Saturday, February 19, 2011

New Media...Embrace It!

New media, often more narrowly defined and/or explored as social media, has done wonders in terms of providing marketing opportunities for companies and individuals looking to make an immediate and personal connection with their market. Historically, a lot of marketing has been done from a greater distance - a billboard here, a print ad or television commercial there - always hoping that you were presenting yourself in the correct space and way in order to reach your target audience. Market research helps with these uncertainties a lot, but it's not flawless...and things are always changing.

Of course, there were opportunities such as trade shows and direct mail pieces that would allow for more interaction with individual consumers long before any technological explosion. But, there was a noticeable lag in these tools; either in the response time, the length or regularity of an interaction, or something else. The defects are obviously more apparent now. They were imperfect. All marketing is really. The variables are endless. But the Internet, and social media specifically, has really closed the gap between business and consumer, and allowed for what can appear like a fully complete marketing vision realized when all of these marketing strategies, old and new, are working unitedly.

I would (and do) encourage most small business owners, or individuals looking to market themselves these days to take the plunge into new media in some form as soon as possible to achieve greater success for themselves. Web access has leveled the playing field a great deal for the little guy competing with those large corporations with deep pockets. It's important to use technology to its full advantage.

The costs are usually minimal, though the time commitment is great (but manageable), to be sure. And, those that are participating in smart ways are finding opportunities and fostering relationships which others may be missing out on. A confident and savvy networker that takes the time to see which new media outlets and strategies can leverage their marketing message will find multiple new ways to push towards success in their endeavors. Social networking sites, viral campaigns, guerrilla and stealth marketing are all utilized in the new media arena.

Think about how this applies to you. What would work for you as a personal brander to get your name and your message out to those whom you want to receive it? Which strategies could you apply using new media to grow your business?