Why Social Media? For Customer Centricity’s Sake

March 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

March 30, 2011.  I had an epiphany today (yesterday really at this point). It is a simple one based on a comment I heard from a major organization: “I am tired of hearing about social…what is the point.”  Well, here is the point…if you are a consumer focused company than you have to care about social media. Why…85% of American does. In fact, turn the table for one minute…in an era of fairly intense competition why should consumers care about you if you are not willing to “hang out” where they are?

So my epiphany is this – as an organization, stop saying you are customer centric if you don’t care about interacting with customers in the channels they prefer. If 15 years ago a new company was created with a particular bent for reaching audiences across the USA and the CMO said…”why should we use TV?” They would probably be laughed out of a job.  I am going to make a bold comment that social media is not far off from this.

Here is the simple truth…years of market mix modeling show that using multiple channels in a well coordinated fashion is effective. Social media is without a doubt a channel that needs to be added to the mix. Almost a quarter of all media impressions happened within the social media space and that will likely grow. As a brand marketer…you have to be in this game.

On the other side of the argument. I will concede that getting into the game is not easy. It requires a different effort than producing a spot, buying media, and watching a lift on sales or brand awareness. However, if you are the Martin Agency I would guarantee that work they are doing with Discover and Geico not only feels better since they are integrating social and traditional media, but they are creating brand experiences that are far more sticky. Here are two examples:

Example of Geico Integrating Tradition Media into YouTube

Discover Integrating Traditional Media Campaign into Facebook

As a conclusion and parting thought…adaptive marketers like the Martin Agency have stopped asking why and have started focusing on “how.” Companies focusing on these questions today (and those that also happen to have good products and service) will quickly trump their peers who sit on the sideline trying to answer the question of “why.”


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