Marketing and Research Consulting for a Brave New World
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Marketing organizations need to ask the question of themselves, “Who owns social media?” Social media is at the intersection of PR, advertising, customer care, and consumer insights, so who owns it? I mean that both in the sense of within the marketing organization and also in the ecosystem. Furthermore, whoever owns it will accept a huge responsibility and must transform to deliver on this trust. Advertising must become welcomed. PR must turn into dialogue with digital society as much or more than with the press. Customer care must become a touchpoint which means they become part of a holistic marketing culture. Research must embrace conversation and listening in addition to traditional methods. Perhaps all of these functions will somehow break down the silos and jointly encourage customer conversation.

One point I want to make is that some readers might say, “Who owns social media? it’s the consumer of course!” Maybe yes and maybe no. A phrase that many use is “the consumer is in control”. An anthropologist who the ARF works with, Dr. bob Deutsch’s response to that was refreshing. He said, “Are you kidding? They’re not in control any more than marketers are. They’re just living their lives moment to moment!” That was a great wakeup call to those who see much more order to things than really exist. People are just as confused as marketers are! Well, at least we’re in good company…

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One Response to “Who owns social media?”

  1. Deutsch’s observation is thought-provoking. If social media is all about the conversation, then “control” lies in the ability to engage and be engaging, no? In which case, we all have a certain amount of control — consumers and marketers — but a mutual interest is necessary for it to mean anything.