Direct Marketers Got Social Media Half Right
Marketing automation was a good step in creating customer dialogs. The right person to send a follow-up campaign to was the person that showed some interest but hadn’t yet converted (right person, right time).
Enter social media. You might not be able to show different tweets to prospects and customers, but you can take the data you gather to create more personalized, relevant campaigns in other marketing channels including email, mobile, web or even (gasp!) direct mail. Just because an action takes place on Facebook doesn’t mean that Facebook is the appropriate medium in which to communicate with that person. Email or mobile might be better.
Marketers need to not only think of social as a mechanism for sharing content, but also as a source of insight about their customers. If a customer uses Facebook to log into your website or "Likes" your brand, you're able to gain some insight — e.g., age, gender, email address, marital status, interests, hobbies, etc. — from their profile. This information can be very helpful in creating personalized campaigns. This information also extends beyond profiles into how customers interact with your brand by liking posts, retweeting or writing comments.
Data is the oxygen that feeds the marketing fire. Without data targeted campaigns become spray-and-pray blasts. Social media gives you both profile- and activity-based data that can be used to make your marketing campaigns more relevant, timely and effective.