Forget Marketing Campaigns, Think Marketing Products
The traditional role of the marketer is to influence buyers at the moments they are considering a purchase. But digital platforms and, more pointedly, social media have spread those moments over wider and wider areas, introduced unexpected advisers from unlikely sources, and managed to both contract and expand the consideration process, making it increasingly expensive for marketers to engage prospects and customers at the right times with the right message.
Companies do not need to be sold that social media matters. According to a recent study by McKinsey & Co., 39 percent of companies already use social media services as their primary digital tool to reach customers, and McKinsey expects that number to increase to 47 percent within four years. But, while marketers are embracing social media channels, they are not embracing social media thinking, pushing for bragging rights on “likes” and “followers” rather than looking for ways to engage.
In the B2B space, marketers can leapfrog Social Media Marketing Version 1.0 by building “marketing products” instead of “marketing campaigns.” Social Media Marketing Version 2.0 should integrate social’s ability to foster dialogue with mobile’s always-on connectivity to create products that customers find truly useful. This goes beyond the largely transactional task of managing the customer experience to winning long-term loyalty through products that build relationships.
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