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Why Current Social Media is Crashing – Traditional Advertising Doesn’t Listen – Doesn’t Work For Social Media July 23, 2008

Posted by John in social media.
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In a post by Paul Daigle called the Net Effect. He talks about how advertising doesn’t work in social media because traditional advertising doesn’t listen it only talks.

I think that this is a wake up call for all the Social Media executive out there and C-level executives trying to understand social media. Social media a half ‘Groundswell” (book written by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff) and half “Book to be announced” (not yet published – Peter Drucker like book). The business process improvement aspect of social media – the impact to organizations in how they organize, talk to prospects, and customers. More importantly how companies compete.. words like ROI, finacial impact, leverage, revenue per employee, benchmarking, customer service, and business intelligence will trump words like engagement, conversations, storytelling, blogs, podcasting, viral branding.

Rather than me going on again and banging the drum about my view I’ll let Paul say it and he puts it in a business light.

Paul writes..

“Every week a new article seems to redefine what social media means for brand advertisers. This communicates, accurately I think, that the advertising and media industries are still working to understand how they can best help their clients capitalize on the new social media opportunity.” …

“Advertising doesn’t know how to listen. It only knows how to talk. So talking with advertising people about social communities is like telling an accounting department how you can increase sales. Sure, you can run traditional ad campaigns within social settings, but the real opportunities being advanced are not advertising… but communication opportunities. This misalignment between the goals of marketing decision makers and opportunities being offered is why many companies are moving so slowing, and acting so suspiciously of social media.”….

“Advertising isn’t going to go away, and it isn’t going to change. Nor should it. Advertising, as we know it, will remain an important way to build brand and drive sales. But developing social strategies and advertising strategies are completely different vocations. I don’t believe marketing or advertising departments are where tomorrow’s corporate social initiative will reside.”

“In order for companies to succeed socially, they will have to restructure to become social entities. It will happen, but it will take time. Helping companies understand where their social assets lie and how to synthesize these assets to create modern CRM departments maybe the answer. These new departments would strive to manage the ear, face and personality of the business, and help the company engage socially to win. In the real world, when we represent our companies at social events we do so knowing who we are, why we are there, who we are speaking with, and what we’d like to accomplish. We know that our success requires that we engage the room in conversation and that we listen.”

Comments»

1. Lisa Cutter, Director of Vertical Insight - July 23, 2008

I certainly appreciate the read, but I did find it a bit disappointing. I operate my own Marketing Firm, Vertical Insight, and one of our specialties is researching and developing both Strategic Business Plans -AND- Integrated Marketing Plans.

Your article states “Sure, you can run traditional ad campaigns within social settings, but the real opportunities being advanced are not advertising… but communication opportunities.” I must say that I disagree. While advertising is but a portion of marketing, social media/communication campaigns are also a portion of a comprehensive marketing plan.

I do agree that many in the advertising/marketing industry still exclude the communication opportunity, but not all of us do. Thus, the business decision makers really need to put a little more thought and effort into the hiring process when considering an advertising agency or marketing firm to reach their goals and objectives.

Just my two cents.

2. John Furrier - July 23, 2008

Lisa,
You are right in the middle where research meets practice not sure why this article dissappoints it’s true. You’re quoting Paul’s text that I linked to which makes my point but he’s refering to traditional advertising.

Social media is communications based but advertising is real but in a new form. Social advertising or whatever you want to call it.

You hit the nail on the head when you talk about C-level execs.

That was my main point when I said the following.. think that this is a wake up call for all C-level executives trying to understand social media. Social media a half ‘Groundswell” (book written by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff) and half “Book to be announced” (not yet published – Peter Drucker like book). The business process improvement aspect of social media – the impact to organizations in how they organize, talk to prospects, and customers. More importantly how companies compete.. words like ROI, finacial impact, leverage, revenue per employee, benchmarking, customer service, and business intelligence will trump words like engagement, conversations, storytelling, blogs, podcasting, viral branding.

3. John Furrier - July 23, 2008

Lisa, one more point is that if the C-level executives let the groundswell make strategic decisions for the firm how much time will be wasted before they realize that business policy and competitiveness might have been wasted. I’m saying that C-level execs need to be leading and understanding the difference between words like ROI, finacial impact, leverage, revenue per employee, benchmarking, customer service, and business intelligence verses words like engagement, conversations, storytelling, blogs, podcasting, viral branding.

I don’t think that the new agencies are addressing this .. sure you have digital influence divisions, word of mouth divisions, etc…

Do companies understand how it all ties to financials?? I’d say no. Can you tie them? Yes Are people doing it? Not that I can tell

4. Social Advertising About to Boom - In Growth Not Bubble Pop. « Furrier.org - Business & Technology Blog - July 23, 2008

[…] media. Tags: online advertising, social advertising, social media, video advertising trackback While I talked about Social Media being misunderstood, the real dollars will be in online web video advertising.  Seems pretty straight forward – the […]

5. Steve Clarke - July 23, 2008

John
Another fantastic post. You’re always ahead of the curve. Please share some of your research with us.

6. Social Network? More like Social Don’t-work - February 19, 2009

[…] been said before, advertising on a social network is like leaning into a conversation in a coffee shop and […]


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