Social Media Marketing Makes You Care

May 14, 2008

Earlier today I mentioned a Hoover’s promotion on Twitter. A person I know through Twitter and LinkedIn responded, tried the product, and may purchase.

Here’s the interesting thing: in my career in traditional marketing, a campaign may drive thousands of leads. In that context I care about the customer experience as an abstraction: will a bad experience hamper the campaign performance?

I’ve never met this person face to face. We had a nice conversation via LinkedIn Answers and we interact on Twitter occasionally – not a deep relationship, just the ongoing stream of ideas that Twitter represents. Even so, I feel differently today. I’m concerned that Sales, Customer Support and other team members treat this person right.

Traditional marketing (online or offline) forces you to care about customer experience. Social media marketing goes deeper. It forces you to care about customers.

Is social media changing how marketing is done? Wrong question. The right one is this: is social media changing marketers?

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4 Responses to “Social Media Marketing Makes You Care”

  1. Tim Walker Says:

    VERY good closing line, Russ. Social media allows the marketer to have the same solicitous attitude of concern shared by every good restaurateur in history: Is this person having a good time? Was the food right — not palatable, but RIGHT? Are these people HAPPY? And so on. Social media lets you do this with someone in the next cube over (ahem), or on the other side of the world.

    We SHOULD be changed, insofar as marketing has ever acted to deserve the bad rap it has gotten for shoving unwanted projects down the throats of misled customers.

    Sure, some abstractions will always be there: you can’t have that one-on-one relationship with every one of our customers, because we simply have too many customers. But we (read: ANY company) can have MORE of those relationships. And social media can help us get there.

  2. rsomers Says:

    Thanks Tim, and great parallel on the restaurant analogy. Here’s my modest hope: the discipline of Marketing will one day become so customer-focused that no one will understand the Bill Hicks rant about “Anybody here from Marketing? Kill yourself. Really.”

  3. Shama Hyder Says:

    I think it’s a bit of both. You can’t think outside of the box..because the box is now an ever-expanding blob.

  4. rsomers Says:

    Thanks Shama (and thanks for the follow on Twitter!) I love the ever-expanding blob concept.


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