Let's be clear here: Sonja is not telling everyone that they need to Tweet and post pictures of their pets on Pinterest. For some businesses, this approach could make sense but only if it's relevant. From a marketing point of view, what social media creates is a whole range of new ways to communicate with your current and potential customers. There are huge advantages in this. For one thing, the low cost of publishing on social media means that a small company can now compete with much more cashed-up rivals. Another point that the group discussed with Sonja was the fact that genuinely ethical companies can be discovered online and compete with the less morally driven businesses in their industry. This is becoming a more and more valuable asset as educated consumers look to do business with companies that they can trust.
Sonja's seminar was also very clear about what marketing is and what it isn't. If your business is struggling from a lack of sales and you need to get some cash in the door, developing a new marketing strategy is unlikely to solve your problem. Print some flyers with a special offer and get out onto the footpath if you need to drive quick sales. Marketing is for the medium and long term, building your brand and creating relationships with your market. It also relies on research, so that we are addressing a real need that you market knows it needs. Research also allows us to test our marketing efforts for effectiveness.