Aligning Marketing with Resources

resourcesQuite often I hear people talking about doing social media marketing because it’s free. I always smile at this, because  social media marketing as I understand it is far from free.

Let’s take a quick look at a typical social media marketing campaign structure (I’ll skip over the defining objectives as I’ll take it as a given you wouldn’t start any marketing programme without at least defining what you want to achieve):

1.       Start by researching thoroughly the social media landscape to identify where your target audience is already engaging online

That’s right, the first step is not to set up your facebook page / linked in profile / twitter, which generally only takes only time. The first step in any campaign is to look at what is already being said and where around your brand, or the issues you want to address. This research can take time, expertise and money.

Of course setting up a facebook page is free, but what’s the point if your target audience is already engaged on a forum, or Linkedin group elsewhere?

2.       Analyse what’s being said and identify core influencers

More research work I’m afraid. If you can identify what is already being said about your brand, you are in a better position to either create proactive messages to address any negative sentiment, or reward and thank your advocates – who by the way you want to ensure you build a strong relationship with.

I won’t go on because the point of this post is not actually all about social media marketing. There are oudles of other blog posts about that.

Instead I want you to think about the true cost of a marketing programme and how you can align your resources and expected value of any marketing engagement by selecting an appropriate tactic mix.

For example, many of you might have an objective of qualifying sales leads through your marketing. This can be done in a number of ways, such as through events or telemarketing.

However, which are you more likely able to achieve with your resources? Events are expensive both in time and money but could the same impact be achieved through a good telemarketing campaign?

What if you want to drive web traffic? If you are shy of money and time, should you opt for a Payperclick campaign instead of SEO? I would suspect the short answer there is to run with PPC in the short term and build SEO on top for long term view.

However, I’ve pulled together the chart below to illustrate my thinking here. Don’t be mistaken in thinking you will have the resources to deliver the type of engagement you need at every level and through every campaign. Social media marketing is not free and there may be other tactics more suited to your objectives and your available resources.

resource engagament chart

Dollar image courtesy of yomanimus on flickr.

  • George Harris

    Social marketing seems to be the wave of the future. Telemarketing is a dying breed.

    • Andy Bargery

      Social marketing is indeed important, but in no way can I see telemarketing dying out. With an appropriate campaign objective (account profiling, lead generation, lead nurturing etc) telemarketing can produce some serious results.

  • http://www.hotjobsngr.com job vacancies

    I have always believe in generating traffic and customers from other marketing strategies but not social marketing

  • http://www.opplol.com/blog/index.html Art and Toys

    I’m surprised to see Telemarketing being considered so effective and fairly easy in terms of time and budget. How is it cheaper than social media?

    • Andy Bargery


      Telemarketing can be very effective and budgets easy to control, particularly when you outsource to a good telemarketing agency.

      You can test your message with your target audience and get a good feel for how effective your campaign is likely to be after just a few days and your investment is therefore quite low. Basic steps would be define message and target audience, acquire data, create campaign assets, train telemarketing agents, test campaign, review and proceed accordingly.

      Compare this to social media where your initial outlay will be time spent researching the enormous social media landscape to find out where your audience is, building / customising the appropriate platforms, creating enough content regularly to build an audience, engage with and foster conversations – all of which is much more difficult to quantify in terms of time to achieve, cost of agencies etc etc.

      In reality however you are likely to use telemarketing and social media to achieve different objectives e.g. lead generation vs lead qualification. Is it therefore a fair comparison?


  • http://www.premium-online-writing.com/online-copywriter.html Tom McSherry, online copywriter

    It’s nice to see some intelligent discussion on this topic. There’s so much buzz about social media marketing these days that people just tend to assume it’s worth doing. In actual fact I think a lot of marketers are better off giving more attention to other avenues.

  • http://www.industridraperier.se/produkter/maxibell/index.php Petter Nilsson

    Good post! I’m having problem convincing my boss that it takes more than just setting a facebook account to be successful in social media marketing. I think I’ll send this post to him =)

    • Andy Bargery

      Hi Petter,

      Did you send this post to your boss? Love to hear if it made a difference.


  • http://diamondgift.rohaeni.com Diamond Gift

    I agree social media is the place for develop communities and it’s no free but minimize your money for your promote.

  • http://clezyclub.com Pear Logging

    Eventually opportunity cost and that is pretty subjective

  • http://forextradingsystem1.com Nick

    Actually, web master can do social marketing without investing a lot of money. An option is to develop your communities yourself, slowly but it will bring more quality and will give good results in the long run.

    • Andy Bargery

      Hi Nick,

      I agree with developing communities slowly, particularly if you take the approach of adding value first, rather than simply using social media as another platform to broadcast your sales and marketing messaging.


  • http://www.underthechristmastree.co.uk/lego-ninjago-ice-dragon-attack-2260.php Holly

    This is a very true article – thanks for posting it! Social Media Marketing is far from free or simple!

  • http://www.interiordesignchristchurch.com/ Lisa Davis

    A truly helpful article you got here! Very informational and useful for readers. Thanks!

  • http://www.virtualworldsforkids.info fun games for kids

    The biggest price right here is opportunity cost and that is pretty subjective to every individual