‘Too many agencies today are “Don Draperish” focused - they think about making and broadcasting messages, whether they are Web, Print, TV, Radio, Billboard-centric. They aren’t thinking about creating communities around their client’s brands and engaging with the community to build long term relationships.
No lighting bolt of knowledge to announce marketing is shifting from Analog to Digital and even beyond this to Web 2.0 and 3.0. But, still, many agencies we bump into are s in an Analog frame set - targeting consumers with a message that is not relevant and “pushed out” to attract attention (that is quickly waning).
We are morphing to community silos that are driven by the consumer listening to other consumers (Yelp is great example), while simultaneously tuning out marketing messages, regardless of how artfully the latter are crafted.
The purchasing decision is driven by consumers engaging with other consumers - ad agencies need to find a way to stimulate the conversation and then participate directly or on behalf of their clients.
Course Corrections for Agencies:
- Create viral content that consumers share with each other.
- Get out of “broadcast” mode and into engagement.
- Learn the “Pay it Forward” maxim of Social Media Marketing - Communicate something of value, engage and add more value - sales and brand awareness will come.
- Deploy, broadcast and publish meaningful/informative content (see first bullet) across multiple Social Media Platforms simultaneously (You Tube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, Reddit, Facebook, SlideShare, etc.) and measure effectiveness.
- Get Web 3.0 Analytics Savvy: grok more than Clickthrough Traffic, Impressions, et al - this means understanding ReTweets, Likes/Dislikes, Mentions, Followers, Friends, Social Votes, Viral Forwarding, Comment Value, Conversation Flow - must be much more than Google Alerts coupled with Google Analytics reports.
- Utilize and understand baseline Search Engine Optimization and how it complements Social Media Marketing - there is a lot of overlap and this will increase over time.
- Think about Google Instant making SEO obsolete in three years - will it happen (?) hard to say, but preparing for it might not be bad idea.
- Learn how to cross promote content across the Social Web - your clients need help understanding how to leverage content development costs and economies of scale for publishing to drive engagement with their brands.
- Ignore half of the heat and light around Social Media - there are no social media experts; we are all building this beast as we move forward in time - creativity and paying it forward will seize the day.
Remember the old Arab Proverb: “The dogs bark but the caravan rolls on.” Keep rolling down the road and listen, learn and be creative - works for the rest of us!