Social Media Doesn’t Mean One Size Fits All

Many experienced marketers have known for some time now the importance of personalizing and customizing marketing and communication strategies to fit the needs of consumers. And while this trend was somewhat slow to develop in India, it has finally caught on.

According to an article titled “Made for India: Succeeding in a Market Where One Size Won’t Fit All” and published by University of Pennsylvania’s business school Wharton, “ As Indian consumers became more aware of trends and advancements in technology, they began to demand similar sophistication. More important, they wanted products built to their needs. That meant not just automobiles, household appliances and consumer electronics, but also mobile phones, foods and apparel.”

Photo courtesy of Ogilvy Design UK

Photo courtesy of Ogilvy Design UK

So how is this related to brands wanting to use social media to reach an audience in the Indian market?

The answer is S-T-P. Segment. Target. Position.

According to the Web site Marketing Teacher, “a marketer would firstly segment the market, then target a single segment or series of segments, and finally position within the segment(s).” These principles relate especially well to social media. Here’s how:

Segment. Brands must have a very good understanding of not only who audiences are but also what they are doing, what types of social networking sites they are using and what makes them different. By segmenting audiences into various sub categories based on social media usage patterns, brands are then able to target them more effectively.

Target. Once the market is segmented, brands must begin targeting them with specific messages and by using different channels. Blasting out generic Twitter messages, You Tube videos and posts across all social networking sites just won’t work. Audiences must feel connected in a personal way to the brand and subsequently brands must show audiences that they “get” what the audiences specific needs, wants and demands are. Brands must make sure that social media outreach is integrated and not used just because a specific channel exists.

Position. After audiences are properly segmented and effectively targeted, a brand’s final strategy must be to position the brand in a favorable way in the minds of consumers. If a brand fails to implement this final piece, the segmentation and targeting efforts are lost. In terms of social media, this means positioning a brand favorable in the minds of consumers and doing so in a customized way. Social media and networking sites allow brands customization, but only is proper research is conducted. Additionally, if the brand does not properly position itself, a more social media savvy competitor surely will.

In environments such as India, these three marketing fundamentals must be considered before executing any sort of social media or digital communication plan. Brands must learn a new adage – social media isn’t a “one size fits all” solution.


2 Responses to Social Media Doesn’t Mean One Size Fits All

  1. You start this week by positing an important observation, that one size will not fit all in India. The article you cite (don’t forget to include the link) is a good primer for brands on how to bring their products and services into India. Starting with the STP process could work for your post, but your description stays too general and doesn’t get into a more specific view or link the process more directly to social media or India. The end result is that your post begins well but stays a bit too broad to stand out. One small aside also, be careful about checking sources for your links (the Ogilvie image in particular!) (2)

  2. Shayla Gibson says:

    I liked the point you made in reference to one size doesn’t fit all. Overall it’s no way that you can market a brand the same way for different people, demographics, or even gender. It would definitely be interesting to view a company that successfully uses social media to target different cultures.

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