I have been giving my looks upon social marketing on a danish blog ( sorry in danish only guys) lately, I have been elaborating on it over and over again in my head and I have a couple of points I would like to discuss here on my own blog. Now if you decide to let go of the control of your brand and start using the involvement and the engagement as a marketing tool (a couple of campaigns lately has done that – without the “best” outcome for the brand – skittles, starbucks, motrin, slideshare etc.) The problem is that people on the business side of life see this as a failed marketing campaign. Heck “fail” is probably the box they normally put these things of “oh people did not act around the brand the way I expected”.
From a consultants side of the table, on of the first things I would encourage companies to is to let go of the control and start putting their content where people already where. Places like facebook, youtube, digg and one the 10.000 other social media and web 2.0 tools out there.
But seriously is it still a discussion about control ? – well not really – not in my eyes for sure. Is it about failing ? Nah. it’s about companies getting their act together and start doing cool stuff. It’s about not seeing a campaign as a failure because you achieve getting people to engage in a brand, but then they don’t engage in the brand doing only good stuff. Some of the stuff they do with your brand might be pretty scary shit for the management of the company, it might be scary for business as usual. But seriously if you can get in the attention stream of people and having them spending 10 minutes taking anti-pictures of your brand – you don’t have to see this campaign as a failure, you should see it as something that you seriously need to adress.
In my view there is no magic middle for companies to lie in the sun and make money with no opinion and nothing to stand for anymore. Motrin got their ass kicked pretty bad with their motrin mommy ad (I as a mother cannot see how the commercial could air, because in short it is offensive and disrespectful to mothers) – but if that’s what they stand for, fine by me, I just wouldn’t buy their products. Other people would probably.
My point is, that there’s no magic place in the sun – where people don’t have opinions about you anymore, either people will think you rock or they will think you suck. Sucking is to be taken seriously because it shows that some people think that your existence as a company – well basically shouldn’t beÂ (rockin’ is for partying hard and being cool – and do more rockin stuff and being cooler)…
Engaging people makes you wiser, for good or bad, it shows you what you really need to work on as a company – especially over time.