Home > Multimedia, New Media, PR, Social Networks, Technology > Social Media vs. Traditional Media: The Wrong Argument

Social Media vs. Traditional Media: The Wrong Argument

September 3, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

After reading a well thought out post on assessing ROI in a social media world, I responded with a comment. To see the original post go here. I have pasted in my comment below, which I think stands for itself.

Great post Jason, I can’t agree more with the Kool-Aid references. From a young professionals standpoint who grew up with both traditional marketing and new media marketing I can’t help but get frustrated with a majority of the conversation today about social media and how businesses are being told to pick “one or the other.”

Social media in my opinion is a tool, albeit a very powerful tool, but nevertheless a tool within a marketer’s toolbox. Too many times I feel we forget marketing is a 360-degree experience. Customers can be anywhere today – TV, print, online, mobile – and it is a company’s job to effectively target and reach their selected customers through each of these mediums utilizing a variety of distribution methods.

When I explain marketing to potential clients I draw a circle and put their brand in the middle. Each part of the circle represents a different part of the pie, and in order to reach each section the company has to push their message out in that direction. Media once it reaches the edge can then flow in a circular pattern – say someone retweets and blogs about a message they saw in print and suddenly customers are reached across the circle – but it’s a complex web that must be built up over time and with the understanding that there is no one simple one answer.

Many times I find companies look at social media as a powerful tool, but then opt to place an Intern or entry-level employee at the helm. A senior executive might oversee the strategy, but the lack of economic investment means the “saving grace” of the companies marketing program is left up to an employee with potentially little allegiance. This makes me wonder: just what value do you really see in this? When I speak to companies I make it a point to not paint a social media vs. traditional media picture, but rather one that involves everyone in a form considered non-traditional.

The other large piece of the puzzle, and one that I consider equally if not more important, is the rise of content creation and understanding how content can be utilized in multiple mediums for the same purpose, but that I’m afraid is another topic.

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  1. February 11, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Tim, I was just talking about this morning. Having grown up in marketing via ad agencies and recommending traditional media to clients along the way, I thoroughly appreciate the importance/relevance of social media. But, what is happening today is a line is being drawn. Why? I can’t help think of The Field of Dreams when this subject comes up. “If you build it, they will come”. It may have been true for a ballpark in the wilderness but it isn’t so when it comes to marketing. If one relies solely on social media, you may have built your presence but if no one knows through a combined effort of traditional and social media they simply won’t come.

  1. February 25, 2010 at 3:40 pm

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