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Rebel yell against “social media”?

Posted on | December 5, 2009 | No Comments

Per definition, every contemporary trend and every norm spawns rebellion. Once a “new” thing is recognized and adopted by enough brands and marketers, the sensitive elite needs to distance itself from it and gaze towards something else, the rebellion starts again. F..k the mainstream as local Swedish trend law stipulates.

Since the late 90´s the noble discipline of marketing has been blessed with, and cursed by, new technological opportunities. CRM was the first wave that actually made its way to the board room agendas. Promises like Single customer view, life-time-value and one-to-one swarmed like grasshoppers and billions of dollars were invested. Unfortunately very seldom with any return at all. Why? Technology is not to be regarded  as a strategic advantage unless you are Intel or Oracle. Simply put, CRM gave brands the possibility to listen, analyze and react to the needs and views of individual customers as well as segments. But unless you are really WILLING… to act on what you learn, you are pumping your money into a black hole.

Now CRM is no longer a “thing”, parts of it actually have found their way into good use. Many new “things” have emerged and submerged since then. Internet 3.0 or Social Media is the new black now. Again: [ Technology foremost and primarily represents new tools to interact with your market! ] It is not a new core value, just another chord in your voice. Brands that use social media as “another fresh and yet un-cluttered channel” will fail, as they violate trust. Those brands that are willing and capable to accept a trust-based relationship with their markets and customers will surely gain benefits in customer insights and even in direct increased sales.

But what is the rebel yell following the era of great customer-respecting, sensitive and customer engaging brands? I can see the trend elite in a year directing their blogs towards cool brands that don´t give a rats ass about what their customers say, need or want. Brand that quite simply do what they want, buy it or fuck off. Does that mean that Ryanair will be the tattoo logo of choice in 2011? Does it mean that a facebook presence is the suicide of cool? Probably and hopefully not. Again, technology is just a tool that in some cases makes a good and clever business easier or more efficient, quite often by improving communication with the customers. Anybody who tells you differently is just taking a shot at the precious marketing budget that you nearly died trying to save from the claws of a thousand Marketing 5.0 evangelists.

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