Bringing Social Marketing to a New Level
This sign neatly placed outside the lobby of Rock Candy Media in Northwest Austin may be the only traditional… anything about this small but growing firm.
It really should read something like “proceed with caution” because once you enter the lobby and meet Founder Annie Jones you are in for quite the adventure. This is a place where corporate office tradition goes out the window, and they like it that way.
“I started my company so I could own who I am,” said Jones, who describes herself as
a design junkie.Jones started RCM in 2008 after realizing the old way of marketing and advertising was going nowhere fast. Five years and eight employees later RCM has made a name for itself in Austin and NYC as a successful hip, different and ever-evolving marketing-driven design firm.
What Makes RCM Modern?
According to Jones “different equals modern”, and that’s the idea behind everything in this office starting from the layout. From the paint to the furniture, the pictures hanging on the walls and the open office design, it’s apparent very quickly this isn’t your ordinary office space. Here it’s “bring your dog to work day” every day. Employees are encouraged to be themselves, think freely and engage with each other as much as they engage with their clients. “My job is to push the envelope,” and it’s why Jones says no idea is ever too silly, or inappropriate.
Don’t expect to find any files on clients in this office. Everything RCM works on from strategy to design is kept in the cloud. That means any RCMPeeps (that’s what team members are called) can access work from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection.
Social Marketing: A Modern Way of Doing Business
Things like billboards, Radio and TV ads, Jones says, are just not as effective as they once were. Stale, she calls them.
“The thousands of dollars spent on things like a billboard are better spent on social channels where content lives longer and is accessible by everyone no matter where they live,” she said. It’s why RCM devotes much of their time to market research. Knowing what’s hot, and what’s trending, Jones says, is the key to success.
“Organizations Have a Choice: Either Put Social Business to Work for You or Let Other People Define Who You Are”
“I never want my clients to pay Google for anything, so I use anything within my power to bring content to people naturally,” that means using a number of social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Vine.
Social Media: The New Focus Group
A challenge for every marketer is to figure out how to attract the desired audience. At RCM, social media has opened doors for new opportunities. In May the company announced SocialSense, a focus group application for clients. The app will replace traditional focus group research and gather information in a more efficient way using social networks people are spending time on already.
“Social is how people find the things they want and need. Organizations have a choice: either put social business to work for you or let other people define who you are,” said Jones.
Rock Candy Media was one of the first businesses to receive the Facebook Graph Search invite, for Facebook Marketing. Jones says she used this tool to gain a lot of traction on client ads. Her staff also developed the first non-profit app to win top honors by Mashable.com. Jones says that’s what being a ‘Modern Company’ is about. Being the first at trying new things in a business that is based on tradition is what has helped RCM stand out from the pack.
Is Social Marketing a good replacement for focus groups? Let us know what you think in the comments.