Advertisers spend $billions attempting to ‘push’ their advertising message by hiring famous people (typically Entertainers or Sports Figures) to tout their products or services in mass media. Are you influenced to buy? Some are influenced, but steadily increasing numbers of saavy consumers are realizing what should be obvious. These endorsements are highly compensated to the famed person or entity, and negotiated by highly skilled agents. These endorsements are rarely motivated by preference, but clearly motivated by money. And the high cost of mass media, coupled with high cost of such endorsements, is passed right on through to the consumer. I actually stray away from products and services using such costly ‘old marketing’ methods for the single reason that I don’t want to support payment of that famed person’s next yacht purchase. I’d rather save those added dollars and one day buy a yacht for myself.
What influences me (and increasingly most) is an objective endorsement by a trusted friend, colleague, family member, expert, or someone within a ‘community’ of like-minded consumers. A widely known recent research study recently published findings that a peer-to-peer endorsement has the equivalent marketing value of 200 mass media impressions!!!
Wise marketers are coming to this realization and finding the right place to market products and services looks nothing like traditional mass media and tactics at all. Today’s vast opportunities lie within Social Media channels. Unfortunately, for those scrambling to ‘get in’, the knee jerk reaction has been to ‘push’ the same commercial messaging in this new media. You’ll find them posting banner ads and spamming you throughout this new medium. It doesn’t work and it’s actually anti-social. The effect is a ‘turn off’ …and results are similar to switching TV and radio channels or fast forwarding on a DVR.
Only the very few who have immersed themselves in various disciplines regarding Social Media get it. And their not publishing their findings in any ‘How To’ manual. It’s similar to a Magician’s secrets. How to engage in relevant conversations to garner real interest is a completely new paradigm few understand. And finding methods to create “Conversational Currency” via peer-to-peer chatter is even more complex.
So who is managing your message?