The recent meetings between Facebook’s Carolyn Everson and senior marketing leaders from Coca-Cola, Unilever and Wal-Mart, underscores the disconnect between “popular” marketing activities and those that can be held accountable for results.
I’ve long been skeptical of most social meeting platforms, despite the zealots who claim that significant business comes from Tweeting and Liking and Pinging Pictures (or whatever Pinterest’s value proposition is). Given the community I serve, LinkedIn is about the only social platform that makes sense, but even there, advertising hasn’t delivered a strong ROI, which doesn’t bode well for their business model.
And it’s ROI that’s at the heart of this. I have these discussions (for some reason they always tend to be around Twitter) in which the person I’m speaking with will claim, very adamantly, that their most recent Tweet, resulted in some sort of great business deal with a Fortune 50 corporation.
I’m sorry but I just don’t buy that.
And let’s say for the moment it’s true. It’s just anecdotal evidence that something worked once.
That’s not strategic.
That’s that a ROI argument.
That’s hope that lightening will strike you too. (If in fact it ever struck in the first place-which I doubt.)
The problem is that so many people, so desperately want their social media strategy to work, that these anecdotal examples take on outsized importance.
The reality for most social media is that their value argument is completely built on some sort of “awareness” model. As the recent Facebook meetings illustrate, even when awareness goes up dramatically, it doesn’t seem to have any effect on people actually buying more products or services.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a hard core direct response marketer. I’m of the school that says marketing only works when there is a strong ROI. Maybe it’s not sexy. Maybe it’s not cool. But as more and more companies are focusing on “How precisely can we spend our marketing dollars so that we know we are getting more new clients?”, it’s an approach that makes a lot of sense.
Mark Satterfield, Gentle Rain Marketing — Author , Marketing Consulting Expert, Lead Generation, Business Development, Marketing Strategy, Get More Clients, Increase Revenue — Click here for his Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube