Re: Social mindshift for traditional marketers

I just discovered someone new and fresh. Next to people like David Armano & Jeremiah Owyang, George Benckenstein has a very nice view on social media in today’s media landscape.

His post on the social mindshift is very pertinent. Still, I have some comments

Social Media Is Not Your Typical Marketing Channel

“The real ROI a corporate marketer can realize comes from developing communities, creating content, listening and talking directly with their customers.”

“It’s about creating an open forum for your subject matter expertise to shine with visibility to all.”

So it’s not about media buying, it’s more about creating value for the brand by raising awareness and engagement. The words “open forum” are very important and many companies are not willing to embrace the word “open”, but both work together. I’m convinced that you can manage your “openness” by monitoring what’s happening, but this means that you need to put resources in it and have a clear action plan beforehand. There will be some surprises (good or bad), but if you are prepared, you will be able to address them quickly and in the correct way. Sometimes doing nothing is more valuable than doing something in a bad way.

Institutional Silos Will Work Against You

“Social media overlaps vertical silos in a horizontal fashion.”silos

The question is basically, where does Social Media sit in a company, the answer is “everywhere”, but internal fights (budget, resources, power …) make this very difficult. The solution can only come from high up.

“CEO’s and entrepreneurs … it’s time to put that early entrepreneur hat back on, get involved and reinvent.”

I would like to say, perfect idea, but … does upper management really know what social media really is and if they do, do they care?

On the question do they know what it is, the answer is, vaguely. They see their own kids spending their lives on Facebook and chatting with friends, maybe they have their own FB page, but honestly, they have other things to do than poking other CEOs and filling out questionnaires (I would hope). By the way, the report from uberCEO shows that they aren’t really connected.

So this means that they don’t care. The reason why they don’t care is because they don’t see the added value. They understand why their company needs to do traditional media, because it’s traditional media and if your company is big, you need to spend money on traditional media, (even if they don’t understand or believe in the ROI!).

This brings us back to to initial point where, in big companies, you will need to figure it out by yourselves. Meaning, start working together!

No Matter What Your Market, Your Audience Is Global

Benckenstein is American so he doesn’t really have the same problem or issue as we have here in Europe. The problem of language is not so relevant for the US. The language barrier is a nice way to segment and “localize” in social media. The main questions still are, when you talk in name of a pan-euro brand, should this be done in all different languages and if so, should the message be the same? My answer is: it depends … but basically NO and YES. If your brand is global, why should you do it in the local language social media is not about 1+1=3. Does the language barrier hurts to brand like Red Bull, Adidas or … Roger Federer? In terms of message, I guess the problem is solved when you address the first issue correctly …

Gotta Get Past The Quarterly Goal And Look Long-Term

“Most PR, communication, sales and marketing departments operate on short timelines and are looking for quick results.”

Indeed, short term tactics don’t work. This is the reason why you should embrace a strategy and build on it rather than a tactic. This is probably the reason why you don’t really see a lot of good campaigns on social media. Organizations (and agencies) are mainly looking for quick wins, campaigns with which they can win prizes in Cannes.

Change Is Hard

“We’ve all said this; “If I knew what I know now back then….”  So now I’ll ask the same question that I asked myself:  “Knowing what I know now, what am I doing today to be prepared for when…””

I couldn’t agree more, but … how do you sell this to big companies?


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