Ben & Jerry's is abandoning its e-mail marketing initiatives to focus exclusively on social media advertising. It will be among the first large brands to make that leap, reports New Age Media. (via Mad Company). Its e-mail marketing initiatives consisted largely of a monthly newsletter - until feedback it received from customers suggested that the majority of them would prefer to be contacted on social media sites.
Going forward, it will send one e-mail update each year to customers, and focus on using its Facebook and Twitter profiles to engage regularly.
10 Million Starbucks Fans
Certainly Ben & Jerry's is not the only brand to focus on these platforms. Starbucks, for example, become the world's first consumer brand to achieve 10 million fans on Facebook, according to Fame Count. In fact, Starbucks leads on aggregated social media basis, across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Ben & Jerry's, in general, has been gravitating towards more advanced ad technology. It recently, for example, enhanced its iPhone app with augmented reality.
But few companies have completely eliminated e-mail marketing as they focus on the social media space. Another example is MGM Grand. "Social media is eating into the efficacy of email marketing and will soon supplant email as a primary communication device," Michael Perhaes, assistant vp of Marketing tells M-Travel. "We are already seeing evidence of this on Facebook and our hotel is preparing accordingly," he says. "We have dedicated social media staff; we include Facebook and Twitter URLs in all of our marketing communications, and actively enlist followers and fans." MGM Grand now has 15,000 Twitter followers, he says.
The Middle Way?
The demise of e-mail marketing has been a favorite topic for debate among marketers that wonder if they are wasting precious resources on this approach when their customers are - seemingly - flocking to social networks. Research, though, has shown that a middle way is the best path marketers can take for the moment. Accordng to eConsultancy's and email service provider, Adestra's fourth annual Email Marketing Industry Census, most marketers are using social media to enhance their email campaigns rather than replace them. The report found that more than a third of companies (37%) are using email to encourage the sharing of content on social networks, and just under a third of companies (31%) say they are planning to do this. A fifth of companies (21%) are using email to promote customer ratings and reviews, while a further 26% have plans to do this.