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Media types matter for social and mobile – 5 things you should know

Compare and contrast the different media types below and their relative uses in direct communications (basically advantages and disadvantages)



+ enables conversation for further information finding

+ easy to adapt message and persuade

+ assists in data collection and enhances lead generation

+ can be personalised and help relationship building

+ complete the sales funnel

  • Perception of nuisance calls
  • Low response rates – more likely in b2c, b2b higher rates
  • Very high cost
  • Quality control issue, potential for brand damage

Useful for – b2b – lead generation, existing customer cross sell and up sell.

B2c – telecoms firms, internet providers, financial services all use telemarketing


+ can be highly cost effective – low cost but not free

+ 24 hour send and open options – convenience for targets and repository of information

+ digitally trackable

+ potential to reach large targeted audience as well as 1 to 1 or small groups

+ easy to integrate with other media , can be highly interactive

+ easy to test  A/B splits –

+ease of response for consumer

– easy to ignore , increasingly low response rates – b2c

– perception of junk mail

– issues with reaching audience – filters etc – esp in b2b

Good for –  ecommerce- increase sales – raise awareness of promotion and drive traffic to sites, raise awareness of new products and offers, used for signing up  -first level engagement,  good for standardised product sales, less suitable for complex products and high trust




+ geo-racking potentially highly useful for location based promotions b2c

+ immediate response possible

+ complements augmented reality, QR codes and other interactive technologies – good starting portal , app development opens further possibilities

+ direct access to target audience ‘never off’  lifestyle –  b2c, and b2b decision makers

-compatibility issues – can alienate customers, platform integration

-greatly differing levels of usage and commercialisation globally.

– quick outdating of database information owing to  handset changing etc

– distrust of mobile format- ‘intrusive’ plus security issues

Good for- b2c, extensive usage by fast food brands,  feeds to keep up to date with favourite brands or subjects, time based geo specific offers, mobile apps to facilitate purchase – e.g.train tickets, less good for high trust –  but customer ‘trust’ level and previous experience impacts

Direct mail

+  large reach using postcode based lists combined with other segmentation variables

+creative possibilities high – actual product samples,

+ relevant way to reach certain key targets – non internet enabled

+ attractiveness of ‘having something to open’  – novel

-green- environmental issues and perceptions

– database dependent – quality will impact response rate

-not immediate receiving or the response rate

Good for – complementary information sending, cross selling and up selling, emphasis on maintaining relationships , poor for who opens mail – appropriateness?

Social media

Twitter+ good portal to direct consumers from, potential potential high spread,  dialogue rich, sharing , immediate,  new product releases,

  • Currently limited audience – though they might be your audience, immediacy could be negative – lack of control
  • Ugc – both positive and negative

Good for raising and maintaining brand awareness, yet to be proved for direct sales.

Linkedin + highly targeted, good for b2b, good for non-profits and corporate engagement with cause, good for professional service firms, identifying decision makers etc

  • Less b2c based, not good for all consumer markets, still narrow, limited to group communications unless connected to individuals


Facebook + highly targetable via profiles, and layered consumer data, behavioural targeting,

  • Questionable over lead to direct sales, lower levels of engagement than expected.
  • +but may have some influence in certain areas, e.g. high street fashion, music downloads, brand/band/can act as new intermediary – trusted source…..

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Adriaan Brits is a digital marketing consultant for S&P500 companies and analytics instructor for Linkedin Learning. His course "Digital Marketing Research" has more than 130000 learners worldwide.

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