I learned something today about Social Media (rarely a day when I don’t), but this was significant.
I went to visit a business that my most recent crop of students wrote an Integrated Marketing Communications plan for. Other than being disappointed that they couldn’t remember the plan, which was delivered about three weeks ago, I learned that the business c0-owner had no idea what to write about in the social media — Facebook, their blog, Twitter, Foursquare, their QR codes etc. And this was a business that has been consistently using these tools for some time.
I realized that my students’ IMC plans — or any decent marketers’ plans have to go beyond strategy and detail the content small businesses need to provide.
Wandering around this business, I was delighted and amazed at their new inventory. It was obvious to me what they should be writing about, what would engage their target market (their customers), and how often they should be communicating. But then I am a customer, a member of their target market, and a marketing maven who understands buyer behavior and the incredible power of research.
Currently my students create an annual schedule of integrated marketing communications — advertising, public relations, direct marketing, sales promotions, and personal selling with traditional and new (social media) permeating them all. These schedules have themes, much like a category on a blog, but for some businesses that is not enough.
Businesses need to learn that they need to talk to their customers online just as they do in real life. Engage your customers! Imagine you are talking to them when you write. Picture the types of things you talk about when they walk in your door…And if you can’t — ask them.
I’ll put this idea to the test with this summer’s section of MKTG 2350 – Integrated Marketing Communications.