It isn’t enough to deploy social influence marketing (SIM) in isolation of every other marketing effort. If you do, you’re sure to fail. Your customers will notice that you have a disjointed, conflicted story — depending on where and how you’re interacting with them. Therefore, it’s important to understand how you can integrate your social influence marketing within your other more traditional marketing — direct mail, public relations, display advertising, and promotions.
Some social influence marketing philosophies are in conflict with traditional public relations, media buying, direct mail, and promotions tactics. It’s no use damning those forms of marketing and alienating your peers who focus on those areas. Put extra effort in partnering with your fellow employees as you practice these marketing techniques. Explain what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how it complements their efforts. If you discredit the other forms of marketing and the people behind them, it only hurts you in the long run.
Direct mail Direct mail is about managing an active customer database and marketing to members of that database via circulars, catalogs, credit card applications, and other merchandising materials delivered to homes and businesses. You’ve probably gotten a lot of direct mail over the years — perhaps 05_678619-ch01.indd 14 1/29/10 9:12 PM Chapter 1: Understanding Social Influence Marketing 15 mountains of it — and at some point, you’ve probably wished that these companies would stop mailing you.
That’s all direct mail, and whether you like it or not, direct mail has been a very successful form of marketing. The catalog industry logs billions of dollars in sales because of it. That will change with social influence marketing. Of all the areas of marketing, direct mail is one that will be most affected in the long run. Before you start worrying that your mail carrier will stuff your mailbox (or your e-mail inbox through e-mail marketing) even more than usual, consider this: Direct mail is most successful when the mail is targeted and personalized.
That means it’s reaching the people who really care about the offers (or are most likely to take advantage of them), and it’s personalized toward the recipients’ needs in a voice and style that’s appealing to them. Pretty straightforward, isn’t it?