Written by

Andrew Millar


February 9, 2009

OK, This is my last ‘witter’ about Social Marketing. (*That is an attempted pun on ‘twitter’ but it failed badly…)

It seems to be a trait with us humans to see the latest as the greatest. I mean we heard that video will be the death of cinemas. TV will televise, live and direct, the demise of radio. And that the internet will destroy newspapers.… Actually this is almost true, the internet has summarily killed off journalism as a profession and therefore newspapers are baron and desolate, devoid of anything worth reading.

And so… interactive media or social marketing is being touted as the ‘new’ most effective way to reach your audience. According to major players, everyone that has money to spend is ‘online’ 24/7 on the likes of Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and that total and complete waste of time ‘Twitter’. (So when are they spending their money?) The CEO of MySpace made a very aggressive marketing pitch at a recent conference. She said “’I said to Qantas recently: you need to be here because these people will grow up to become Managers and key users of Business Class…”’. Not if they spend 24/7 chatting about nothing on Twitter they won’t!

And that seems to be the point of my objection to what was being touted. Both MySpace and Facebook were openly aiming at a specific target audience who were too young to have money to spend and both sites had no plans to grow along with them. And both presenters still talked in terms of demographics that I took as proof positive that they were unsure where all this was going to end up.

While it seems that ‘online’ social marketing is new and faddish, as a writer of advertising, we’ve always tried to build an element of social marketing into every ad created. Let’s call it ‘Coffee Machine Marketing’ or ‘Water Cooler Marketing’ where the aim is to have your ad talked about the next day.

Call me old fashioned but I think that’s best done face to face.

Actually Facebook, rather than connect me, seems to constantly remind me of the friends I don’t have…

*Verb: (Chiefly Brit) informal to chatter or babble pointlessly or at unnecessary length [origin unknown]