The Building Blocks of Business and Personal Success

Posted on: 28 Aug 2010
Link: https://empoweringabc.com/2010/08/28/m-is-for-marketing-3-0-social-media-brings-us-full-circle/

The Building Blocks of Business and Personal Success

Posted on: 28 Aug 2010

M is for Marketing 3.0 … Social Media brings us full circle

“Marketing is the process by which companies create customer interest in products or services.” (Wikipedia, Aug. 2010)

A quick look…

Marketing 1.0 – One-to-One. Slow and hard.

Civilization gives rise to the mercantile class. “Marketing” was a shop owner calling out to passers-by trying to tell them about his wares.

Many people would just keeping walking by — but occasionally a new customer might come along, chat with the owner, decide if the product was what he needed, and maybe make a purchase.

Marketing 2.0 – One-to-Many. Industrial Age and Mass Media.

Now we have the ability to mass produce goods, and a tool to send messages to a much wider audience than just those passing in front of a physical store. Marketing becomes impersonal.

Advertisers put messages in front of millions of people, hoping that among them are a few who might actually be interested. To the rest, the messages are just annoying. Image of “marketers” goes down the toilet — they become immoral slimeballs trying to sell us what we don’t need.

Marketing 3.0 – One-on-One. Information Age.

Rather than the “blast and pray” approach of the Industrial/Mass Media age, the Internet and now Social Media allow us to go back to building one-to-one relationships.

Marketers no longer have to spew their message out to millions of disinterested people, thereby annoying them. Now they can actually communicate meaningfully with the segment that may actually benefit from using their product or service.

Heads stuck in the past

People can be slow to change their thinking. Organizations can be even slower to change their ways.

In the late-80’s and early-90’s, I worked in Marketing and Public Relations for about 7 years. These days I work alongside Marketing and PR, and I see that for many of them, their basic thinking has not changed very much from nearly two decades ago. They see the Internet as being just like TV or print.

Sure, the tools have gotten better. Keyword advertising allows marketers to place ads in front of a more targeted audience. Banner ad systems can be aimed at special interest groups. But it is still one-to-many, and people are very good at ignoring advertising on web pages.

Social Media Gold Rush

They have seen the big shiny object and their eyes sparkled.
Like in the days of the California Gold Rush, many people went chasing after big dreams. Very few people were successful.

These days everyone wants to get onto the Social Media bandwagon. “How can we do something viral?” is what I get asked a lot. “How can we run this ad campaign using Social Media?” is another.

Social Media is like a new Gold Rush for businesses. But so far very few have been successful at it.

It doesn’t work that way anymore

Mass media was impersonal simply because the channels did not allow any 2-way communication.

Social Media is all about human interaction. It’s about the absence of controlled messaging. It is a complete break from the Industrial Age media, and marketers need to change their thinking if they want to get into this space.

Let’s face it. People don’t like being marketed to. But they will listen and even engage with you if they are truly interested AND if they feel they can trust what you say.

For companies entering Social Media, some important steps are:

  1. Finding the right audience
  2. Working to understand the rules of that community
  3. Becoming a trustworthy member

… and then maybe they will talk with you.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? Well, it is.

The good news is that most businesses already have the means to do it — their employees.

  • Let them participate in communities related to your products.
  • Let them talk honestly.
  • Stop worrying about whether or not these communications are “on message.”

If your company’s products are good, you should have nothing to hide.


  1. Make sure employees know that they should disclose their relationship to your company.
  2. Make sure employees are aware of company matters they should not talk about online.

Summing it up

The point is that, if businesses want to be involved in Social Media, then marketing fundamentals need to get out of the Industrial Age.

Companies need to work on building one-to-one relationships and establishing their trustworthiness.

From that position you can find new customers and build a loyal following who will gladly use your products and services… and maybe they will even tell their friends about it.

This post was inspired by two other blog posts:

Six Pixels of Separation – “Don’t Be Evil” by Mitch Joel

Ideasicle – “Is There A Marketing Morality Curve?” by Will Burns

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This entry was posted on Saturday, August 28th, 2010 at 11:27 am and is filed under Business, English. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.