The truth about about the challenges of marketing in the social media age

I have heard it said a lot that as brand marketing practitioners our job is harder than ever before, especially with social media so important in the mix.  That we have more channels to use, but more cynical audiences to reach.  That doesn’t sound far off the mark to me.   But no one ever goes on to say why it is supposedly harder, they normally show this type of picture (below) instead and look a bit downcast and hard-done-by…

So here are eleven reasons why I think it might just be harder for marketeers- no generalised pics or hang-dog facial expressions included:

  1. The amount of information people are consuming that is not from brands – 250 mb for every person (2008)
  2. So many new ways to engage that brands struggle to keep up with – Quora the latest buzzword – what next?
  3. People are busier than ever- 20% of UK work more than 48 hours a week – “unless I can see it quickly on my smart phone forget it” factor
  4. People EXPECT brand entertainment – honestly, 4x more anti-depressants sold now than 15 years ago!
  5. Mums and women rule for many brands online, but marketers aren’t always sure how to best engage with this disparate audience – no longer stereotypical 1950s housewife…+35 year old women earn more than men (womenomics) and 76% are on facebook
  6. Brands providing “value for money” through online deals, vouchers etc is the new normal, nothing special
  7. Brands are not confident, yet, in using social media to facilitate real world socialization or ultimately real world spend
  8. Transparency is crucial now (not always easy in the smoke and mirrors world of PR) – “prove it, review” it mentality not suited to old school PR
  9. As brands become more and more engaged in social networks, influencers are and will start backing away from those networks and start seeking what is quirky, unusual, different…”authentiseeking”
  10. Some audiences really confuse marketing spend – elderly people…should online spend be put towards engaging them or not brands ask  After all, for brands like Holiday Extras “Grantravel” is a phenomena they must suddenly consider – (that is kids travelling more with their grandparents and less with a mum/dad pairing)
  11. Brands worry that if they step in to sustained long-term social media engagement how frequently will they have “interesting” moments, initiatives, conversation points

My colleague in days past Tim Whirledge recently wrote a post about marketeers as “brand curators”.  And yes I agree marketeers are increasingly this, but wise curation or “editing” as John Lewis marketing call it, takes real talent.  So in this trickier and more exiting marketing age the most capable and innovative of marketeers must don their black framed media glasses and jump ahead.

Please chip in extra points to the list above, if you wish.


One thought on “The truth about about the challenges of marketing in the social media age

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The truth about about the challenges of marketing in the social media age « My Head Revisited --

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