Role of Media 2.0 to Support Marketing as Function

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on January 30, 2013

The Customer is the new platform”—Doc Searls

“OLPC”, the popular one laptop per child initiative by one of the world’s leading Software Company. As a Software Engineer, I worked for this project. During the course of time, I wasn’t sure as such why do a company need to donate laptops to the school children in the developing countries like India, Pakistan and other Sub-Saharan Countries. While the major incentive for the project was a wide coverage or popularly known as the PR for the company and its initiatives as part of Corporate Social Responsibility. While we delve through, the business logic for the company to undergo such a huge initiative could be like a marketing promotion for its products and the mass standardization of its products across the globe. The above incident backs to 2009-10.

It’s almost two years to this project and if look back at the business implications, the results are exceptional. The company is a huge hit in these markets and as per the strategy; their PR has improved 10 times with an additional benefit as a contribution for social cause. The lessons from this case study could be amazing as such the effect of PR to support marketing and that to as a persistent support in the form of a chain reaction. This is all happened during the age of upcoming digital era and not so popular social marketing tools. Now, the battle ground has got changed with innovative marketing tools such as Web 2.0, Public Media 2.0 and importantly Digital Marketing.

According to the Center for Social Media, American University, the people formerly known as the audience now are at the center of the media. This is observed from the changing media habits of the users which got transformed everything, from education to politics.

Changing Media Habits

As said, unlike the earlier age, the users have got multiple media sources. Their engagement is multiplied to many a times. With customer at the centre in the above picture, the media has to be changed while going for an efficient and effective communication. According to a research study, social marketing has become the fastest growing mode of communication. To capture this arena, PR can be the powerful tool that companies can adopt. An example of the rate of information penetration is: “Why this kolaveri……..di”, a sensational song, which has got 188K, likes and 42K talks in the facebook. I wonder how many of these 188k people know what kolaveri means to them, when they started listening to the song. Then how does this song have got so many likes and so many people talks. Here is the answer, thanks to the social media. The role and means social media has played over is like a virus. It all started by sharing the song video clip on social media and It has reached 12k people in just 5 days of release without a rupee investment in marketing campaign.

Such is the power of social media in its reach. So how do they make a business out of that? They followed a viral marketing technique using social media tools such as face book, YouTube etc. The investment they all could have made in this channel would not be more than 1% of the average film industry marketing cost. Even the regular marketing promotions made in the industry don’t guarantee the reach and revenue. However, using this strategy, they saved their marketing costs and the reach it would have got be 5 times in effective to that of regular marketing campaign. Adding to that, it has generated revenue through ads and other means, the expected highest advert revenue from a single movie song. The role and means social media has played over here is that of an effective and an efficient communicator and connector. The way it harnessed the results to the campaign gives the way in promoting business. This defines a new era in business marketing and strategy. The bible words of marketing, segmentation-targeting-positioning from our marketing gurus are no more applicable in this social media era.  To substantiate it, many companies and scholars are working on this new media concept to create structural orientation to the domain.

If we analyse the above case studies and draw conclusions for the future PR role, there is no doubt that Public relations are going to make a huge hit on hit at the top line of the firms. In order to utilise, the companies need to formulate strategies to capture the same and come out with an effective and efficient marketing strategy.

This article has been authored by Sandeep Vemulakonda from IIM Indore.

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