Just when we thought Social Media was raising its head high enough for everyone to sit up and take notice, we got to attend a workshop conducted yesterday by Vijay Singh and Rajesh Ghagte of 141Sercon on Non-traditional Media and Below-The-Line Marketing at IIM Lucknow. It couldn’t have come at a better time – The PGP1’s (first year students at IIM Lucknow) are studying Marketing Communication as a part of the MM-II (Marketing Management-II) course.
It’s a session that I personally enjoyed a lot and in general, they did end up creating a certian amount of ‘buzz’ about the workshop. My take-aways from the session were specifically in an area that has been of particular interest to me – which is precisely what the workshop was about: Social Media Marketing: as a subset of Below-The-Line marketing (BTL) activities undertaken by a company. Specifically, if I were to summarize:
- Earlier consumers used to follow the AIDA path – Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. They no longer do that.
- While Above-The-Line (ATL) activities are more in BROADCAST mode (Television, Print, Radio, etc)., BTL activities are more personalized (NARROWCAST).
- There are no ‘standard’ metrics for Social Media: For instance, there are no universally agreed upon metrics like ‘TRP Ratings’ in case of Television of ‘Readership’ surveys in case of Print Media.
- ATL – 1-way conversation.
BTL – 2-way conversation
- ATL – No specific ‘Call to Action’.
BTL – There is a specific ‘Call to Action’ – which can be in the form of ‘BUY’, ‘TRY’, of ‘REFER, among others.
- ATL: The most important Question is “WHO” are we targetting!
BTL: The most important question is “HOW” do we target – What is the specific campaign about?
What also came out of the workshop is that most marketing managers – especially, the ones who are still focussed entirely on traditional media & ATL, tend to have the opinion that –
“Ok.. Let us have a social media presence, but if there is anything negative that comes up, we will pull out.”
Something that is not possible in a place as open and transparent as the internet. Which is why, most of these managers eventually end up putting just their television commercials (TVCs) on Youtube – that’s it, nothing else! Social Media is democratic andwe have to live with it, if we want to ‘be’ in it.
Let me leave you with a video –
An interesting article on Social Media’s impact on Branding.
[Title Picture Courtsey: Marjorie Signer.]