Amorphous and in control…

by David Johnson on May 18, 2010

What change?
When I read headlines from the sales, marketing and advertising industry I sometimes feel like I’m reading next year’s headlines. You’d think by what has been published that the industry is further along in the adoption and effective use of multi-channel programs than it really is. Don’t get me wrong, I really want to “believe,” but they’re just not all that believable, at least when compared to the conversations I’ve had recently.

Slow on the up-take or just oblivious? Does it matter?
The unfortunate reality is that many of the executives I’ve talked to completely discount the value of the Internet and social media, and therefore see no need for integration. For example, a very powerful executive in the sports marketing world told me, “bloggers, I don’t care about them, they create a lot of noise but don’t drive any revenue.” People like this are not paying attention. Haven’t you seen the H&M flash mob videos? Didn’t you hear that 14% of the Super Bowl viewers were online during the game? These are conversion opportunities. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean opportunities are not real or can’t be monetized.

School is in session
The biggest challenge we face as innovators in the sales, marketing and advertising space is educating people on the looming social-web tsunami that has already begun to reshape marketing forever. We also need to increase the awareness of how the convergence of TV, Internet, social media and mobile is going to reshape and influence the entire process of how we engage with one another, learn, make decisions, decide where to go and what we buy. We also need to educate people that the web is not an amorphous organic blob that is completely out of your control, on the contrary, it is really possible to intelligently engage with stakeholders to influence their behaviors to your advantage, or your competitors disadvantage…without violating emerging, market-driven trust and transparency standards.

Easy peazy lemon squeezy
The good news is that there is virtually no risk to test the theory. Start simple, engage a trusted outside partner (if you aren’t doing it yet, you probably need outside help) to evaluate your campaigns, then integrate some simple calls-to-action (coupon, white-paper, survey, contest) with your traditional marketing tactics – using basic social tools, e.g. text-in, call-in, friend-me, tweet-me, video, etc. At a minimum, I guarantee you’ll learn a lot about your customers and your company.

Please post your questions and comments.

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