Since the days of the Cluetrain, it is accepted mantra that “markets are conversations”. However, I think this idea only seeped down to the creative and strategy levels in marketing. We really need to start paying more attention to media placement as virtual word-of-mouth.
We’ve always talked about media placement as a physical hole in print space, airtime, website, etc that could be filled with a marketing message. It’s an item that could be pegged to a specific timeframe and a space that worked to achieve maximum reach and frequency and build awareness.
But with feeds, walls, tags, and clouds; there is no past and no future. Just a constant stream.
Studies show the average tweet has a lifespan of only about an hour before it’s pushed down the stream never to be seen again. This stream effect is similar on every other social medium.
So, in essence, you’re now marketing with mayflies.
So what to do?
First comes a fundamental rethinking the idea of media placement and consumption. The same people who laughed and tsked a few years ago about traditional media luddites who couldn’t adapt to a digital world are now having to adapt to a new shift in the media mindset themselves.
We must not just “launch a social media campaign” and dump messages into this constant stream, but we must consider that the individuals consuming the initial marketing messages are also another potential “media buy” that can spread the message further.
It’s a duplicate of the same problem marketers faced when the web first came to force. Converting the company brochure into a website was not a good idea in the 1990s. Converting your digital marketing messages into the social stream is not a good idea today.