Birmingham and Reading based direct marketing firm MJ Experia Marketing consider the effects online technology has had on the marketing industry, and disputes its use as a sole marketing approach.
Online technology and social media is playing a bigger part in people’s lives than ever before, and with Facebook seeing a 46% increase in over 55s using the platform, social media is no longer reserved for the younger generation. Many companies are capitalising on this boom in online technology, using social media platforms and messaging services to market their brand and boost sales. However MJ Experia Marketing have concerns that relying too heavily on online marketing strategies could weaken customer relationships through a lack of truly direct interaction which customers crave.
Direct marketing involves dealing with the customer face to face on a personal level. Although social media allows users to interact in a more informal and personal way than traditional marketing techniques, the consumer may still feel a sense of animosity as the bottom line is they don’t really know who they are actually speaking to. By meeting customers in person through direct marketing businesses give the customer an opportunity to put a face to the company name which encourages more honest and long lasting relationships.
Social media and messaging tools are only as good as the individual using them, and improper use has seen some monumental PR disasters for certain brands. Alternative clothing brand Black Milk Clothing recently caused outrage on Facebook after posting a photo which made a supposedly humorous yet critical comment about a woman’s appearance. This comment went against the companies own motto of not judging other women and many customers were outraged. The issue escalated when the brand started to reply to complaints with condescending messages and even began blocking users and deleting their complaints from the Facebook page. This incident highlights how easy it can be to be misunderstood online, with no sense of tone or context it can be far harder to convey a message when not done in person.
Many view online communication as instant, however companies can’t ensure that all customers will get a response due to the sheer number of messages they receive. With consumers being able to contact companies online 24/7, realistically, companies simply don’t have the resources to reply to all messages within a certain time frame. With customers expecting instant replies, businesses which rely on this form of communication are running a high risk of customers losing faith in their services, something Managing Director of MJ Experia Marketing Matt Wassall has acknowledged, “Technology in some ways is making customer service more difficult, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever before, instantaneous results are expected and I’m not sure how achievable that is.”
By using a direct marketing approach, businesses can not only interact face to face with consumers, but can also gather more measurable data and results. Whilst social media is great for reaching a large audience by targeting everyone it’s difficult to identify the specific audience of a business, never mind who out of that audience is actually buying the product. Face to face marketing can accurately obtain information on both sales and who the target consumers are.
Social media is still an incredibly valuable tool in marketing; however the claim that this means of marketing has made customer relationships ‘perfect’ is a bold one. MJ Experia Marketing believe that social media sometimes fails to recognise the importance of personal relationships, and that direct marketing techniques should be utilised by businesses as part of a cross channel marketing campaign to support their use of online technology.
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of MJ Experia Marketing , on Thursday 3 July, 2014. For more information subscribe and follow http://www.pressat.co.uk/