective as a tool. Now having trustworthy people varying levels of infamy promote your brand, or having a company face in these spaces will do wonders for a brand. What I do in store is qualify a customer relate to their unique needs and situations while providing a personal touch that advertisements have never been able to do before at such a level. However, that is all changing thanks to periscope, meerkat, and blab. Now virtually that same touch I'm able to deliver in person can be delivered over video streaming a fast growing public space.

In the words of Kevin Butler "This things about as futuristic or nowuristic as it gets."

Also these apps aren't just for business purposes, but for people looking to connect with other people.
So dive in and check them out!
"It's hip to be square." - Eurogamer<br />"Shut up its art!" -Legend