The question rings like the bell of the all-time favourite question, what comes first, the chicken or the egg? It’s almost impossible to imagine the marketplace now without the Internet or popular social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. Both have grown to become crucial marketing elements. However, Ed Strapagiel of KubasPrimedia, reminds us that there is yet any “objective, hard number evidence of what this actually does [for brands].”
But really, I don’t think we need objective, hard evidence to prove that social media actually works. Tools such as Facebook and Twitter - whose reach surpasses 750 million people - connect companies and customers. They have improved communication, brand awareness, and program effectiveness. However, I agree that social media tools will always remain supplementary to a company website and furthermore, its necessity will increase as the physical marketing space becomes more cluttered. Social media is not so much “a loop”, as discussed in the article, but more of an information highway. It delivers high level information but it’s real destination is the company website to generate sales.
Without a road (social media network), it’s more difficult to get people to where you want them to go (your website). Without an impressionable destination, there’s no point in building a smooth road. Therefore, the coexistence of both tools seems necessary. However, I reckon that the website should be the primary objective as it is the space where consumers generally make, confirm, and/or execute their purchase decision.
There’s been little research to show that online usage behaviours between groups of the same demographic and geographic area of varying ethnicities and from personal recall, there aren’t any significant differences that come to mind. Thus, companies targeting ethnic minorities may have to tailor their messages to more effectively communicate but the road map to reaching them via the Internet seems to be the same.
So, what do you think? What’s more important – social media or company website in multicultural marketing?