This is a great post that reminds us off the difference between ‘social media child’s play’ and ‘meat and potatoes marketing’. It’s about time somebody wrote this. I just wish I’d got there first.
I’ve watched the emergence of self-professed ‘social media experts’ over recent years with more than just a pinch of cynicism. As a seasoned marketing ‘grown-up’ I have yet to be convinced that nurturing the ability to create lorry-loads of social noise is any substitute for practicing traditional marketing fundamentals.
A casual glance through my past posts will tell you I am a social media advocate to the last, but everything in it’s right place, right? Social media is important. But it is, as its name suggests, merely a newer kind of media. The fundamental principles of marketing haven’t changed as a result of it – or at least shouldn’t have. But I ask, are they now being forgotten to the detriment of brands everywhere because the hypnotic draw of digital’s knobs, dials and flashing lights is more alluring than common-sense and the realisation of profit?
I breathed an audible sigh of relief this morning when even the Chief Digital Officer of a hugely reputable agency such as Deutsche LA admitted that ‘there are no true experts in digital’. I concur. There is no doubt that digital media are becoming a greater part of our lives. Marketers can not ignore this. But as soon as we’ve figured it out, it’s evolved or been replaced, and the debate about if and how it delivers real returns to the bottom line still rages on without any satisfactory conclusion.
To reinforce my point, I was amused and disappointed in equal measure while reading the official sales guff of a firm of self-professed internet marketing experts claiming to create ‘great’/’compelling’/’engaging’ (yawn) content for their clients to ‘drive traffic’ and ‘generate leads’, when their own content was simultaneously verbose, lacking in insight (and therefore credibility) and riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. Really?
Is the marketing industry becoming a playground for deluded software addicts that spend too much time spewing nonsense on to the web and not enough in their customer’s heads? How can you tell an ‘expert’ from an enthusiast and to what extent can the digital world really thrive separate and apart from it’s older more traditional brother?