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Getting social with marketing

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Published on: Thursday, April 29, 2010

How can businesses use technology to their competitive advantage? Peter Applebaum, founder of Tick Yes joins Peter Switzer his Sky News Business channel program – SWITZER – to discuss social marketing.

“[Tick Yes is] a social marketing company using digital platforms to help organisations really create longer relationships with their key stakeholders,” says Applebaum.

Applebaum started business was started in 2001 and it has always looked at relationship marketing. He says relationship marketing is not news, but the new platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are.

“Essentially, traditional marketing is all about a monologue: ‘I, the marketer talk to you, their customer’. And their customer sits back in the chair and says ‘OK, either I’m interested or I’m not.’” 

Building relationships online

Just as people create relationships with friends, spouses, colleagues at work and so on, Applebaum believes people should use the same “strategies and principles” in business relationships”.

“Social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. allow us to do that, as long as we understand that people fundamentally don't want to be bored.”

Applebaum says people want to get into relationships – “we're relationship-seeking missiles”. He explains that one of the flaws of traditional marketing is that people weren’t able to create these relationships.

“Organisations would spend millions, sometimes billions of dollars on creating the most wonderful televisions commercials because it tugs at the heartstrings – it gets me emotionally engaged,” he says. “Now there’s no better way of doing that than using these social networking sites and I can find out what you ate for dinner, where you’re going, what you’re doing, what you feel like right now. That’s why people like Oprah Winfrey have millions and millions of followers on Twitter because people are fascinated by this person.”

So how would a business, for example panel beating, use this type of marketing? Applebaum says it has to find “the passion point”. For a panel beating business, it could be “to make my car look as good as it looked when it was brand new.” He also says to provide testimonials from people who have had success with the business and use Twitter to tell stories.

“[Personal relationships is] really what it’s all about,” he says. “It’s not about a website, it’s not about something you can see on your mobile phone, it’s about an individual feeling something for another entity or individual.”

The challenges

Of course, there are challenges with this type of marketing. Applebaum says one of the challenges of the internet is it exposes bad spelling and writing.

“But in many ways, that’s authentic because most of us are bad at spelling, most of us aren't very good at putting words together, but it’s real,” he says.

He explains that a lot of organisations, particularly large corporates that have a lot to spend on advertising and promotion, have tried to create an emotional connection, but “it’s all very clinical”.

“What social networking and what social marketing allows organisations to do is introduce some humanity into the whole equation.”

Applebaum says there is “legacy thinking” when it comes to marketing. Organisations market the traditional way – “we broadcast and talk at you, the consumers”. He says this is not changing, but the trend is “making the change”.

“Certainly those traditional methods are still very valid and they will be for many, many years to come, there’s no doubt about that. But, the people have spoken, and they are speaking in their millions.”

Work on your business, not in it. To learn how, book a complimentary business assessment today with a Switzer Business Coach.

Important information:This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

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