Forgive the analogy, but I often hear my former peers in Fortune 500 CPG Marketing tell me “we’re doing Social Media” when I ask. The point is this: a nurse and a brain surgeon are both in “medicine”, but I wouldn’t want the nurse operating on my brain. The same is true in the most vital area of your business.
Most typically, major companies have scrambled to assemble teams of classically trained marketing folks like me. I spent 25 years in ‘classical’ Marketing with Nestle, Sara Lee, Coca-Cola, Coors, and sat across the desk with P&G, Kroger, etc. on ‘targeted marketing’ while with Catalina Marketing.
The singular issue with ‘classically trained’ marketers is that everything they have ‘experientially’ gained with years of tremendous experience has suddenly become obselete (at least in the applcation of Social Media). Our instinct (and in some cases self-protectionism) causes many to build on that experience and attempt to retrofit ‘old models’ into the ‘new media’. It doesn’t work!! ‘Old models’ ultimately tell us to ‘push’ our agenda on either a mass or somewhat targeted audience via traditional media choices and paper-dependent incentives (ad features, coupons, DM, etc…). We know these are highly inefficient (FSIs producing < 1% redemption is a great example)…but I’ll leave that for another discussion.
THe point to be made is this: Pushing a commercial message is Anti-Social and looses audiences faster than you can change the radio channel or hit fast forward on your TV’s DVR. Social Media, if done right, ‘pulls’ an audience to you. You suddenly find yourself on Page 1 of Google searches. You are engaged with a targeted audience that targeted themselves before you even got to the party. And if you really have that brain surgeon on the team, you can even create “Conversational Currency” (TM)…the ultimate goal of business within the SM world.
Take a closer look. Who’s ‘operating’ on your Business Needs?