Non-Social Media – Still Youthful, Not Going Away

Non-Social Media – Still Youthful, Not Going Away

In the iMedia Connection article “Heralding the Death of Non-Social Media,” Doug Schumacher of Basement, Inc. has correctly pointed out that in an increasingly Network Centric Marketing world,

A high percentage of purchases are already preceded by online research.  And where there is online research, there are search results. Those search engine results pages often bring up links to a number of consumer review sites.

Yes, there are empirical studies corraborating Doug’s statement in both the B2C and B2B worlds.  Additionally,

“…many brands can’t even make it through the far end of the buying decision funnel without running head first into a social media situation … This point-of-purchase invasion is heading for the physical shopping world as well. Have you tried any of the bar code scanner tools for mobile phones? I haven’t found one that works well. Today. But with several of these technologies already in consumers’ hands, how long until that’s as seamless a part of the buying process as reading an Amazon review before purchasing online?  Shoppers will be able to scan an item themselves and get all sorts of product information — right in the store.”

The Marketing Consigliere overall agrees with Mr. Schumacher’s statements with regard to more power in the hands of the shopper and applauds society’s migration to net-centricity.  Nevertheless, how many shopping excursions involve “new” versus “routine”  (i.e. an replacement appliance versus the same old groceries)?  Will all “new” purchases  require extensive research or dependence upon social networks?

As noted in one of last week’s blogs, brands and retailers possess their own set of technologies to influence and motivate shoppers.  Additionally, the time-tested reality of “shelf position” in a brick-and-mortar retail environment will not necessarily change.  Brands compete for shelf position, which is based on the height of the shelf, how far down the aisle a product is stocked, etc.  Shelf position is basically real estate, and real estate is a commodity that is bought.  One may argue that popularity can determine a brand’s ability to get placed, but in the bigger stores, brands pay for placement and pay more for the placement that moves more product.

The “death” of this system and of old fashioned, offline Point-of-Purchase media – displays and promotional signage, instant couponing, demonstrations, samples. etc., will probably not occur anytime soon.  So even with infrequent or higher priced purchases, the Tweets and Chats and Stars and “Thumbs Ups” may never drown out the mantra of “Location, Location, Location.”

Agree or disagree?

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