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October 20, 2008

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Barry Hurd

The question I really think has to be asked, is at what point are most traditional marketing types being pushed over the tipping point and actually considered social media rather than traditional media?

Newspapers, radio and television stations, industry magazines, and even tradeshows are all being infected by social media tools.

I do not believe that the lines have disappeared at all, in fact there a huge chasms between social media and mainstream campaigns: the majority of decision makers do not even understand the terminology or what is happening.

If you really look at the problem and think about the terms being used, bloggers are still arguing over what a BLOG is (and isn't).

For instance- is Yahoo.com a blog, a portal, a search engine, an aggregator, or all of the above?

Engago Team

There is still one big difference:
- A blog is only online
- A press release can be published online, but can get printed in magazines and news papers.

Print media reaches another audience.

Paul Chaney

@Barry - I tend to agree. It's coming though, by hook or by crook. Still years away.

I wonder if the term "new marketing" will become the moniker for the future as it applies to the mashup of both traditional/social media channels.

One person advised that, in writing my book, I refer to it as "new" marketing, not social media marketing. It's a hybrid term.

John Flynn

I think many mainstream advertising agencies and companies are putting thier toe in the water. I think when they see that social networking is faster, cheap and more effective as traditional advertising they will increase their budgets for social networking.

But they have been addicted to traditional marketing for a long time and it going to take time for them to wake up and change to a faster, cheaper more direct model.

Paul Chaney

@John - I agree that it will take time for agencies to make the shift, but shift they must. I met with a local agency today in fact to share some ideas for using Facebook, MySpace and Twitter for a campaign involving the local university athletic program. They were very open and receptive.

Janet Johnson

I've been waiting for social media to become mainstreamed for many years now, and finally, I'm seeing it happen. Although few of the Fortune 500 are adopting blogs, many smaller businesses are embracing them like never before.

And agencies (both PR and advertising) are reaching out for help in bringing their internal resources up to speed on how to construct smart social media marketing strategies and tactics. I've been fortunate enough to get the call many times...

And you're right, Paul, they're more open and receptive now than ever before. The danger is when they (the agencies) think they "get" it before really getting it.

But that's part of the growth into mainstream.

Dustin Woodard

Seems like many are trying social media marketing or want to try it, but are quick to conclude that it doesn't work. The true fault lies in themselves for not giving it time or invested time getting to know the audience.

Those heavy in the social media space know it works, and much like SEO 8 years ago, have little reason to show others how they got it to work. With that said, I am seeing a greater number of companies catching on and succeeding.

Paul Chaney

@Janet @Dustin - You both pose what I perceive as a real threat to social media marketing adoption, that companies or agencies will "think" they get it, but don't really -or- that they will try it without sufficient understanding. In either case, there is an Achilles heel.

This is actually of grave concern to me as I've devoted my life's work to gaining an understanding of the inner workings of social media marketing and passing along what I know.

I'd prefer that companies and agencies not try it rather than attempt to ignorantly use SMM.

Scott Gardner

A big question for both large and small advertisers is whether or not they are willing "actively" participate in and truly commit to new media marketing, including social media, blogs, search, etc. That seems to be a problem. Internal teams or agencies suggest that a brand "get in the game" so they spend time & resources, but are not fully committed to growing the seeds they've planted -- it's more of a one-off project. If brands are not going to fully commit to growing or actively participating in online communities, they should stay on the sidelines. I think a big part of the "becoming mainstream" also has to deal with new media's influence on search engines. Blogs, forums, videos, communities, social profiles, etc tend to rank very well in organic search giving brands more exposure and reaching customers in more of a pull marketing approach.

I recently participated in a sold out Internet Summit with some heavy hitting speakers. I believe the conference was geared to cover a myriad of internet marketing topics but social media was the dominant theme so I would agree that new media marketing is certainly becoming mainstream. But companies have to make a commitment in growing these channels.

The convergence of search with social media is where companies can really take their brand to the next level. Traditional media is obviously publishing more online so their not left behind (online newspapers in particular) but they still are not as nimble and have an old-school mentality versus pure-play web properties like a Weblogs, Inc or other such networks. When traditional begins to fade/fail, new media does become mainstream IMO.

Paul Chaney

Scott, I agree with your assessment. It's a matter of organizations adopting a social media mindset. It has to be part of their DNA. Social media marketing is not a campaign (not to say you can't have SM campaigns), but a lifestyle really. And it's no longer just the marketing department's job either.

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