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Social media is finally becoming just marketing

August 11, 2009

This is the first paragraph for the term Marketing in Wikipedia.

Marketing is an integrated communications-based process through which individuals and communities discover that existing and newly-identified needs and wants may be satisfied by the products and services of others.

No wonder the top of it says: “This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards.”

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No shit Sherlock.

I was hoping for a good definition of marketing, but I’ll offer one:

Marketing is the act of telling someone something about a thing in order to elicit a desired behavior.

Maybe that’s not an easier way to explain marketing. But the point is: a brand tells people who they think will be interested in their product or service something that will generate awareness, recall, purchase or evangelism. There are many stages in between in the path to purchase, and the good marketer will craft the message accordingly using the right tools accordingly.

Still with me?

In the path to purchase, social media is good for the last one. Evangelism. Think of the terms: fans, followers, friends. And even though it’s true that some people will never be friends with their toilet paper, it might also be true that offering friends a deal is a good way to stand out in what is a highly subjective market place. That’s the role coupons play. Coupons delivered on a Facebook page?

And here is where we’re talking marketing.

We’re at the point when these are just tools in the marketing toolbox. Thus, if anyone comes to you and says: You should start a blog, you’re suitably armed with marketing know-how to demand a goal. If they say, “Get new customers”, helpfully explain that’s the overriding reason behind all marketing expenditures, and that marketing should change a behavior.

So if the blog can change behavior, then it’s better. If it can’t, find something that works.

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