Social Media is Dead, Long Live Target Marketing

August 10th, 2011 by Matthew Rosenhaft Leave a reply »

I have spent the last couple of years evangelizing social media and its various flavors; social business, social marketing, enterprise community, social CRM, etc. I can officially say that the “newness” is over, kaput, finished, and has officially kicked the bucket. If you haven’t “done” social media by now, don’t bother. In some markets, we are seeing so much content being generated, you might as well go back to pumping out press releases and spamming email lists as you will have better odds of getting someone to respond. Having a twitter, facebook, linkedin company, etc account does not buy you anything. Worse, if you spend a ton of money with your agency on these free accounts, you are throwing away good money.

I am also not just talking consumer, either. Many BtoB markets are saturated, as well. CRM is mentioned every minute on social platforms. There are 20,000 CRM videos on YouTube. Just as an aside, what do you do beyond #3?

I saw some spam email that said the average buyer reviews 11 different social sources to make a decision. Now, I found it highly ironic that they used a spam email to send me that factoid and find it even more amusing that I can’t remember the name of the company having deleted the email, but recalled the factoid.

Couple this with the fact that direct marketing channels across the board are getting diminishing returns and we are seeing a pattern emerge. We have talked about buyers being overwhelmed with cheap messaging and are tuning out irrelevant crap, but now we are saying that the social channels are seeing the same.

Now, you can stop here with justification as to why you shouldn’t do “social media” from a company called Social Gastronomy, but you will miss the “rest of the story…” to quote the late Paul Harvey.

Target marketing is even more critical than ever. To break through the noise, you have to be relevant, credible, trusted, introduced, timely, and focused on their needs. This isn’t a social thing, but rather a buyer thing. Get it? Buyers are empowered, overwhelmed, skeptical, and rather fed up with crappy service, both in pre-sales and post sales. We should put together a BUYERS BILL OF RIGHTS…

1. You have the right to only receive information that helps you become a better consumer, not sell you more stuff you don’t need to make my numbers.

2. You have a right to transparency in comparisons, pricing, competition, features, value, customer service, billing, packaging, and quality.

3. You have a right to our best work at the best pricing available in the market.

4. You have a right to a timely response to address issues that arise in the consumption of our offering.

5. You have a right to talk to our other customers to get a real good idea of how we really deliver

6. You have a right to simple explanations, free of confusing and misleading terminology.

7. You have a right to expect continuous improvement from us. We are the experts, we should continually strive to make it better.

8. You have a right to engage with us in public forums to ensure that we say the same things in public as we do in private.

9. You have the right to expect us to engage with market thought leaders and other industry insiders to validate our credibility within the market.

10. You have the right to expect that when we send you information or contact you, it is in your best interest and will be high-value, high-touch, and relevant to your needs.

Not really about social, but best practices in providing world-class service. World-class service providers don’t waste your time with slick marketing collateral that doesn’t really help you, but is designed to catch you eye or distract you from the fact that their isn’t really any meaningful difference between competitive products, but we want you to pay a premium value for our “brand”.

Target marketing is understanding that even though we have the same characteristics, we don’t have the same needs. Context matters, credibility matters, and so does relevancy. If you leverage social media as just another channel, then you are just contributing to the noise in the market.

If you realize that you have a complex buyer with varying motivations, time frames, and influences; you realize that you need to personalize those interactions to best support that buyer’s unique requirements and processes. If you are targeting based upon who would receive the best value from our offering while providing the best decision support; in short, you are the easiest to do business with…..

We all know that world-class service, easiest to business with, with the best reputation will trump big money, flash creative, and brand… target marketing and world-class service never go out of style…

Matthew Rosenhaft

Matthew is a Social Marketing Executive and is co-founder of Social Gastronomy, LLC and the Social Executive Council. Prior to founding Social Gastronomy, Matthew has over 18 years’ experience as an executive in marketing, product management, and sales. Matthew has an extensive background in the SaaS Software, Social Media, Mobile, IT Services, and Telecom industries. He has prior entrepreneurial experience as a founder and executive in several early-stage venture-backed technology companies, as well as, holds several US patents for a mobile marketing technology. Matthew is a prominent blogger and regular industry speaker on social marketing and strategy topics. Matthew’s blog can be found at www.socialgastronomy.com/blog. For more information on Matthew, you can check out his LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/rosenhaft or contact him directly at mrosenhaft@socialgastronomy.com.

  • Paula Londe

    You said it so much better than I have been LOVE the bill of rights and will be sharing it will colleagues as I work on a marketing plan.

    Thanks!!!

  • Jgreene391

    I wouldn’t say that Social Media is dead. What is happening many individuals are trying to apply traditional marketing thinking to Social media and the end result can seem like more of the same. This is especially true on LinkedIn where almost every group I joined is now crowded by people asking questions for the sake of asking questions…. basically they are standing up in the crowd and saying Look At Me. Social Media like all new disruptive technology is maturing and morphing. It is a powerful tool that will continue to draw strong interest. I am sure that those who have miss-used this medium are not experiencing the immediate return for their efforts and soon will leave social media. But is that all part of evolution?