Monday, August 17, 2009

Developing Social Strategy: Choose Wisely

As marketers grope to communicate with consumers using relatively new and exciting tools, agencies are trying to sell the story of social media products and services to marketers. These social media products and services come in a variety of forms - methodologies, software packages, websites, and plain old elbow grease.

Most of them are a complete waste of time.

As I survey the social landscape sprinkled with a light coating of "solutions" I get a sinking feeling that the noise is drowning out a very important point: the reason social technology has become so prevalent is the human desire to communicate. When coupled with technological innovations people can now exchange information with greater efficiency. That can't be quantified in a buzz word, a trademark, or a fancy looking online package. It's a simple - yet incredibly deep - notion that now permeates our daily lives.

Smart companies understand the secret to moving forward lies in activities that work with consumer behavior rather than against it. That isn't really a secret at all - it's just good business. Marketers who understand the unmet needs of their consumers and seek to fill those needs with transparency and forward thinking communications across all channels will become powerhouses of efficiency within the next two years.

Selecting the right partner to develop social strategy is the first step; choose wisely. Dig deeper and look beyond the buzz words and slogans - what makes a social agency or consultant tick? Is it the passion for a more meaningful marketing future in which brands and consumers get along, or is it a selection of tips, tricks, and disparate tactics to eke by?

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