For all the discussions, Webinars, articles, and blogs on social media, we always seem to come back to traditional marketing questions.
And so on.
Valid questions, all. But I wonder if they are, in fact, the right questions.
Social media platforms are something new in the marketing universe.
The Internet and social media combine the essential elements of two previous paradigm shifting revolutions: The invention of movable print with the Gutenberg Press created an unprecedented democratization of access to information. And the development of the national Interstate Highway System in the US significantly diminished the importance of geography in creating and maintaining relationships while producing a truly national marketplace. The Internet has taken access to information and the shrinking of distance, modern “givens,” to a whole new level, re-inventing the concept of marketplace as both without physical boundaries and delimited by self-defined interests and communities.
Social media networks and communities of like interest are both broader (geography no longer matters at all) and more fluid than they have ever been. And this is particularly true for the “millennial” generation, people who have grown up in an electronic world without borders or boundaries.
We need to ask some more basic questions, I think, before we can determine how to most effectively market in this brave new world and before we can realistically start to determine its ROI.
So what should we be asking? Well, for example:
I’m sure you can add some important questions of your own. (And I hope you will.) Please contact me and share your ideas so I can add them to this dynamic list.
Right now, though, one of the few things I am sure of is that we won’t be able to answer the traditional business questions of ROI, avenues of revenue growth, or where to place our limited marketing time and dollars if we don’t ask–and answer–these new questions.