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What is dark social?

What is Dark Social? What are its implications in digital marketing?

What is Dark Social? What are its implications in digital marketing? 560 315 MarketGraphy

One of the latest trends in the field of marketing is the application of dark social. Dark Social applies to all the social media interactions that the public, search engines and marketers can’t see, compromising communications on private social media messaging, email, WhatsApp and SMS. In other words, it is the social traffic that is invisible to most analytical programs.

Alexis C. Madrogal, first coined this term in 2012, in his article “Dark social: we have the whole history of the web wrong”In his opinion, the sharing that we see on sites such as Facebook and Twitter is just the tip of the “social iceberg” and the most sharing is done via dark social. The challenging part of this fact is the difficulty of measuring this sharing.

Implications of Dark social in Digital marketing

From a digital marketing perspective, dark social has multiple implications. One of these applications is the role that dark social plays in web analytics. Understanding where inbound traffic comes from is critical for marketers. They need to know this information for forming their strategies and assessing the results of their activities. Unlike traceable sources, such as social media sponsored and PPC campaigns, traffic from dark social cannot be tracked on analytical tools as a single channel.

According to researches, dark social accounts for the huge amount of web content sharing that is currently taking place. Considering this fact, different analytical tools that marketers use for assessing their website’s  incoming traffic just show a part of the picture to them.

Since the most valuable social traffic in most cases comes from Dark Social, marketers need to give serious consideration to dark social. The importance of this source is because the chance of conversion among this traffic is higher compared to a public post because this content is recommended from your audiences’ trusted peers. The only way that you can win this dark social is through great content, the content that worths sharing.

Many marketers are applying Dark social to better engage with their customers through using private groups and accounts on social media. In this regards, brands will have “deeper conversation” with some of their customers. Also, crossover between product and marketing can take place more easily. As a result, these deeper conversations between brands and their customers, especially those who care more about the brand, can happen in a much more meaningful way.

In contrast to online panels that most brands use for market research, dark social provides them a more natural and interactive way of communication. This will happen in a more conversational environment so respondents will feel more comfortable and brands can determine what really resonates with their target audience.

Brands are using this approach in product development and testing. Marketers are going to leverage this technique besides their common market research initiatives and in the hope of having a more natural engagement with their audiences.

The other application of this technique will be in trend analysis. Dark social can assist brands to identify trends that are starting to gain traction. Many brands are using social media and social listening techniques to not only understand what customer are saying about them but also identify the trends in the market. Through application of Dark Social, brands can get ahead of conversations. Moreover, the opportunity that dark social provides to brands enables them to listen outside their own channels.

Starbucks is one of the brands that is employing Dark Social to get a better market position. They are using this technique to reach trends faster and get better insights towards markets. In an attempt to evolve their social media strategy, they are incorporating private groups and accounts on social media to better engage with customers around product development and tasting. This initiative will help them to have deeper connections with their customers and bring product and marketing closer together.

What is marketing?

What is marketing? 1484 1144 MarketGraphy

In this article we are using Philip Kotler’s definition of what marketing is and some related concepts that he has talked about related to the marketing and its difference with sales.

Marketing is the science and art of recognizing, creating, and offering value in order to meet the needs of specific groups of customers and provide profits”. In reality, marketing is regarding with identifying the unmet needs and wants of customers. Defining, measuring, and evaluating the size of a specific market and its potential to provide us profit is considered in marketing.
In this regards, it will be clear the company is able to accommodate the needs of which segment of the market. After identifying this segment, the company can design a particular product or service in order to serve that segment and promote this product or service in that.

Most of the marketing activities are handled inside of the company. This approach has both positive and negative consequences. The positive aspect of this approach is related to gathering professional and educated people inside a company to focus on related marketing activities of the corporation. On the other hand, the negative aspect of this approach is related to just focusing all the marketing activities in a single department rather than making these marketing activities visible in all different departments of the firm.

The most important subjects that we need to consider in the marketing field include: Segmentation, identifying an appropriate target market, positioning, needs and wants, offerings, brands, value and satisfaction, exchange, transaction, communication and networks, marketing channels, supply chain, competition, marketing plans and etc. These are some of the practical and functional words for the marketing professionals.

The main process that marketing is engaged with, includes:
1- Identifying an opportunity
2- Developing a new product
3- Attracting customers
4- Retaining customers and creating loyalty among them
5- Delivering the orders

Indeed a company that is able to perform all these activities in the best possible way will be successful. In contrast, a company that can not deliver one of the mentioned processes above will not be able to survive in today’s competitive environment.

Misconceptions related to the marketing

There are a lot of misconceptions related to the marketing. Many businesses think that marketing is essential for supporting production processes in order to sell the produced product and make the companies’ inventories empty. However, in the reality the situation is vice versa and many production processes need to support marketing activities. It is always possible for a company to outsource its production processes but what makes a company is its ideas and offerings regarding its marketing. Different departments of the organization such as production, logistics, research and development, finance, and etc. are created to support the core business of the company that occurs in a customer market.

Many consider that Marketing is the same as concept as Sales, but this view is totally wrong. Sales is just a part of marketing and its ice berg. The hidden part of the marketing is analyzing the market, research and development of a proper product, deciding a correct price, distributing and creating awareness regarding the products and services. So, marketing is more complicated compared to sales.
In reality, sales and marketing are totally different. Marketing can not be considered as a smart way for get rid of those products that companies have developed. Marketing is the art of creating value for the customers. It is the art of helping your customers in enhancing their lives. There are three words that marketing professionals need to consider: quality, service, and value.

Sales just happens when you have a finished product. But marketing starts before any product exists. Companies perform marketing to distinguish the needs and wants of their customers and through that they will identify which products or service they need to develop. Marketing will determine how the product or service must be introduced to the market, what price must be considered for that, how you have to distribute it, and how you are going to promote your product/service in the market. Marketing will assess the results of these activities in the long term and enhance the company’s offering. Additionally, marketing will decide when to discontinue an offering.
Marketing is not a short term sales and it’s a long term investment. The process of marketing will be best performed when it begins before starting the production process of any product or entering to a new market and it continues in the long term after launching and selling the product in the market.

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