• http://www.skypulsemedia.com/ Howie at Sky Pulse Media

    Nice post here Jay. I actually think while Social Media is a Revolution in Interpersonal Communication Technology, it isn’t for marketing. And I think the Industry has conned brands into thinking it is. Yes we can use Social to create Brand Ambassadors. I have done this for clients. But 4 out of 5 US consumers will not be using Social Media today and the ones that do each have less than 5 Brand relationships. So for a Brand to be arrogant and assume they will be in that less than 5 is not a good assumption.

    This doesn’t mean they can’t leverage Social Media to their benefit because I have seen some great examples. They should be using it as an additional channel to reach people as long as the channel exists. We have no idea what will be in 10 years and if Social winds up eventually excluding Brand Marketing one day. I also agree with your silo premise where often we look at ourselves and think everyone is like us. I also think anyone who is advising on Social Media has to have experience building a following and fan base for a client and not just themselves so they have proof of their concepts. Being a successful social media brand as a person has zero correlation for someone trying to build the same for an actual business.

  • Christina Pappas

    This is common problem with professionals and its hard to get them to see beyond themselves. Perfect example with the social media reference you made. If they are not on Twitter, they don’t believe their buyers are. Big mistake. Any advice on convincing the ‘powers that be’?

    This week I had the chance to meet with a few magazinze publication editors in the UK and was shocked that they do not want to offer their readers a digital edition. They themselves admitted they love to pick up and read a magazine. Is that really fair to readers who like digital formats? Or want to read it on their iPad for example?

  • http://www.postadvertising.com Jon Thomas

    Intriguing stuff Jay. Especially that first point, which was what I received as pushback when I wanted to start implementing social media at my former employer (an internet security company) two years ago. Dan Zarella has also been leaking some info from his forthcoming Science of Blogging webinar about when most people comment. We tend to believe that everyone comments while working, but the best day of the week to get comments is actually Saturday.

  • Anonymous

    Great post–was just talking about the B2B misconception the other day with a potential client. Business contacts are on social media in every industry! I’ve found them in some very traditional industries before. It just takes a little time to find them.

    And as to Howie’s post below, social media works for marketing, but not unless it’s used as a brand ambassador tool yet. It’s all about getting what you give–you can’t just use social media for self promotions. Promote others, so they will promote you in turn. Unpaid promotion by others=the most credible, authoritative marketing you can get.

  • http://twitter.com/be3d Ian Greenleigh

    Hi Jay-

    To build on your thoughts here, I think the customer is often idealized in a counterproductive way. In other words, if we are a leading/bleeding-edge company, we are used to progressive thinking, taking risks, and early adoption. So, naturally, we assume others are just like this and we should sell to this idealized (though normal to us) customer, when we’re selling to a phantom.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Excellent point Ian. As my first real boss told me, “never overestimate the intelligence or interest of the customer.”

  • Rhondahurwitz1

    Cautionary tale: for a local promotion directed to the real estate industry, I ASSUMED that local Realtors would be best reached online, because their customers are online and technology has really transformed the industry. Turns out, snail mail and grass roots outreach was much more effective for this group. The rank and file is online, but only a small core has embraced social media for business. I was the one with the blinders…since I am social, I assumed they would be too. Jay, good advice as usual. Others: be especially aware of customer groups who do not look like you in terms of their social graph. I think we all may have that blind spot.

    • Anonymous

      Good points. Another thing to think about–is building a new relationship with someone who is active online more valuable than a relationship with someone who is not? Which customer is going to have a stronger, more easily reached network of word of mouth referrals?

      • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

        Excellent point Tracy. Companies like Klout are trying to measure this
        effect, but it’s very complicated, especially measuring real world,
        offline influence.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Thanks for the very smart comment Rhonda. I appreciate the validation
      of the principle.

  • Mark Schaefer

    There was a calssic HBR article on executive intuition, basically claiming that there definitely is such a thing. However I’m with you that what we thought we knew is probably all wrong. I start every single customer engagement with research/interviews of their customers and we find some startling insight every time. In one case, a client resisted any move into social media because of a lack of interest by their customers. However research revealed this was their number one concern and priority for 2010. The president’s assumption was completley wrong.

    This is a great time to test those assumptions thoroughly — before your competition does. The world has changed dramatically.

    Thanks for the great post, Jay.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Thanks for the excellent comment. I’m not anti-intuition. But
      especially in digital, where almost all hypotheses are testable,
      relying on intuition alone is a dereliction of duty.

  • http://www.margieclayman.com Marjorie Clayman

    boy, you have a lot of snazzy new doodads over here on your site! Vedy nice!

    The marketing world is rife with assumptions. In addition to the ones you list here, there are countless more. “I assume people in the industry will “get” this.” “I assume people know our brand, so we can go wild and crazy now.” “I assume I can use my blog or my Twitter account however I see fit, and it’ll work.”

    The assumptions that are driving me nuts right now are those that are creating the “is dead’ phenomenon. Someone increases their face-to-face business, so therefore B2B marketing is dead. Someone’s clients are steering away from print advertising. Therefore both print and advertising are dead.

    The world is shrinking, but peoples’ experiences are not lining up 100% the same, at least not yet.

    An important lesson to remember.

  • http://twitter.com/rideboulderco Jennifer S Roberts

    Great advice and thanks for referencing each of the studies to substantiate your thinking. I wonder how this type of research may change the way we promote and share information. If individuals are looking at their Facebook accounts in the evenings and weekend, how will that impact the working hours of social media professionals. Additionally, the expected weekend activity drop-off will no longer be viewed as quite so benign when you begin to realize that your customers are engaging elsewhere with other companies that are available. The best recommendation you give is “to test it”, which is really the only way to know if we are reaching our customers.

  • http://www.lorirtaylor.com/ LoriRTaylor

    I think the bigger point here that you touch on is simple. You are NOT your customer. Ever. Even if you love golf, and are trying to build a golf business, your customer still just likes to golf – and that’s what they care about. Not building your golf business. A special reminder from a direct response nut case – “What’s in it for ME” means them – the customer. :)

  • http://www.techwek.com Ashwin Jain

    well the scenario here in India is quite different and what all u mention is suitable only for a very small mass..

  • letstalkandchat

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