Depending on Marketing in Social Media

Sometimes I wonder if analysts will ever put together the process that customers take from thought to purchase. It seems that many are simply too lazy, but I’m growing weary of how many don’t take the time to find the impact that companies have when working in social media.

From the post:

Regardless of whether your brand is talkable or boring, as you launch these social applications, you?ll generate something very valuable ? people who care about your brand, or at least the problems it solves. I?ve begun to ask brand marketers a question: who are your most engaged customers? I don’t want an answer like ?women 25 to 34 with at least one child.? I want an answer like ?Emily DiBernardo, she lives in Kansas and she just can’t stop talking about us.? With social applications, you?ll find Emily.

If your brand is talkable, your social efforts will surface the brand enthusiasts who have the most influence. If it’s boring, your social applications will help you find your rare but valuable brand enthusiasts, or even generate a few. Pay attention to these people. Because as advertising clutter rises and word of mouth becomes more important, they?re about to become some of your most important corporate assets.

Puke. All the buzzwords and shiny objects shoved into a couple paragraphs. Where’s the proof? Where’s the data? As I’ve said before, this version of engagement is ridiculous… and there’s never any proof in these posts that more comments leads to more sales.


The chart is based on the question, How interested are you?. How interested am I? Well, I’m very interested in the latest car models that are being designed overseas and here in Detroit… but I’m not buying a car. I’m very interested in solar technology… but I live in an apartment. I’m interested in dating… but not seeing anyone.

The problem with this approach is it misses the entire boat on the necessary question, Where are consumers or businesses researching and make purchasing decisions? The problem with the vast majority of social media sites and marketing is that there’s very rarely a path to purchase through these mediums. As well, there’s no intent on the side of the buyer. When is the last time you went to Facebook to buy a camera? I thought so!

Consumers and businesses are researching purchases primarily through search engines. Why doesn’t Forrester take the time to report on this simple behavior of businesses and consumers? It seems they’re blinded by the shiny objects as much as everyone else. I believe it was actually a Forrester report that said that 90% or more of Internet users start their session with a search engine or in email.

Hmmm…. seems to me that, if I were a business, I’d want to be at the end of that search query… or that I should be sending out emails to my customers to keep them informed, retained, and taking advantage of upsells.

It’s not that I don’t believe in word of mouth marketing or the power of social media on a brand… I do! But I’m also practical in stating that businesses need to put their valuable and limited resources where they can make a difference. A great company, product or service will rise in social media… but you can’t control that conversation. You can control a search result or the compelling message in an email.


  1. 1

    While I appreciate the sentiment of the post, Doug, I have some fundamental problems with referencing data that is well over a year old in a market place that changes by the minute.

    There are numerous recent studies that I have cited on Twitter that demonstrate the effectiveness of social media platforms to not only cultivate the ground for a transaction but, also, to consummate a sale.

    In my opinion, social media is merely a piece of a more comprehensive marketing puzzle that must be acknowledged and integrated into the marketing and promotional plans of social causes, main street businesses and global corporations.

    Dr. Ron the NicheProf

    • 2

      Dr. Ron, you speak the truth my friend! My post may not have been clear enough – it was really a critique of the analyst rather than the analogy. I think analysts need to be held to a much higher standard than the post that I mention… since many corporate leaders make important decisions based on analyst feedback.

      Thanks for adding clarity and color to the conversation!

  2. 3

    Just like anything businesses need to get the most bang for their buck. Even though social media is a the buzz right now maybe your business isnt the perfect fit. Now you better have a good reason for this though and have another strategy filling up your time. But if your simply looking to branch out more and looking for new channels social media is a great place to start exploring!

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