Situational marketing is a strategic approach to any consumer-based marketing effort, designed to attract attention to a brand or product, create viral influence, and, in the end, sell it to prospective consumers. It is essentially a unique blend of traditional and new forms of marketing. The best way to describe situational marketing is that it is a marketing practice that “pulls” prospects into the marketing message but doesn’t force them to act. This is different from traditional marketing, where you have the product or service forced on a prospect. In other words, the prospect is literally forced to take action against his or her will. In this case, the prospect is actively engaged in the marketing process, as he or she is actively searching for the product or service that you are offering.
Typical Examples Of Situational Marketing
As an example, a company could be using situational marketing to gain a new customer. One strategy could include having one employee walk up to each individual customer as he or she sits in the coffee shop, identify the individual, discuss the products or services that the individual may have an interest in, and then asking him or her if he or she might want to sign up for your mailing list. You have effectively “pulled” the person into the message. The interaction that ensues is highly personal and creates a bond between you and the person. Each interaction is designed around the needs of the individual customer and is designed around the interests of your particular target audience.
Let’s further clarify. Suppose you are specifically trying to sell textbooks on black holes. You know that they are under the astronomy niche. Your target market is going to be people who are studying or interested in astronomy, because these are the people who are more likely to purchase your product. If you notice a trend whereby users online are asking “are quasars black holes?” Your best bet would be to build your marketing strategy around answering that question in such a way that it builds interest in your books.
Social Media Platforms
Social media is another example of situational marketing. Social media, like the name suggests, is a platform where users can create online profiles and engage in conversations with other users. Through this online interaction, marketers have been able to create viral marketing campaigns that have spread across the globe like wildfire. Examples of great social media examples include the Walking Dead series, the X Files and Scrubs, and the immensely popular and constantly updated Facebook page.
This is just one example of how situational marketing could be used in an effort to engage consumers. However, social media and online interactions by themselves are not all that they have to offer. Marketers need to learn how to use their platforms to create interest and draw attention to their marketing messages. Viral marketing, which involves creating something beneficial for a third party and distributing it via multiple outlets, is a great example of how marketers can take advantage of this concept. The Walking Dead is a perfect example of viral marketing as it has taken the entire network by storm. In a single week, it has become the most viewed television program in history.
What many marketers are beginning to learn is that there are limitless possibilities when it comes to leveraging these platforms to market. Social media and viral marketing are just two of the many ways that marketers can utilize these platforms to create interest in their message and draw in new customers and clients. What many marketers do not understand, however, is that traditional forms of advertising are still extremely effective despite the popularity of the newest ways to reach consumers. Taking full advantage of traditional forms of advertising still has the ability to connect with an audience and to bring an immediate response from them.
Creating A Market
There are many different ways that marketers can take full advantage of the power of traditional forms of marketing. One way is to use these platforms as a way to build a customer base and build a relationship with previous clients. It is important to remember that the internet is not static. Sites such as Facebook and MySpace constantly change, becoming more sophisticated each day. As a result, businesses must remain effective in their strategies if they want to continue to grow their customer base and build stronger relationships with their existing client base. By taking full advantage of a good viral video or viral blog posting, a business will be able to leverage the already powerful platforms and make use of them in order to expand their customer base through sheer force.
Seasonal Marketing Tactics
Another way that marketers can take advantage of social networks is to promote seasonal items such as the holiday season. Social networks make it very easy for people to stay connected with one another throughout the year. The introduction of September to the internet culture and the growth of sites like LinkedIn have made it very easy for companies to engage in long-term customer relations. It has also become an excellent way to promote upcoming seasonal items as well. If you create a great video that introduces September, for example, and then includes links to the various items that are coming up in September and October, you have taken full advantage of a very evergreen form of content.
Reasons To Use Social Network Marketing
While it may seem that there are many reasons to use social network marketing as a way to attract customers, there are really only two main reasons to do so. The first reason that marketers should use this strategy is that it is incredibly effective and extremely easy to get started. The second reason is that it is a great way to build a customer base and to drive highly targeted traffic to your website. The introduction of September to the internet culture has made it very easy for marketers to engage in long-term customer relations.