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Is the future of marketing social? Few today would argue that social media marketing is going away any time soon, and the most bullish suggest that social is going to increasingly displace traditional marketing spend.

But are the bulls right? If a new study is any indication, not exactly.

According to market research firm Kline, adoption of social media marketing by beauty companies is growing, and makers of cosmetics and toiletries grew their viral campaign efforts this past holiday season. Driving the growth in their use of social media is the realization that consumers aren't always reachable via traditional (and more expensive) channels, like television.

But that doesn't mean that beauty marketers are moving away from traditional channels. Couponing promotions, for instance, have been popular of late due to a competitive pricing environment. Beyond that, Kline Senior Associate notes, "there is no cookie-cutter approach...and brands are experimenting with what approaches work best with their business model, their consumer base, and the image they want to project."

That's an important point. Social media offers marketers a lot. Social networks like Facebook have huge audiences, social marketing campaigns can be launched relatively quickly and inexpensively, targeting options are plentiful. But none of this means that social is best when social is in a silo. Just as savvy search and display marketers know that you can't just look at the last click, savvy social marketers won't underestimate the ability of social and traditional channels to work together.

In industries with strong brands, like cosmetics, marketers will increasingly find that the most challenging question is not "How do we allocate spend across channels?" but rather "How do we most effectively integrate channels?" From this perspective, the wisest media sellers will realize that the overall spending pie is only going to expand, and focus more on giving marketers reason to grow their spend rather than trying to maximize the percentage of the pie they get.

Patricio Robles

Published 16 January, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (1)

Nishma Robb

Nishma Robb, Chief Client Officer at iProspect

As highlighted at the end of the article, I agree that the most important part of the strategy that beauty brands need to consider is integrating both traditional media tools and social media. Offline complements online and vice versa. Integration between the two is vital to keep a consistent message on all consumers’ touch points. This doesn’t necessarily always involve a budget increase but rather a review of the brand’s business objectives, an understanding of where the conversations are, how to take part and the ability to translate this into a marketing plan.

Social media not only touches marketing but every part of an organisation including customer service, sales and recruitment - therefore budget should be reviewed accordingly. Traditional media is no longer a fire and forget tactic but rather the first touch point in an ongoing relationship between brands and customers.

almost 5 years ago

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