Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Keep New Technology Tools in Perspective

There can be no doubt that new social marketing technology can change every element of the marketing mix. But before you launch your corporate blog or upload that video to YouTube, you need to stop, take a deep breath, and really think through what you want to accomplish with the new marketing tools that are available.

As with almost every new technology advancement, there are risks for companies that jump in without understanding what they are getting into. Good marketing still requires the basics of understanding your target audience and the benefits you can deliver. If you are considering how to use new technologies like blogs, podcasts, online video, wikis, widgets, etc. you need to make sure you know what you want to accomplish or you may end up using the wrong tool.

I really like the POST acronym that Forrester Research has been touting . POST stands for people, objectives, strategy and technology.

More than ever before, new marketing technology requires that you understand the people (target audience) that you want to reach. For the first time in modern marketing, you can truly direct your message to the group of people that are most interested and most likely to buy your product or service. And, you can minimize your waste circulation.

Technology has added a new dimension to analyzing and defining the optimum target audience. In addition to understanding their demographics and their psychographics, we also need to factor their technographics into the evalution. How comfortable are they with using the new technology tools? Do they have broaddband access on their home computer? What new technology tools are they currently using? How would they prefer to interact with your company?

Thinking about POST again, after people you should identify the objectives you want to accomplish, and the way you need to engage your customers in order to build a relationship -- strategy. It is only after you have identified these three key elements that you should begin to discuss and evaluate what technology you should use?

Be sure you think POST before you get too far along. Don’t make the mistake of putting the cart before the horse, as my dad used to say. Know the basics of who you need to reach and what you want to accomplish before you decide which new technology to explore. Good marketing still requires good marketing.