Marketing is About an Ecosystem, Not Channels

Social media marketing is a channel and it should be treated as such within the larger marketing ecosystem

If I were to close my mind and rely on what is being, largely, discussed as the future of marketing on the web, I would be stuck with two words. Social Media. “Free Social Media Marketing Plan”, “ROI of Social Media Marketing”, “What is Social Media Marketing?”, “Social Media Marketing tips”, “X Do’s and Dont’s of Social Media Marketing”. Just some of the article/topic headings you are likely to come across.

Somehow every expert, guru, maven, specialist etc. are able to come up with differently similar articles lauding the utility of social media marketing. And how anyone not using it will go extinct in the not-so-distant future. If there is anything I agree with them on it is the fact that social media is a powerful channel for marketing. But it is just that. A channel.

One among many available channels that a marketer has at her disposal today to reach the target market. I have already written earlier that a channel should not be treated independent of the segment. The segment should define the channel. It cannot be the other way round.

According to one study 73% of shoppers use more than five channels for their purchase. Assuming social media is one of them, what if you are just concentrating on that one only? The number of ways a customer can be reached is increasing. The number of ways the customer is accessing information is also increasing. But what is decreasing is how much time the customer is spending on a single channel.

So go ahead and decide for yourself whether you want to do marketing, or you want to do social media marketing.

[image: Flickr/Oliver Lindner]