Thursday, September 27, 2012

Social Marketing: Reevaluate the traditional '4 Ps', says marketer Valerie Simon

What are the most important social media marketing skills that graduating college students need to understand?

Valerie Simon
I’m asking three questions of some leaders in the field of social marketing and this is what I learned. This is No. 17 in the series (see the links below for other posts in the series).

Today: Valerie Simon, marketer and co-founder of the #PRStudChat (PR Student Chat) and #HAPPO (Help a PR Pro Out) Twitter chats. She can be found on Twitter as @ValerieSimon:

It’s time those in marketing reevaluate all of the traditional "4 Ps," Simon says. Product, Price, Place and Promotion have been replaced by "4 Ss" – Service, Solution, Simplicity and Sharing, she says.

"Effective communication today focuses on engaging the customer," Simon says, "and uses opportunities to share information, opportunities and solutions in a manner that will encourage them to become brand evangelists."

 "Starbucks, for example, makes customer engagement a top priority, soliciting customer ideas through channels such as Facebook and Twitter and even offering discounts to Foursquare mayors," she says.

"It uses social media to spread the word about more promotional events like the recent Starbuck’s Happy Hour promotion."

What separates a successful social marketer from the others?

They "must demonstrate good judgment and the ability to integrate social communications within the overarching communications plan and business needs," Simon says.

"They understand how and when to escalate both potential problems and opportunities to legal, HR or other experts within the organization.

"Successful social marketers must also understand all of the potential stakeholders," she says. "They are on a continuous quest to identify new technologies and understand the potential business implications of these technologies.

"Finally, successful social marketers have a clear understanding of objectives and are able to measure their efforts."

And what skills are the most important in social marketing?

"Good judgment and superior communications skills are essential."

Additionally, Simon says, those looking for a career in social marketing should have:
  • Strong brand measurement skills/analytic capabilities and an understanding of online analytic tools (paid, earned, owned)
  • Project management skills, outstanding interpersonal skills (working with a wide array of different audiences, personalities and experience levels)
  • Expertise in a wide range of social media content management and publishing platforms
  • Excellent writing, copy-editing, proofreading and optimization skills
  • Ability to quickly embrace new technologies
So, what do you think? How important will social marketing be in the future and what MUST graduating students know?

Previous posts:
10 Experts Weigh In On Social Marketing
Social Marketing: Utility leads to success, says Google’s Avinash Kaushik
Social Marketing: 'The lighter fluid on the marketing bonfire,' says author Ric Dragon
Social Marketing: Understand how marketing fits in, says Amber Naslund of SideraWorks
Social Marketing: Understand the fundamentals, says Suzanne Vara of Kherize5
Social Marketing: 'Talk to people as human beings,' says Gini Dietrich, marketer and author
Social Marketing: Make communication 'special,' says Eric Miltsch of DrivingSales


  1. What are the most important social media marketing skills that graduating college students need to understand.

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