Communication: One Way or the Other?

The image above recently caused a stir in the advertising world and reignited the debate between traditional marketers and interactive communication specialists over the effectiveness of one-way vs two-way marketing communications.

The company responsible, business social media platform ‘Yammer’, had this to say about their snarky billboard:

“Simply put, we wanted to make a statement about the new paradigm of how people and organizations communicate, and figured what better way to do that than to use the oldest mode of paid media.” – Marketing Designer Aria Shen

The billboard, while daring, experienced a lashing from print advertisers for being ‘ironically taunting’ with the strongest critics labeling the ad as ‘futile and obsolete’ itself.

According to Yammer, the objective of their advertisement was to

“demonstrate to passersby (and potential hires) that old methods of communication are becoming obsolete, and Yammer is ushering in a new standard.” – Yammer

Yet critics argue that, as the billboard itself has generated a huge amount of interest and publicity for Yammer, the medium by default cannot be considered obsolete.

As to which is a better way to communicate a message to your customers, I believe you need both one and two way communication in order to form an effective online presence.

Here are 3 simple ways to connect with your consumer via one way and two way communications online:

1. Increase Your Traffic and Brand Awareness with CPC Advertising.

• CPC Advertising is a great way to insure your company is generating traffic to its website. When focusing on brand awareness, your primary focus should be on Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing’s search and display network campaigns.

• If your focus is to direct traffic to your two-way communication medium, create Facebook CPC ads. These ads will convert users into ‘fans’ of your Facebook business page and therefore have them subscribed to relevant content pumped out through your Facebook site. Interaction is communication!

2. Utilise Social Media – Come On! It’s Free!

• Social Media can be a great way to communicate with your customers, and listen to their attitudes and opinions about your brand.

• Join Twitter and join the conversation. Publish relevant content frequently and engage with your customers by asking questions. Encourage them to do the same. As your number of followers increase, your brand influence does as well.

• Get a Facebook page! What you can do with Facebook for your business these days is incredible. So start now! Publish your RSS blog feed, upload videos and photos and tag your employees. Let your customers know that your business is human. Connect with them on a personal level, and they will remember you!

3. Listen to your Followers

• Generating traffic to your site and social media channels is one thing, but listening to your users can give you some valuable insights into improving your product or services. Engage with a listening tool such as BuzzNumbers and analyse consumer sentiment of topics related to your products or services. You may find ways of improving them, and your customer service!