Regular readers of this blog might find this redundant, but I came across a brilliant blog post today and I wanted to help extend its reach a bit, as well as add my two cents.
As social media continues to become less of a curiosity and establishes its foothold alongside other more traditional and, perhaps, better understood forms of marketing, there will be a fundamental shift in thinking that must take place in order to exploit these media to maximum benefit. Alan Schulman writes a beautifully reasoned post here which I urge anyone who is trying to sell ANYTHING to read.
A couple of points he makes really stood out to me:
1- "What matters now, more than ever, is [marketers’] ability to establish and advance relationships– relationships they can build and grow." (Italics mine.)
It really does not matter if you’re selling cars, plumbing services, music, apples or Apples. Just rolling out an advertising campaign ain’t gonna get the job done anymore.
2- "To truly affect a brand’s business, you have to get out of the Advertising trees and into the Marketing forest, where the important stuff of establishing relationships, supplying insights that result in innovative products, generating cultural currency and generating real sales reside: the Business of Marketing. Today that’s what we’re really in the business of…not what the next television campaign should look like."
My guess is that 12 to 24 months from now, all of this will become second nature to the most savvy marketers, and that goes for every marketer, from an automobile manufacturer right down to the musician recording, publishing and selling their music on their own out of their home studio using their laptop.