B-School Connect with Social Media
May 2, 2017
Social Media – Academic’s New Horizons
May 2, 2017

If content is King, then design is Queen. And we all know that when it comes to matters of final judgment, Queen is the actual King. So how can marketers afford to ignore the influence of ‘Queen’ in a media which is becoming increasingly social?

For marketers, branding in the age of Digital/Social Media is not easy. In quick time they need to grab attention and create favorable perception towards their brand. It is also crucial since return on investment of this media can be tracked in real-time. So, what should be the strategy for marketers to create powerful campaigns in this
overcrowded world of Social Media? An attempt is made to develop a formula. Consider this equation; C+D=I where
C=Content, D=Design and I=Impact. Although ‘C’ and ‘D’ in this formula are mutually inclusive events however ‘I’ is likely to be high in cases where value of ‘D’ is more than its counterpart. To understand the equation one need not be an accomplished logician. The hypothesis is based on a very simple yet powerful age long premise that “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

One of the essentials to effective communication is design. Good communication design breaks through the media clutter and connects convincingly with readers and viewers.

It helps to achieve the creative transition between words and pictures for building compelling stories around your campaign. Communication design includes colour theory, interactive design, photography, typography, graphic design, print design and a whole lot more.

In digital space where attention is momentary, challenge is to get followers. A big task but not so difficult to achieve. To start, one needs to understand the dynamics of digital and social media communication or perhaps even before that the platform itself. Firstly, Digital Media (which includes social media, smart phones and internet) is a platform full of lousy messages with no commercial breaks. Its range is extremely messy. The rate at which information is thrown is much higher than the rate at which it can be grasped by the human mind. What goes viral and what does not can’t be explained. Therefore in such a situation generating consumer interest and upholding
it is a great challenge. And secondly, through this medium brands can be taken directly to the consumers rather than waiting for the consumers to find it. All this has both its pros and cons. But for the time being let us remain with the pros so that we do not digress from the central idea of this article.

Anshuman Srivastava After understanding the dynamics of social media platform it becomes clear that when
noise is dominating it is sensible to remain silent. As such, ‘saying less meaning more’ could help in getting consumers notice your brand on social media. But in marketing how to communicate while being silent? This is
where modern marketers need to leverage power of aesthetics. Perhaps, the way our messages are being packaged on social media needs to be redefined. Silent communication or unspoken communication is possible by way of designing visually appealing creatives. For arousing consumer interest in our brands in a highly volatile digital environment, words alone are not going to work. Fresh imagery has to be built around. This holds true not
just for standalone creative copies posted on Facebook, Twitter and similar social media properties but for Youtube videos as well.

The aforesaid strategy becomes more critical while marketing educational programs since it caters to a Generation whose inner wiring has been drastically changed by the new economy. This new Generation characterizes a very different outlook about the way things are perceived. For them, engagement is prime and sometimes even more important than the product itself. And the Facebooks and Twitters of this world are very well aware of this fact. Also, the competitive nature of the marketplace is compelling Colleges to come up with highly effective campaigns and techniques for creating favorable perception in the minds and hearts of its prospective buyers (applicants) through interactive engagement on social media. But without giving much thought to it almost all of them are following the same monotonous pattern of developing insipid visuals for their social media pages.

In such a scenario, forget about creating a favorable perception, even getting the first notice on their pages is becoming difficult. Smart marketers here need to understand that by using attractive visuals, simple marketing messages can be created to influence purchase decisions and generate brand affinity. Colorful designs can help
marketers convey their point directly to consumer psyche in quickest time. Studies carried out in U.S. show a direct link between color schemes used in marketing and branding campaigns and their affect on making purchase decisions. In other words, this in effect gives strength to the earlier stated assumption that ‘I’ can be amplified by increasing value of ‘D’.

At the same time Organizations also need to bear in mind the limitation of Marketing as advertising budgets are becoming more and more accountable day by day. Marketing, as we know, is about creating a favorable perception. But since perception is an alter ego of reality therefore it cannot be twisted too much. Good packaging can bring in walkins. May initially also lead to sales closure. However, in the long run a product or service will finally be accepted in the market only on the merit of its core strength. Marketing can only help in getting the first look.

Anshuman Srivastava
Sr. Manager - Admissions Marketing Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH)