I’m learning as much as you right now. If you are a marketer or an advertiser then you need to be talking with your customers and not at them. We have been talking about that for a while now. IDC just came out with a report that says that advertisers are failing miserably at communicating with social net users. Why? Because they are used to pushing shoving? their info and their product down people’s throats. According to IDC:
There are four major reasons why consumers use SNS: to connect and communicate; in response to peer-pressure; for entertainment; and for work-related purposes. Advertising does not factor into consumer motivations.
Ouch. So essentially advertisers still don’t get it. Keep reading, it gets better. IDC continues,
One of the potential benefits of SNS that the advertising industry has discussed is whether peoples’ connections (i.e., whom a user knows or is linked to) could be used for advertising. For instance, publishers could show a car manufacturer’s ads to a user’s contacts because that user’s online behavior has indicated that she is interested in a particular brand of cars. Anecdotally, there has been some indication that this “social advertising” might be more effective than behavioral targeting. However, that idea is stillborn. Of all U.S. Internet users, only 3% would allow publishers to use contact information for advertising. For instance, publishers could show a car manufacturer’s ads to a user’s contacts because that user’s online behavior has indicated that she is interested in a particular brand of cars.
If you have been reading some of the thought leaders in the social media marketing space like a Jason Falls, like a Beth Harte or Amber Naslund or Valeria Maltoni or Paul Chaney– they have stressed the importance of brand champions and community influencers who can shape the decisions and actions of the group or community or social net-naturally.
IDC’s report says that “One of the potential benefits of Social networks is that the advertising industry has discussed is whether peoples’ connections (i.e., whom a user knows or is linked to) could be used for advertising.”
I’m not sure what to think. Should I admonish IDC for putting out a report in which this comes as to no surprise to a lot of us? Or should advertisers be ashamed for not listening to some of the people I mentioned above who so obviously “Get it”? and have been saying what was put out in the report for a long time? A LONG TIME. IDC and advertisers could have saved a lot of grief, time and money just by listening to what is being written and talked about every day online in blogs and on Twitter.
Advertisers need to start listening to the thought leaders in the social media space to start with.