Is Social Media The Silver Bullet to Marketing?

Recently, I was accepted to guest post at Penn Olson on the topic of “Is Social Media The Silver Bullet to Marketing?”. This is only my second site to guest post, the first being Social Media Today. I have to say that it is an honor to contribute my piece to one of the most successful social media website in Singapore. Again, thank you Willis for providing me with this golden opportunity to do so!

Here is what I wrote on Penn Olson which can be found on their website:

This year, a lot of buzz has been generated on whether social media is capable of overthrowing traditional marketing strategies and reign supreme. What I noticed is that traditional marketing seems to incorporate more of social media in their marketing strategies, whereas, those social media purists fervently believes that this (social media) is the way of the future and traditional marketing will soon die off. So which side should we believe?


Before we make a decision, let us explore the history of advertising. When TV advertising first started, everyone predicted the death of radio advertising. Same goes for the Internet, where the traditional brochures and pamphlets will fade away but neither of these have gone away and they are still going strong. The same model could be applied to the advent of social media taking over traditional media.


Traditional marketing employs the ‘push medium’, where you choose when and how people see what you have to offer; providing people information the way you are seeing it. On the other hand, social media utilize the ‘pull medium’, where people get to choose how and when they see what you have to offer; if your product interests them, they will come to you instead of the other way round.

Inbound marketing is a style of marketing that focuses on getting found by customers. This sense is related to Seth Godin’s idea of permission marketing. The concept of inbound marketing recommends marketers to ‘publish their way in’ via social media resources in contrast to outbound marketing where they have to ‘buy their way in’.


Does that mean that companies should throw all their eggs into the social media basket? Let us take a look at Zappos, an established online shoe store. Given that social media is on the rise, Zappos has been leveraging social media to their advantage but they have not thrown all their resources into that and neglected everything else. Known for their great customer service, social media helps them extend the reach of their products and services while maintaining the use of traditional marketing.


In my opinion, there is much room for both traditional and new media when it comes to marketing. As long as traditional marketing companies are keeping pace with the times and incorporating social media tactics into their arsenal by implementing them tactfully, we could be looking at a formidable marketing company integrating the right fit for pushing and pulling their message across.

At the end of the day, it boils down to who our target audience is. Whether we weigh more on traditional or move the balance heavier on social media solely depends on who our consumers are.

Here is a tongue-in-cheek political animation comparing traditional and new media.

What do you think? Share your thoughts and opinions through the comment box.

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