The Right Tool For The Right Job

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

12 July 2018

Much like your local plumber, marketers have a wide range of tools in their tool belts. And just like plumbers, we don’t use just any tool for each job. Direct mail, email, tradeshow exhibits, social media, print advertising, and blog posts are a few of our tools. Depending on the company we work with and the goals they present, we can propose a program to accomplish those goals. The question we often run into is …  how fast do they want to achieve those goals?

Depending on your plumbing budget, you can own a TOTO Dual Flush or a run-of-the-mill porcelain throne. Depending on your marketing budget, your brand can become recognizable in a short time or it can take the slow and steady route. Either option is acceptable, but you must set your expectations in advance. If the TOTO Dual Flush is not in your budget, you can’t expect your porcelain throne to have a heated seat, a nightlight, an air deodorizer, and automatic dual-flushing capabilities (how does it know?).

You get the picture.

Social Media is one of the tools in our toolbelt. It’s not a standalone marketing tactic for any company I’ve come across, but it can help spread your message to your target audience in a cost-effective way. But keep this in mind: Because social media participation is free, it won’t provide your business with that heated seat and automatic dual-flush. If it did, it would cost more.

Social Media is not a billboard. Social Media is not a print ad. Social Media is not a direct-mail campaign. Social Media is … well … Social Media. It should be part of your marketing program, but it isn’t going to make sales or attract thousands of followers overnight. It takes time to steadily and organically grow your audience. It takes a real commitment. If you intend to just post flashy pictures or arcane infographics and spam your target audience, you’ll likely get nowhere fast.

You wouldn’t use a plunger to fit a tub. You shouldn’t use social media to force yourself in front of your target audience. That’s a job for advertising or direct marketing. Understanding the right tool for the right job is part of being able to call yourself a professional.