Social Media The Gzillion Pound Gorilla

01/05/2009

Gorilla When Ad Age's eZine popped into my inbox this morning the lead sentence from this article - Economy Weighs Heavily on Marketing Execs for 2009  (free registration might be needed to access) caught my attention. "Marketing executives are tired of buzzwords such as Web 2.0, blogs and social networking."

My initial thoughts were wait just a NYC minute. While Web 2.0 might indeed be classified as a buzz words blogs and social networks have proven to be credible marketing initiatives. However, as marketers well know perception is reality so for the marketing executives who participated in this research it appeared that social media has yet take its place in the marketing strategy tool box.

The article was based on findings from a study conducted by Anderson Analytics for and of the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG). Clicking into the site I read two quotes that caused me to think differently about what the respondents' views of social media might really have meant.

Tom Anderson, managing partner of Anderson Analytics - "However, that doesn't mean those digital ideas aren't important anymore. In fact, each of those ranked as a bit more important this year."

Guhaard Guha, MENG chairman of the board -  "I think there may be a little bit of trepidation, in a sense of people feeling pushed into doing the Web 2.0 thing and maybe thinking, 'I wish it would go away, but I know it won't.'"

Once again what might be a credible research study was devalued for me because of a sensational lead in. What is important is:

1. Not that these executive thought buzz words were tired but it appeared a lack of knowledge about how to best use social media marketing led to "trepidations."

2. To understand that fear often leads to inertia which is the beginning of the spiral down syndrome not the fear itself.

3. These marketing VIPs acknowledged that social media is here to stay. How do you combat fear? With education.

Social media fears are the gizillion pound gorilla in the room. What fears does your organization have when it comes to social media marketing?

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