Boating Industry

October 2014

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Page 49 of 59 50 | Boating Industry | October 2014 MARKET FOCUS SECTION { MARKETING } BY JIM ACKERMAN In the last couple of months, the latest re- ports to come out about the effectiveness of the digital media, and social media in par- ticular, confirm a belief that I've held since the advent of those media, and that I have written about since the 2009 release of my book, How To Market Your Crap When the Economy is in the Toilet. The 12th chapter of the book is dedi- cated to what I called then, and confirm now, the "I-Myth." My basic premise? That digital media are over-rated. That they are seen as a marketing panacea, a silver bullet, and they are currently drawing a dispro- portionate amount of the marketing time, attention and dollars from business owners. The return on investment seldom justifies that investment. The recent reports appear to bear me out. In a Wall Street Journal report earlier this year, the headline reads, "Social Media Fail to Live Up to Early Marketing Hype. Companies Refine Strategies to Stress Quality Over Quantity of Fans." The same article reports, "Companies have invested money into social media sites, but brands are learning that racking up fans and 'likes' is not the same as minting sales." A broadcast report from "The Wall Street Journal This Morning" charges that Facebook Mobile advertising invest- ment is up, but consumers don't pay any attention to it; that response to the ads The magic and myth of the nouveau media Digital marketing is important, but don't ignore the traditional is down, and that if the trend continues companies are likely to stop using Face- book Mobile ads. The trouble with that is, more consum- ers are accessing Facebook on their mobile devices vs. their desktop computers, which means all Facebook advertising is going to get less effective, not more so. And yet another WSJ report quotes an English study's findings that consumers claim they are not influenced by Facebook and Twitter, and in fact, they are distrust- ful of the commercial content on both platforms. They feel like reviews are often "plants" by companies, and that companies hide their unfavorable reviews. The message is not to ignore online marketing and social media, but rather to appoint to them the appropriate amount of time, attention and financial resources, just as you would the traditional media like radio, TV, print, direct mail and outdoor. I would go a step further, in fact, to suggest that your investment in online marketing, including websites, SEO, email marketing and social media, be relegated to secondary positions, and that you reassert your efforts in the traditional media. I'm not kidding. While the existence of the Internet and the advent of mobile has made marketing in the traditional ways more difficult, research suggests that actually acquiring sales is still done more effectively by the traditional media. Most of the time, the cost of acquisition of new transactions "The message is not to ignore online marketing and social media, but rather to appoint to them the appropriate amount of time, attention and financial resources."

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