Don’t forget the nuance!

OK, we get it. Social media, be nice to others, engage in dialog, all that. But how about some nuance. Is the Social Marketing model really for everyone? And why are/should some businesses or categories be included/excluded? That is what I miss in todays debates.

Commenting on the persuasion.ism blog on their excellent post Manners for the Modern Brand™, I find myself repeating some of the stuff I have been writing on the comments of a couple of blogs lately. That there is a difference between what Dan Ariely defines as the Social Norm, often called Web 2.0 Marketing and the Marketing Norm, which is similar to traditional one-way marketing.

As I write on the persusion.ism blog:

    The social norm seems very close to the bare scrapings you present here. While the Marketing Norm is very close to the “traditional” state of running a business.

    Now Ariely claims that if a company is to enter the Social Norm this would put immense expectations and demands on EVERYTHING the company does, it’s not enough to just unleash a blog or behave nicely in some arenas.

    Connecting this with what I perceive to be the main point of Seth Godins book Meatball Sundae, in which he states that the “new marketing” isn’t for everybody. It demands changes to everything the business is concerned with, not merely slapping on “some nice” in some of the interfaces between the business and the customer. It needs new business models and new employer cultures.

The most important part comes at the end, where I love the fact that we spend a lot of time and energy on exploring and understanding the social Norm, but we seem to ignore that the old model most likely still will apply to a lot of businesses, and that we need not only to understand the gravity of new marketing, but also who, how and why businesses should change or stay the same. From the same comment:

    So, as much as I love the contributions of excellent thought such as yours to this debate, I still feel that some more attention should be put on the businesses that are in situations where the Social Norm just don’t apply. Who are these businesses, what defines them, why are they or their business category different. Are they really stuck and why?
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One Comment

  1. August 26
    Reply

    Helge, thanks for the challenge. I left this comment over on my blog, too… it seems inescapable that if we can and do all talk about our good and bad experiences with businesses, experiences, people, etc etc, then there is less anonymity than before. And so, no matter what type of business, you are forced to conduct yourself a little differently.
    So on that level, good manners are for everybody, whether you’re a mass brand delving into social media, or a highly specialized b-to-b.
    True, there are many, many businesses that do not need to publicize themselves in the larger social realm. Perhaps for them, anonymity still exists (I wonder though).
    I guess my overall point is that it doesn’t seem to be a matter of choice. Because WE are social, so are the things we discuss. The old model will be predominant for many years, and will run parallel to anything else that is new for many more, but even the most old school of brands has to figure out how to deal with the new reality, because that reality is now.

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