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|Volume 11 |Issue 36| September 14, 2012 ||
Social Media Hits Home
Social Media is taking the world by storm. Originally starting off with just the “Social” element of the concept, it is now a force of phenomenal proportions. It is a reality of the 21st century to reckon with and one which no one foresaw impacting everyday life.
Already acknowledged as the conduit of purpose - driven interaction, Social Media is wedging in degrees of efficiency in marketing that is capable of dismantling and rewriting or reconstructing methodologies more conducive to real world developments, ushered in by the cyber world.
It is fair to surmise that Bangladesh too, is destined to feel its impact. There are many reasons behind this. The first being that either for social issues or for issues that are business oriented, the concept of Conspicuous Consumption is a dominant factor to contend with in the personal disposal income of the fortunate Bangladeshi. In the past, this fortunate Bangladeshi relied on hearsay, TV programmes, calendar events, word of mouth, print media or other palpable means of communication. Nowadays, the internet, or more specifically the social media is fast becoming the at-home or in-house influence peddler.
The second reason is that Bangladeshis are socially interactive on a grand scale. It does not take long for a concept or a practice to quickly become a trend. The lines and channels of communication are countless. Western cultures are hesitant to allow business oriented communication to spill over to personal or family based interactions but not the Bangladeshis. Advertisements depicting celebrities or sports and film personalities can be expected to spread over a wide range of both family and business related products and services. The social interaction is on a grand scale seeping into almost everyone's lives.
The third reason is that the ever growing intensity in economic activities continues to be impressive. Despite the turbulence and political upheavals, the economy continues to grow. Granted, peaking to a double digit annual growth may be a long shot but becoming a middle income nation is still a dream that we hold dear. The intensity in economic activity still reverberates despite limiting factors. The internet and telecommunication channels have kept alive and buoyant economic activities both at home and abroad. Remittances continue to be robust. There is every possibility that social media will gain momentum to spur the economy.
The fourth reason is that inbound marketing is now inevitable. As if unrelenting and not willing to be cowed down by limiting sociopolitical factors, business and commerce looks to be buoyed by newer concepts. All this is happening despite the extraordinary limiting factors of urban road communication tied down to gridlock of a monstrous nature, and severe constraints of space and infrastructure that are impeding physical marketing efforts. Laptops and mobile phones are now commonplace in Bangladesh even if Ipads are not, and these offer alternative outlets to communications and smart, hybrid marketing ploys. Unless any business entity or individual takes notice and these are exploited to the fullest extent, there's a lot to lose in this highly competitive environment.
The mushroom growth of branding could be aided by social media. Branding may a be foolhardy commitment for products and services that still need finesse and perfection. But the social media certainly helps reign in the idea that branding can commit itself in a market that has yet to reach full maturation. In a market as humongous as Bangladesh, social media offers the alternatives in marketing of products and services that still need awareness, if not publicity, especially among the urbanites and city dwellers
Traditional marketing and selling methods are increasingly becoming obsolete and cost prohibitive. As opposed to employing traditional methods like billboards, media ads or even the print media and accept the costs associated with it, social media allows the leeway and latitude of utilising multiple methods of both inbound and outbound marketing. Simultaneously, there is the scope of being innovative in the approach and the opportunity of engaging a very wide and diverse client base.
As if conveying lessons learnt from the past, social media offers the versatility of tailoring and customisation of methodologies as well as branding. This flexibility is equally efficient in a complete makeover, as it is in the launch of a product or service. Additionally, social media marketing wears multiple hats of creativity and innovation. In Youtube, there is the video display that is a totally different dimension compared to creating awareness through a Facebook post or blogging to write a short article, etc. Yet in LinkedIn, there are completely different dimensions of networking or even creating an awareness of one's skills and expertise.
While these are some of the ways that the social media looks powerful enough to influence marketing decisions for both the marketer and the potential client in Bangladesh, the conversation is kept alive by Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Mashable, Foursquare, Pinterest and many others, all of which have developed their own niche and forte in which to conduct business.
Recognise the potential to take advantage or overlook and dismiss it at your own peril !
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