or… You know what they say about ‘Don’t Assume’

Some of the numbers are mind-boggling. As marketers, they seem to reinforce the notion that any of the top social platforms are bound to reach your audience with your brand message. Here are few recent reports:

•    58 million tweets per day
•    3 million messages sent on FaceBook every 20 minutes
•    Tumblr has 20 billion page views per month
•    Pinterest has 70 million users worldwide

And these are probably out of date by now. So you get it—these sites are popular. So what.social-overload-big

So understanding that individuals have very specific preferences and habits when it comes to social sites and technology communications is imperative for brands. Go ahead, ask a teenager about their communications preferences— then ask a twenty-something. I know I was surprised. And you know answers will vary by gender, geography, socio-economics, education, family structure and so much more. For instance, as much as I knew my nephew was a tech-whiz from age 5, and rarely put down his smart phone, I was surprised to hear him say he ONLY connects on FaceBook, through texting and on Skype. No Twitter. No Google +. No email. In fact he averages 9,000 texts per month. Not sure how that compares to other teens, but I know my thumbs would be bloody.

Back to the assumptions about targeting our marketplace and understanding the implications of integrated brand programs. As effective marketers, we know we need to ‘slice and dice’ our prospects and clients based on preferences and position within the sales loop. We also need to rely on multiple delivery channels to reach them. And broadly assuming that the divides follow generational lines is a recipe for failure. Face it, there are no easy answers in today’s lightning-speed marketing world. But that’s what keeps it exciting.

And what’s the most important take-away? Keep your brand and messaging consistent across all channels and tactics. It’s very easy to become fragmented, diluted, and confusing. The strongest brands, however, remain true to their DNA, year after year, campaign after campaign, and across all channels and media.

Now excuse me, I have a few thousand texts to send to impress my family and friends…

by Frank Kurland

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