It’s a retort I’ve given to my wife, family, and friends many times. I’ve also, rather frustratingly, had to issue it to senior marketers far too many times. For reasons I cannot fathom, Social Media is still badged by some as being for the kids, or the cool brands, or the consumer brands. Sadly, too many influential businesses leaders Social Media is just an afterthought. It’s the ‘place we’ll display that photograph the team having lunch’.

Many smart people have risen to the top of the marketing profession and managed to do so without evolving their knowledge of Social Media and understanding the potent impact it’s having on both industry and your rival brands. It’s not a dark art that only a fifteen-year-old can fathom. It’s a critical marketing channel driving brand awareness, brand consideration, and influencing customer and consumer spend.

 

As Henry Ford said, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” And there are many global corporations who are still living this mantra. “Traditional marketing has always worked well for our business. Social isn’t for us!” or words to that effect. These are organisations led by people who think society isn’t going to continue to evolve. Despite industry communications being wholly different to just a decade ago, let alone two decades ago. Still, they continue to market how they’ve always done it. Completely blind to the key point Henry Ford, and many other successful business people since Henry’s era have realised. You have to evolve and innovate. You must try new concepts. You have to embrace the possibility of failing at something, because, eventually, you’ll land on a new concept so impactful it will not only transform your business but potentially safeguard it from market threats.

Henry Ford knew things needed to change. Whilst society needed to drastically reduce their travel time, faster horses wasn’t the answer. Had Henry Ford not embraced his mantra, horses (whether faster or not) is all society would have received.

 

Here’s the kicker. Embracing Social Media isn’t anywhere near as transformative as the move from horse-drawn to the automobile. Your businesses don’t have to re-engineer society’s thinking or behaviours to embrace Social Media – they’re already immersed in it across an array of platforms.

Sitting in a meeting and saying “well, I’ve never bought anything having seen an advert on Facebook. It doesn’t work!” is the same as you saying “well, I’ve never bought anything having seen an advert on TV. It doesn’t work!” Or, “I’ve never bought anything having seen an ‘Out of Home’ advert. It doesn’t work!” I could go on, but you get my point.

Marketing is about influencing the ‘recency effect’ with potential customers or consumers. Helping our audience to remember, or recall, our product or service.

Why did you buy the car you have? Why did you choose your next holiday destination? Brand consideration spans every industry, consumer or B2B. Brand consideration happens once a buyer is aware of your brand’s proposition. My point, Brand Awareness is the first stage of influence. Today, Social Media is one of, if not the most influential channel, delivering the most impact with the least wastage. As a business leader, you’re duty bound to either explore or refute this statement. I dare you. Upon exploration, I dare say you’ll be giving me a call to understand more.

At immediate future, we’re blessed to work with many forward-thinking marketers. People who appreciate the impact Social Media has been having for the past decade. These are some of industries smartest people. In the main, they absolutely didn’t understand the intricacies of Social Media or how to devise a fit-for-purpose go-to-market and go-to-business social strategy. Nor did they know the finer points of how to structure their Always-On and campaign content. They knew they needed to evolve their businesses marketing. They knew they needed to do things differently. To break new ground. To find their inner Henry Ford.

These marketers don’t cock around on social for a living. They’re delivering smart and impactful social media marketing programmes. By doing this, they get to cock around at award dinners whilst being applauded for their endeavours and successes.

 

It’s time to join the party!

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