It seems that everywhere we turn, we are being bombarded with the latest marketing “magic pill.” One person claims Facebook advertising is the cure-all elixir. Another trumpets YouTube videos as the best way to reach everyone. Others say tweeting, blogging, and texting coupons are proven methods to get your message out. With so much information coming from so many different angles, it’s hard to decipher it all and keep it straight.

When the World Wide Web began taking root, businesses large and small were told that they must have a website, so many did just that — with no real thought and planning behind the why and what their website should accomplish. So websites that were basically glorified brochures popped up everywhere on the net.

Nowadays, social media is paid this same reverence. All businesses must be involved in all of the major social media outlets. Why? Because your competitors and the rest of the breathing world is in that space, that’s why!

Of course you need to interact with your audience wherever they happen to be, but if you want to actually accomplish anything worthwhile, you must first have a clear, focused strategy in hand. What objective does this initiative need to meet for your business? Does it help get you closer to your goals? Without clear answers to these questions, no matter how cool the new social media initiatives may be, they will only turn into the new version of the brochure websites that still clog the web today.

Your overall marketing strategy needs to always take into account the fact that different people consume your marketing messages in different ways. Some like to receive emails. Some enjoy receiving relevant direct mail. Others like to engage via social media. And many like some sort of combination.

The fact is there is no magic pill for effective marketing campaigns. The fundamentals of successful marketing are the same today as they’ve always been, with the added benefit of more outlets available to reach your prospects and customers. So find out what solutions your ideal customers are looking for that relate to your product or service. Provide useful, relevant, and valuable information through multichannel marketing campaigns aimed at your target audience. Let your prospects and customers receive information the way they prefer. And don’t let the self-proclaimed “experts” tell you any different!