Social Media - Kaleidoscope Marketing

05/31/2010

Kaleidoscope  Social media tools may fall out of favor; but the concept of leveraging the conversational, digital world to engage, educate and energize our customers is here to stay. 

When most people begin to explore social media they usually start from the perception that social media is another marketing channel. What exactly is a marketing channel? Glad you asked. Let's take a look at the American Marketing Association definition: 

A set of institutions necessary to transfer the title to goods and to move goods from the point of production to the point of consumption and, as such, which consists of all the institutions and all the marketing activities in the marketing process.

Wow girlfriend, that's intense. The Product Marketing Handbook by Rick Chapman offers a simpler explanation. A channel to market is the method of getting your product into the customer's (end user's) hand. 

For many marketers that translates to a creating a "campaign." Wrapping social media around a campaign is not a new idea. In 2005, The American Cancer Society used a blog to support its Fabulous at 50 promotion focused on colon cancer education. If you're curious about the strategy and want a look at social media "history" skip over to the interview; I conducted with Lisa Myers Brown, who was VP of Marketing at the time. 

One of the lessons that Lisa shared was ~ It's not enough to build it and hope people will come

That was true for blogs in 2005, it's true for social networks in 2010, and it will be true for the next shiny platform. However, unlike traditional campaigns, social media is not, or should not be, a static set of institutions but a method to open a dialog. To have those conversations with your community .. you have to have a community. 

How to build community that is sustainable and where people are engaged is the $64 zillion dollar question. In Social Media Marketing GPS, Nancy White tweeted, We'll face at least 2SN/Comm challenges: too many options & too many people.Sweet spot develop tools and practices 4 this.

Cookingdotcom email  To help build and promote its Facebook page, Cooking.com created a contest encouraging customers to "Like" .. which of course not only builds the community but promotes it. The campaign began with an eMail invitation to win a $500 Gift Certificate. 

COOKING com facebook app _3
 The Facebook contest landing page provides not only an opportunity to Invite Friends but also collects demographic profile information. Now, I understand the importance of the data but there seems to be something just a teeny disingenuous and old school about the extent of info required before beginning a relationship.

As social media twists and turns, I hope we keep top of mind what my friend Tim Jackson posted on #blogchat .. It takes a community to build a brand. In the age of (digital) conversations how we achieve that may mean viewing marketing "channels" thought a new lens. Perhaps we should call it .. Kaleidoscope Marketing. Just a thought ... 





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Comments

I don't think I could agree that the common perception into social media is just another marketing tool. Facebook and MySpace all started as a platform where you can build your network of friends and possibly meet up long lost old friends you probably thought you'd never see again. At least that was how it was for me when they started. Although, I now agree that is been mainly a marketing tool where they can all spy on their consumers. And I hate those contests on Facebook where you have to subscribe to get something. Most of the time, it's just ploy to get more followers which is a really sneaky move.
So, here are more ways you can use social media for marketing: http://sn.im/wyf2s

Posted by: Megan Zuniga on Jun 3, 2010 7:10:41 AM

We've definitely used social media to help market our company. We don't have a specific 'campaign' but we do try to leverage it as much as we can.

So far it's paid off.

Posted by: Nicole on Jun 3, 2010 11:02:05 AM

@megan yes! what is that saying? what you sow you shall reap or something like that. people who show up only because they might win a prize will help you play the #s game but not much else. for the most part.

@nicole what is working for you?

Posted by: Toby on Jun 9, 2010 12:19:07 AM

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