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The pragmatic truth most don’t want to hear.
No one doubts that social media is now part of the marketing & media landscape but it’s one of many channels. Those who preach it’s now the only one that matters are as misguided. Facts show otherwise – TV for example is still the most influential paid media and most effective for ROI.
Research shows (US study) that 90% of conversations about brands happen off line in the real world (though the digital industry prefers you don’t know that). No surprise most of us (who aren’t isolated singles living in bedsits) actually prefer talking face to face. This 90:10 split is also true for students (NUS research).
Of those conversations about brands online, the vast majority are either about promotions of criticizing them.
The biggest driver of comment on brands on social media is Big Media (TV, press, outdoor) - either news stories or TV ads - John Lewis ad being a prime example.
It’s also become more crowded than direct mail and email – and we know what happens when media gets over loaded with marketing messages- it stops working.
I think no one knows what will happen. In a few years it is more likely to become a marketing free zone, as social media channels spring up that are ad free. Sorry, but consumer don’t want the ads, especially when they are so bad. The decline and death of digital ads has been due to poor quality thinking and lack of creativity.
The problem is what has been called ‘dumb marketing’. It happened with direct mail - marketers thought that just having a database of consumer = selling to them, so they carpet bombed them. They had no idea about the sophisticated methods needed to emotionally connect to them.