Geoff Livingston over at The Buzz Bin has an interesting post about how savoir-faire is needed in social media marketing,and how hard it is for companies to be genuine. He says, correctly,that relationship building is about trust and perhaps this is why theChief Marketing Officers (CMOs) of the world are having a hard timegrasping social media.
That's all true, and easy to say, until you've been in charge ofmarketing in an organization. Suddenly, how "it could be so hard"becomes obvious. The system around the CMO has not historically valuedlong, patient, frank, two-way dialogue. Far from it.
Advertising maintains its appeal to the CMO because he/she cancontrol and measure it, you can buy as much "noise" as you want. PRhas similarities, too. But with social media, the people you're"targeting" have to want to talk about you. When you work for a socialmedia agency, you learn pretty quickly that "targets" don't have towant to talk about your client's product. Or they may not want totoday. But the CMO is being asked to move product-today.
Over the last 40 years we've all gotten away from the true"marketplace" mentality (like the picture here...) in which an exchangeis negotiated via two-way communication). Professional marketers weretrained to talk. They were the "spinners", the ones who could come upwith the talking points, the unique selling proposition. Whether acustomer was ready to listen wasn't a big concern. We just had tofigure out what shows they were watching and hope they stayed on thecouch.
Now, fairly suddenly, the "marketplace" concept is coming back through social media, and people are talking about the principles of community building. Accurate, all of it, but also a sea change. I have a Masters Degree inPublic Communications that I got only about 11 years ago. We neveronce talked about community building. We basically talked messagepackaging...
Social media marketing is coming, more slowly than maybe it should. And big marketers are used to having control and doing big campaigns.That means they are going to make big mistakes. Should we call them onthose mistakes? Abso-lutely. That's what we do on this site (Example 1. Example 2.). But we also respect the ones that have their toes in the water, because some of them are getting it right (Example 1. Example 2.). And when they get it right, it makes communicating with these companies that much better. Hang in there.