A guest blog from Karim Laljee, a digital media fanatic with
a passionate knowledge for social media, writes all about why he
leaned towards Social Media in his career and specifically how
important the 5 P's are to digital agencies.
It was while looking at a picture of an aftershave bottle in my
class during an 'A' Level in Business Studies lesson that I first
realised the importance of Marketing. For those of you
wondering what was so special about this aftershave bottle, please
refer to a book by Dave Hall, Rob Jones & Carlo Raffo, called;
Business Studies. To cut a long story short it showed a bottle
of aftershave and the percentage allocated to the cost of bringing
that bottle to the shelf. I distinctively remember marketing
being the lions share at a staggering80%!
Several years later, it was the wanting to be part of this 80%
that motivated me to complete my Post-Graduate Diploma in Strategic
Marketing, while working full time in a demanding role as a Tesco
Manager. I still remember going up to my car on my lunch breaks and
revising for my exam.
Now fast forward 10 years or so, we now live in an era of
Digital Marketing. So what is Digital Marketing? Is this a new
phenomena or just a branch of marketing? Over the years we have all
experienced a change in marketing techniques and approaches, some
of which are still used today. If we think back over the last
20 years, we will recall things like… Flyers in the local library,
competitions on confectionary wrappers, letters with a cheque with
your name on it (All you need to do is claim!), telephone sales,
being approached in a local mall, email marketing, text messages
and up to more modern technology of Social Media, PPC, SEO and
cookies! All of which are ways that companies use to get their
hands on your money.
However, have the fundamentals changed? When I think back to
University and studying it was always about the 4
P's (as proposed by E Jerome McCarthy in 1960) and occasionally
argued by many the 5th P too… The 4 P's are often
expanded to the 7 P's, but we'll park that. The four P's as
most marketing professionals will know are… Product, Price,
Promotion, Place and the 5th is People.
Putting this in a simplistic way; it's about having the RIGHT
Product, at the RIGHT Price, with the RIGHT Promotion, in the RIGHT
Place. For those who include the 5th P - People,
that would include; with the RIGHT People (employees). In my eyes,
this is basically what marketing is. How many times have you heard
the phrase, 'It's about getting your marketing mix right' or
'What's your marketing mix'
Social Media provided me with a platform to help
Five years ago I started using social media very actively. At
the time it was to promote a 3rd Sector organisation I'd
setup, Positive About
MS. The aim being to help those like myself, affected by the
condition, Multiple Sclerosis, to take a can do and positive
approach. I basically had a website and wanted to tell people about
it. At the time I had time on my hands and realised the best way to
promote the website for free, was to use social media. So that's
what I did. At the time I thought it was a bit of fun and
something I found interesting. I went about helping other
organisations with their social media and set up other social media
accounts for different subjects and websites I'd created.
Coming back to the present day, this new skill-set of social
media had become very much 'in demand' and it was regarded as a
talent and not just something you did to pass the time.
However, it wasn't until the spring of 2014 when I realised this. A
good friend of mine called to ask how I'm doing and if I'm still
doing the social media? I replied, 'Yeah sure, it's a good
laugh'. He said, "No it ain't mate, people are getting paid
to do this!" Following on from this call, he prompted me to
Google, 'social media jobs'.
It was at this point it dawned upon me that the marketing I had
done many years ago and the social media/ websites etc that I was
doing had fused into this new phenomena called… 'Digital
At this point, I didn't just want to be another one of those
people who sticks the words "Social Media Consultant" next to his
LinkedIn profile without knowing what it means. So I enrolled
onto a CPD course,
SSMM (Search & Social Media Marketing) at University of
Salford Business School in MediaCityUK, to cement my understanding
of the subject. It really was a fantastic course and helped me
realise what skills I had picked up in the previous five years and
also filled in the missing parts of the jigsaw.
Discovering Digital Marketing…
Can the same principles of marketing be used today on social
media? Where on platforms such as twitter you have a maximum
of 140 characters to get your message across, sometimes even less
if you choose to include pictures or a link! You can see how
this has changed the landscape of marketing altogether. I would
argue the technological advancements that we've seen in the last 15
years and what we are going through now, eclipse any period since
the invention of the wheel in my view.
Now let us focus on that 5th P -People. We
mention earlier about people using phrases like 'Social Media
Consultant' and 'Social Media expert' to describe themselves.
This may sound great and help 'market' them, but is it
accurate? We have to be honest and say in the ever changing
world we now live in and with organisations such as Google,
Facebook and Twitter making changes to their algorithms and
functions as they see fit, that a teenager at school could
conceivably know more about a particular social media channel than
you or I. But, the question is, does that mean they know marketing,
or if you prefer, does that mean they understand digital
It is important that we understand the tools we have at our
disposal and the effect they can have on our businesses.
However, that doesn't mean that we have to necessarily be the ones
using them? An example I often use is this. We all know
how to make a cup of coffee, but we still go to Costa (or whatever
your desired choice of coffee shop is). Why is it? It's
simple; mostly for convenience and to secondly to save time.
The same with social media marketing, you may understand the basic
principles of social media, but does that mean that you're the one
to do it. Could your time be more effectively used elsewhere
and is it cost effective for you to be doing your own social media,
when you could be out there securing a new account? Imagine
every time you wanted a coffee that you got out from your bag, a
thermos, coffee beans, a grinder, sugar and milk, not forgetting
your cup and spoon. If you visualise that, it just doesn't sound
productive, does it?
To conclude, it's vital to get this 5th P
right! I'm sure we've heard of many businesses and
organisations that have spent money on so-called social media
experts or marketing agencies, only to find that a few months down
the line they have not got the promised results and have spent
£000's! This is why it's vital to get the right person or Digital
Marketing Company. It's also important to know who the individual
is, what's their background and experience, and in the case of an
agency, who are they and who works for them? I believe a good
way to start would be asking the individual or agency a
question… Have you heard of the 4 P's?
If you would like any more information or advice on Social Media
or your Digital Marketing Strategy, or you'd just want like a chat,
please feel free to get in touch. I would be happy to provide
a one hour consultation at no charge to the first ten people
quoting 'CandidateKaz' when contacting us at - www.soc-med.co.uk on 0161 410
4455 by 4th December 2015.
If you prefer to tweet, I'm @mrkazlaljee and I am also on Linkedin.