Sword and the Script

Five and a half smart (social meida) things I’ve heard lately (8.27.10)



Smart things:  When I hear or read them, I do my best to save them, write them down, publish them to delicious, clip and post them to Amplify, or save them in e-mail folders for posts like this.

1. Brands, control and social media
Marketing used to work like this:  conduct research to determine pain points, develop messages to market against those pain points, test those messages on various channels, refine, go to market.  Social media I believe has changed this – today the process starts with the question:  who are my fans right now.   In other words, marketing used to have control; today it does not.  In a discussion in the comments section of this post on Spin Sucks, (which is a PR blog you should follow) Steve McKee took this to a new level and one that resonated with me when he wrote, “I tend to believe that brands never really did have control, but today it’s so much more readily apparent–and public. All the more reason to be authentic–as a brand and as an individual.”

2.  Who leads, sales or marketing?

“It seems that in B2C, the marketing organization leads, and the sales organization follows in terms of budget and priority. But in B2B marketing, the sales organization often leads, and marketing ends up being a support service,” said Kent Huffman in a post on the The Social CMO, a CMO every PR pro should follow.  Seems quite obvious in hindsight, but for me it’s one of those interesting points we miss in the day to day.  

3.  Right and wrong social media questions
Jay Baer thinks the wrong question some PR pros ask is along older lines of thinking:  
“How can we find the most influential bloggers and get them to write about our client?” he wrote on his blog Convince and Convert.  A better question?  “How can we find the existing customers that are already passionate about our client, and turn them into a volunteer marketing army?”   Right on, Jay.  Who are your fans right now?

4. You can’t invest in viral campaigns
Full Sterne ahead – metric captain and eMetrics Summit conference organizer Jim Sterne sounds off from the bridge about the misnomer of comparing the Old Spice campaign’s effectiveness to Super Bowl advertisements.  “To begin with, “going viral” isn’t something you invest in. You invest in promotions that will get you a nice bump in sales. You invest in brand recognition. You invest in direct marketing with specific ROI (define) attached to a specific promo code or a specific landing page/conversion combo. Shelling out a lot of – or just a little – money for a viral campaign is the same as wandering into a red light district looking for love. Hey, it could happen, but a predictable direct response is far more likely.”  Jim should know – he literally wrote the book on social media metrics.   

5.  Content loyalty
“Step aside, brand loyalty; we’re loyal to information now,” read the headline of this post on the Nieman Journalism Lab blog.  The author, Gina Chen, when on later to write, “In other words, the people formerly known as the audience know if they want a certain type of information, they head to Twitter. Another type, they’ll go to YouTube. Something else, that’s what FourSquare is for.”  It’s a good case why different social media sites are still needed, even if Facebook adds location to its platform.  It also tells me that content has influence – long live content!

5.5  What’s the half?
“Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until  2003, according to Schmidt,” as cited in this TechCrunch post.  Schmidt of course is Mr. Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google.   Though Mr. Schmidt is a smart guy, that’s not really a “smart thing I’ve heard lately,” it’s just plain mind boggling.   I imagine for Google, the worry of course is how much of that new content is being created on Facebook, or being consumed on an iPhone.  For more mind boggling stats – relevant to that commentary – check out Chris Anderson’s cover story in Wired this month.  

Heard something smart lately?  Please share!

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