Social Marketing – Use At Your Own Risk

In 1 on August 30, 2009 at 1:24 am

cubeThe launch of the Nissan Cube, engineered by Capital C of Toronto is a classic case of using a new medium with an old marketing mindset. This article from Marketing Magazine outlines what went well and what went off the rails. I’m more interested in why it went that way.

I speak to all who will listen about the transformation of thinking that is required (not just nice to have) in order to thrive in the Google Era. If we simply apply a mass marketing mentality to a one-to-one marketplace we are going to be line-dancing to a fast tango track. People will notice. The best way we have explained this is our Hunt AND Be Hunted theory. I will explain.

When large media firms control access to the highly sought “eyeballs”, charging hefty dollars for access, our only option is to SPEND, HUNT and HOPE – that is spend a lot in advertising, promotion and sales efforts,  hunt for customers constantly, and hope they remember us when it comes time to buy. An inefficent system for sure, but in a mass marketing world, that was all we had. Enter the Google Era. Now when consumers need something, they search online, do their homework and make their decision. Marketing is simple in this era – you are either there when they search, or you are not. If you are not, your competition gets the sale.

So the shift in mindset is fundamental: ask yourself how can I make it easier for consumers to find me when they want me? We no longer have to spend a fortune to chase millions in order to do enough business with a handful of prospects. Have you learned to BFOUND? Have you made the marketing mindshift needed to not create a situation like Nissan and Capital C? Perhaps the mess they made was due to applying a mass marketing mentality to execute a one-to-one conversation with millions of people. We must realize they are individuals. They can be a fan – or they can tell their communities about their negative experience. Social media – use at your own risk, but you have a much better chance if you make the mental shift and learn to be real with people, instead of the old corporate-speak we have been used to.


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