The cognitive surplus will no more be slave to your tube!
I am increasingly alarmed at how marketers view social media. As a social media strategist, department heads will come and ask "what can we do with social media." Hm, well...
In case you aren't living in the 21st century, "social media" isn't a medium unto itself, its just the current state of the web. We are experiencing an iteration of the internet, one that has become connected, portable--socialized.
Second, to think of social media in this way, as a silo or channel unto itself for a particular marketing campaign is to completely miss the boat on what social media actually is and how it affects/enhances our online/offline lives. Any "social media" strategy ought to be part of the holistic program-- to simply want to tack on social media to a campaign is like tacking on building a microsite at the last minute, it just doesn't make any sense. Social media strategy is not an afterthought-- its crucial to the success of your creative and digital assets; it extends the life of offline initiatives; and it can operate as the glue between all other digital aspects of a campaign.
Now, can we drop "social media" now and just call it what it is...THE WEB.
This is my question-- why are so many panels comprised of people who don't know what the hell they are talking about?
Lets start with this morning's opening keynote, "This is Not Your Father's Kodak":
Now, I made it over late to the keynote as I was trying to get connected to the bloody WiFi. Once I finally get WiFi, I walked briskly to the conference room-- to be greeted by clips of the Apprentice and the booming voice of CMO Jeff Hayzlett of Kodak touting "Kodak 2.0" Yeah-- this was going to be good (my snobbery about CMOs talking about anything '2.0' or 'social media' is not a secret).
After proclaiming himself "the most successful CMO out there!" he proceeded to tout his "game-changing" strategies for the company. Apparently getting Kodak on the Apprentice was some form of genius forward thinking marketing. He then shows a few "online video commercials" which, admittedly are pretty funny (Vinny taking a printer out to the docks, beating it and saying it disappointed the family). However-- big problem...its still a COMMERCIAL..and too long. These videos would have more impact if you ripped out the explicit messaging and cut it in half (if we're talking about engaging the digital and therefore networked--ie social media-using consumer).
Next, good old Jeff declares "I BELIEVE IN PRINT." Awkward. This is the premiere DIGITAL MARKETING conference....I believe in print? Ahem...
Audience Q&A closed out the keynote with a question to Kodak on its next move...Jeff's reply? "We're gonna go after EVERYTHING."
I was on my way out of the hall, not intending to stay put for the next keynote when, as I was just about to exit I hear "next is Art of the Conversation....social media." Ah, the SM...I had to stay for this...this oughta be interesting (again, the snobbery).
Sure enough, I was only too delighted to hear Sony, Nestle, and Levi's discuss the merits of blogging and engaging the consumer (overused phrase of the year: "engaging the consumer").
What ensued during the next hour was the most frantic Twittering of my life (with Steve Hall ReTweeting some of my Tweets on the ad:tech blog Twitter feed). I was nearly leaping out of my seat (oh, if only David Weller had been there...he would have been restraining me). Oh! The erroneous statements about blogs, social networks, engagment, metrics....and then in a frenzy of Twhirl replies and Tweets the session came to a close
I'm now headed to the Social Network Marketing panel after having just finished Tweeting the Modern Agency panel. Social Network Marketing? This oughta be good...I'll be live Tweeting this
I'll be in my fair home-city of San Francisco this week covering ad:tech...if you're a fellow Tweeter, come say hello! Below are the panels I'll be covering/attending, and you can check out the coverage on the ad:tech blog:
(click to view)
The panels I'm not blogging, I'm live-Tweeting:
maybe im just part of that ego-centric gen that expects to be catered to & not messaged to bc we've always been told we can do ANYTHING. now
marketing is catching up finally i guess with the "new" engagement imperative. this isn't novel, its a given when you talk about a whole
generation raised to believe they ARE THE WORLD. obvs we are not going to care about brands if the brands don't do (anything for us) or serve us in some way
sorry, thats just how we were raised. blame the schools and all those awesome 80s songs like "we are the world" and such. heh.
Seriously folks, as traditional marketing and advertising gets their hands into (my apologies for having to say it) social media, they are bringing with them their same old thinking. Like trying to shove square blocks through round holes, I see a lot of old marketing tactics with a side of Facebook being passed off as a social media solution.
The thing is, social media and all its "its about the conversation" and "its about engagement" fluff-speak is a landscape of nebulous intuitiveness that marketers (and more specifically, those hard-nose 'marketing is a science' digital marketers) just don't know how to navigate. It scares them. They don't know what to do without spreadsheets and click-through numbers to tell them their campaign is working. So what do they do? Try to fit the old into the new and it isn't working.
We're familiar with the current outcry that advertising on social nets provides disappointing "returns" and that social media marketing isn't quantifiable (yet).
Its true, but its not because social media is failing marketing, its that marketing is failing social media by failing to fully understand its value, use, and place within an ever-changing culture shift.
As of now, in a marketing context, social media is best leveraged for:
1. a mass medium of niche communities in which to build awareness (content + connectivity);
2. a platform for conducting word-of-mouth (which we know not only builds awareness but is highly influential in the decision-making process);
3. an extended CRM (networks are for relationships);
4. as a space for brands to practice open, transparency strategies for the purpose of being useful to customers.
The value of these purposes are not only in building awareness, but also influencing the decision-making process via WOM and transparency strategies (for the purpose of being useful) to consumers.
In turn, through use of social media analytics like Collective Intellect, Radian6, or Magpie's Brandwatch marketers may begin to forge more precision targeting-- the holy grail and promise of social media in the first place. We are not quite there yet with Targeting 2.0, but the trifecta of social media marketing may look something like this:
note: I work for an award-winning digital marketing agency and all comments about "hard nose digital marekters" are somewhat in jest :) ...i just think the marketing world needs to wake up a bit, I guess thats why they hired me
Jeremiah Owyang is asking on Twitter what he should include in his research for the next Q...I saylets test some Influence and Influence Potential formulas....on Touch still so can't link and hence the berevity of the post :)
I have been getting married and adventuring the past week and a half.....managed to access wifi in the jungle of costa rica...I will be back online in a few days....oh the things I must have missed! Are the social nets air yet? Has the Googlezon come?