A change in Customer Context

Categories:Social Media

Social business is not like anything else you have done. Social media rarely works if you approach it in the same way as traditional marketing and sales.

Well, when I say traditional…I mean post mad men era!

Social media is the traditional form of connection. It reverts back to the traditional, traditional way of doing business pre the second world war…it is human in nature, it is conversational in tone, it is subtle in nature.

My grandad was a farmer and he sold his produce through a network of people who knew his methods and how he farmed. He knew them, he drank with them…he was friends with them…they needed each other to survive. Interesting…..as I believe my grandad would say to me, "Social media? What's new about that!"

It is all about context. Much the same way as music has changed due to where it is played (Great read by David Byrne – How Music Works) marketing has changed due to the context of how it is consumed.

Traditional orchestral pieces are performed in a hall with a quiet audience listening – much like the old 30 second spot before Tivo or Sky.

Modern music is listened to on the move, it is a different structure…more bass, less intricacies, more bridges, less strings. Again this is like social media consumption.

Marketing is not special, it is just like other parts of the world…music, manufacturing, training etc that has had to adapt to a social, mobile world.

So here is a tip..

Mad men marketing, 'traditional marketing' was great for a captive audience age who needed to know about what is available.

Social media is not anything about technology, it is about understanding that the captive audience is no longer…your 'audience' is mobile, your audience is seeking you  or at least your possible solution to their problem. Where Grandad would ask in the pub, today we ask in a network…..today we ask Google.

So social media is not about a change in marketing, it is about a change in the context in which marketing operates.


Anna has spent over 20 years as a Board Director at several global brands. She now runs her own company The Engaging Brand which supports business leaders who want to transition to the new social business model. She is also a speaker, writer and radio show presenter on social business, indeed her podcast The Engaging Brand has been nominated 6 years running as Best Business Podcast at the Podcast Awards. She brings an unusual mix of experience to business - she has a 1st Class Law Degree, MBA in marketing and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. This unusual mix means not just explaining the why of being social but how to turn social into a measurable business tactic to grow your bottom line. Her blog www.theengagingbrand.com is recognised as one of the leading UK marketing blogs.

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