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Why social media matters - so much!

The control of products, services and advertising is increasingly shifting to the consumer. Gone are the days of creating an award-winning creative ad and placing it in all the right places. Gone are the days of you telling the consumer what they need. They are telling you. Just ask Motrin or Dell(a).

According to a Forresters research report released recently, "The distinction between traditional and innovative marketing techniques will become significantly more pronounced as the socially driven online communities continue to gain momentum".

...And to quote the CEO of one of Belgium's most aggressively innovative digital TV stations: "The 30" TVC has no future. We have to be realistic and face the fact that it will disappear within the next ten years."

Those are some disruptive theories. But I firmly agree. Marketing as we know it is dead.
I've blogged about it in the post "The death of PR", and will go a step further: social media IS the new PR - especially when marketing to female consumers.

Brands that want to market their products/services to women will need to integrate social media in their marketing strategy.

Why do I place so much emphasis on social media in marketing to women?
Because women treat information gathering as a textured and interactive process – one that includes gathering AND exchanging information – both online and offline - with friends and peers and support networks.
Women also re-evaluate their selection criteria throughout the information gathering process. While men tend to identify a few key selection criteria and then buy a product that matches those criteria to offer them a “good solution”, women will keep adding and amending their criteria - listening to opinions and advice, evaluating your product offering against a complex, nuanced set of criteria - and shop until they find a product that offers “the perfect solution”.

Social media will continue to affect and change the way in which consumers interact, with brands and with each other.

Below the future of social web, as detailed in a research report released by Forresters a few weeks ago.

The Five Eras of the Social Web:
1) Era of Social Relationships: People connect to others and share
2) Era of Social Functionality: Social networks become like operating system
3) Era of Social Colonization: Every experience can now be social
4) Era of Social Context: Personalized and accurate content
5) Era of Social Commerce: Communities define future products and services

Astute marketers will take note and educate themselves now on social media and how it impacts their business and their customer - ahead of the pack.

Read more here