Technological advances have completely altered the field of marketing. Within the last few years, companies have had to drastically alter their marketing strategies in order to remain competitive in a rapidly changing society. The introduction of social media has created huge opportunities for marketers as well as introduced new challenges for marketers to overcome. With all of the new changes technology has brought about to the marketing industry, flexibility is becoming more and more important. The industry is constantly changing and adapting.
Today it is more important than ever for marketers to remain knowledgeable on new marketing techniques and strategies. Technology has created ways for marketers to stay current. The most popular resource for professional development in the marketing community is webinars. Almost 50% of marketing professionals attended a live webinar in 2009. Marketers also found that association websites were a great source for information. Marketers are relying less on printed documents and conferences and more and more on technology.
Since the introduction of social media, the focus of marketers has drastically changed. Social media is not always the right medium for marketers to use, but we cannot deny that social media has drastically changed the way companies market their product or service. According to Erik Qualman, who is the author of Socialnomics, consumers no longer search for product and services, but rather services gain their attention through social media. Chris Brogan shares 50 ways in which marketers can use social media to improve their marketing. These tips just provide a glimpse into the changes that social media has brought about to the marketing industry.
Based on these facts, social media has become a prime marketing tool:
- LinkedIn has more than 365,000 company profiles
- More than 12 million small-business professionals are members of LinkedIn
- More than 1 million small businesses and individuals promote their goods and services on MySpace
- More than 10,000 websites use Facebook Connect
- Twitter users spend 66% more dollars on the Internet than non-Twitter users
The use of social media has brought about new challenges for marketers. Marketers must now think differently. Some companies are having problems figuring out how to use social media effectively. If companies cannot expand from the use of TV, radio, and print, then they may miss out on a huge opportunity. The use of social media in marketing is not a guaranteed success, but it has become a tool marketers cannot completely avoid. As Shel Israel, author of the Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods stated, “Companies have no choice. This is where their customers are going.”