Remember how your parents used to tell you to “drink your milk” or “eat vegetables” when you were a kid? Well, that’s kind of how marketing has been in the past decades, where they talk at you not with you (i.e., hard sell approach). From which they turned to soft sell marketing: an indirect way of telling consumers to buy their products without sounding dictatorial but still suggesting an option.

At present, though, companies seem to employ an interactive approach in reaching out to their target consumers. With recent technological innovations, the marketing industry certainly took the traditional buyer-seller relationship to a whole new level.

SOCIAL MEDIA KICKS IN

When talking about media marketing nowadays, you cannot exclude social media from the equation. Clearly it has grown into a global community frenzy with netizens posting in almost every social networking site (SNS) possible, interacting globally. This is where marketers found a gold mine!

With such SNS as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, ‘word-of-mouth’ endorsements have been the name of the game. Everyone has become both an endorser and a probable customer. This is highly evident when people are tagged on event photos of a certain drink, for example, or products are tagged on statuses (e.g., “Eating Big Mac”). In Twitter world, using hashtags is how you make topics trend; a typical marketing strategy. And mostly, these are all free-of-charge save for some celebrities.

GOING MOBILE

An integration of social, local, and mobile businesses (dubbed as “SoLoMo” by Silicon Valley guys) is also fast-emerging in the social scene. Local and mobile businesses are partnering with SNS. For instance, Facebook came up with its own mobile app so you can log in even when you’re not at home and still keep in touch with your Facebook friends. Local businesses partnered with Foursquare app that lets people “check-in” at particular restaurants, announcing their whereabouts, online (something that used to be exclusive to celebrities in tabloids).

COMPANIES AND BRANDS GO GAGA

At the rate social media marketing is going, it’s no surprise if people from the marketing business bang their heads on the wall once in a while. After all, they have a lot to keep up with! For one, social media operates in real time meaning they’d have to constantly and consistently update their webpages especially during promotional seasons (assuming customers are always on the look-out for such promos). Also, the internet holds a chunk-load of data they’d have to study indicating massive data management. And since data is readily available, they have ample resources to conduct extensive research on consumers’ interests enabling them to meet their target markets’ needs and wants.

Relationship building through social media currently fuels social media marketing. And naturally, people are more comfortable trusting people they know personally, turning to them for advice on “what’s effective” and “what’s hot” quite reasonably. That tacky friend of yours, for example, might have hit the next big thing.

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