Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Communication, a Media Invasion

I was talking with some of my colleagues from the Silicon Valley American Marketing Association (SVAMA) yesterday and we were speculating on social media and how this arena is changing traditional media. Michael was saying that it's actually not true that current media replaces old media--it just gets re-innovated. Radios didn't get replaced by Walkmans, and even though we don't use the old tapes format anymore, we don't listen to music any differently than we did after Walkman. And books haven't gotten replaced by things like the Kindle or Sony e-Reader and so far, it doesn't seem like they will. It's almost impossible to have a true "paperless office" even with cool tools made by Google Apps and Zoho but one thing that remains true is that innovation is constant and changing.

I'm no expert, but some good conclusions came out of our group conversation, but I keep noticing some of the same themes. The group I was speaking with were fairly knowledagable about social media. But in general, a lot of marketers aren't sure how social media works and there a lot of fear surrounding blogs, social networks and such to use them as a marketing tool. I think we just need to get back to basics and remember some marketing 101: who is your target market and will the tools you want to use serve your business/marketing objectives?

Of course, it's easier said than done, so feel free to post your thoughts on social media approaches and/or the latest trends in technology innovation that you see.

1 comment:

Michael Scadden said...

I like your thoughts on the subject of social media. Part of the reason that even most professional marketers don't fully understand social media is because of our old friend fear. It would be nice to think that everyone could share in a social arena, but the reality is that it is not for everyone.
Take public speaking for example. In most surveys it ranks higher in fear than cancer, heart disease, AIDS, or death. This creates an avoidance behavior that prevents the average person from truly understanding the process and benefits of exposing yourself in front of a group. As a result, incomplete understanding of such a discipline exists. Social media/blogging or any other two-way communication outlet is no different in terms of personal risk. Individuals or companies have to weigh the benefit/payoff ratio before jumping in. Personally, I believe boldness will reward those who fully utilize the new tools web 2.0 presents, but it comes down to personal choice. Me? I love the concept and opportunity of direct communication with those receptive to what I have to offer. It is a wonderful time for gregarious marketing professionals.