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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The 2010 Marketing REsolutions are Here!


Our friends at Mashable have a good piece on the "five tips...to guide your SMB’s social media and online strategies for 2010." It is great to see anyone promoting the use of social media for business (not as if there is a dearth of that online these days) and Mashable is always a go to source. But, this article made me come back to the original sin of "new media" (for lack of a better term) marketing: we STILL have not yet created the compelling, 15-seconds or less, easy sell, comprehensive marketing/communications social media solutions package for business. Making some headway on THAT should be our 2010 Marketing RESOLUTION.

Of course, that's a bit of a funny: there is never going to be a silver bullet catch-all solution for anything ever again. BUT, I am serious about how poorly 1. the power of tools (twitter, Facebook, et al) is sold as part of marketing solutions; 2. how badly marketers/consultants package and sell-in their social media toolkit; 3. the weakness of most business leaders' grasp of social media, and so on.

The old days for marketing were (basically) simple: Build some buzz with PR. Take out some TV, print and outdoor ads. Maybe some DM or DR TV depending on your product. Do promotions and product trials. Rinse and repeat.

Anyone older than 15 (which includes most business owners) now feels lost in the wilderness. Our forever fluxing media landscape means the reassurance of the old model is gone. I don't mean to sound all in defense of the "crotchety" but WE ALL need to appreciate how confusing this would be for a "traditional" marketer.

So for the last 10 years or so, they've been hearing "it's all over, it's all changed" and they've seen the Web become huge, email take off, instant messaging, cell phones, iPods, social networks, blogs, twitter, and so on.

To them, it will seem every 5 minutes there some new "game changing" media they are supposed to now pay attention to.

For the OLDSTERS, this is very distressing. So, let's all take a moment from our busy lives to acknowledge their plight.

SO, now, you with-it, skinny jeans wearing hipster marketer, OUR JOB is to help them. HELP everybody figure out how to use social/new media as part of the complete marketing picture.

WE ARE NOT doing a very good job of it.

1st STOP distracting everyone by saying "this is the new ---KILLER, the NEW game changer" every 5 minutes. Hold on and let your followers catch up.

We need to be patient. As a wise marketer once said "stop the insanity!"

It is clear that SOME iteration of what now exists with communications, messaging and social networks is here to stay. It is also obvious that we can use the current forms of these tools to great effect in marketing. SPEND some time really 1. working out the BEST use of these tools that is actually sensible for your clients/colleagues and 2. figure out the BEST way to actually sell it to them and include it in your work.

IF YOU DON'T DO THIS, we will continue to hear from the oldsters: "I think I need one of those facey-pages to announce this sale on sansabelt pants." IF WE understand technology, it's best applications and how to talk about it, it is OUR JOB to communicate and evangelize among those less fortunate. What kind of marketers are we if we can't sell our expertise properly to others?

It is really important that we act quickly, brainstorm together and really come up with some strategic packages of products and services to sell for marketing. In the biz, we have been selling our expertise with social media as part of our services for a while. AS WE ALL KNOW, much of these "services" has been telling clients we will create and maintain their presence on critical social networks (or some blather like that). What we know this means is "I'll do something with Facebook, Flickr, Twitter." Of course, it's only a matter of time before the clients figure out that it's not really all that hard to send out a few tweets. I mean, look at the current DEMOS on FB, Twitter audiences. These ain't mostly Billyburg hipsters on there, they are your mom and dad.

We are all gonna look pretty dumb if all we're selling is that we happen to know about how to use some existing tools. Marketers, consultants, etc. are made of what they sell as their VALUE ADD. We need to really start thinking about ADDING SOME VALUE.

Thanks for reading.
-Jonathan

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