Its 2013 and more and more advertisers of brands are shifting towards digital advertising as social media routes create awareness for their brands. Because of this, one question comes to mind: Is the traditional face-to-face interaction between customer and brand such as at taxi rank activations, campus activations and shopping mall activations, still a viable brand marketing tool?
A recent study on social media by a private company submitted the following results, based on increase on numbers on social media:
- Facebook: well over 8 million, up from 6.8 million in 2012;
- Twitter: over 4.8 million, up from 2.43 million in 2012; and
- LinkedIn: over 2.3 million, up from 1.93 million in 2012
Judging from these statistics one can immediately see that each and every year, the number of consumers using social media increases significantly, although we must be aware that as much as there is a significant increase, we cannot compare South Africa to other countries.
For instance the markets in South Africa are different from those of the US, and as much as we have seen the increase in numbers on social media, most South Africans still prefer the traditional marketing mix.
Because of the obvious rise in social media a substantial number of brands have decided to go the route of using this tool as this has proven to be cost effective and also brands receive direct feedback from their target audience.
Another advantage that social media holds is that brands do not have to be exposed to the severe conditions and dangers of activations such as in taxi ranks.
With that being said, activations can also have advantages, namely:
- You get to interact with large numbers of your target audience
- Consumers get to interact, with your product, therefore getting immediate feedback
- Consumers that you interact with can easily start up conversations on social media about your brand
- Brand activations focus on building a longer term emotional connection between the brand and the customer