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Why Social, Mobile, and Email Are BFFs (Not Archenemies)

by Morgan Stewart  |  
February 23, 2010
  |  8,735 views

In the technology industry, we constantly focus on the next big thing.

It started with computers, which were going to do away with paper. Then came Internet shopping, which was going to do away with catalogs and (gasp!) going to an actual store. Then email came, which threatened to replace letters.

Mobile and social are the latest to be added to the mix. So, what are they going to replace? Catalogs and paper (again)? Television? Email? Marketing as we know it?

No.

Looking to the next big thing is not inherently a problem. As marketers, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves and our employers about the impact new technologies will have on our businesses.


We need to consider how changes in technology can open up new opportunities and how they change the way we interact with consumers. However, in our zeal for the next big thing, we must guard against assuming that the next big thing will immediately replace the things we already know.

For example, instead of reducing paper consumption by ushering in "paperless offices," computers fueled more paper consumption via the introduction of inexpensive home printers.

We are witnessing the same thing with the digital-marketing trifecta of social media, mobile and email. Instead of cannibalizing one another, they are fueling one another.


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Morgan Stewart is co-founder and CEO of Trendline Interactive (www.trendlineinteractive.com), a strategic email marketing agency.

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  • by Graham Lubie Tue Feb 23, 2010 via web

    I totally agree that email and Social Media are complementary channels. Here is an example (with screenshots) of how McKinsey Quarterly ties email, their website and social media together very effectively: http://j.mp/bd1mlF ....they do a great job.

  • by Kerry Wed Feb 24, 2010 via web

    Based on some recent qualitative research we've done on email, we can't see social media taking over any time soon!
    Our respondents - small business owners or individuals who work in small companies - are all clear on one thing; they just want to be able to get their email from anywhere.
    There still seems to be a clear divide in social media and email for business. The lines will no doubt blur but for the moment many are using some form of email marketing but very few are using social media to market their small business.

  • by Ben Thu Feb 25, 2010 via web

    Thanks for the great article, i have been very interested in the growth of the smartphone market an this is another fine piece of research.

    I'm looking more into the m-Commerce aspect of Smartphone, being able to see something you want in a shop, Google it instantly and even buy a product whilst looking at it in a physical shop brings a whole new meaning to window shopping.

    That's why i think its important for e-commerce sites like http://www.play.com, http://www.shop.co.uk and http://www.amazon.co.uk to be fully usable from a mobile device.

  • by Tim Holmes Fri Feb 26, 2010 via web

    yes certainly i agree with your views. email marketing is still very popular and this proves my point http://www.aceaffiliates.com/affiliate-education/how-to-find-valid-affiliat...

  • by Kristy Thu Mar 4, 2010 via web

    Timely article. I was just having this conversation with a classmate. I wonder if it's possible that email survives as the medium for communications that are more product-offer and company based, and social media remains the sweetheart of relationship building. The etiquette surrounding social media is really more about being personal, conversational, and offering topical expertise. It's a relationship builder that may smooth the way for acceptance of the more "offer-based" email. I see them as connected bridges.

  • by Dee Sydia Mon Apr 18, 2011 via web

    Well, in order to reach more potential customers, one must maximize and must be able to use all three. Although, it is not required to use all three to reach out customers, it would mean less sales and customers, resulting to lesser income and money.

    Dee - http://woodworkingplansdiy.org/woodwork-plans/

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