Beware the Social Media Marketing Rathole and Re-Focus on 5 Key Business Disciplines

“If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” – David Ogilvy

I just read an interesting post on ad agency focus in the Web 2.0 world by DJ Francis of Online Marketer Blog. The article elaborates on what David Ogilvy said about creativity so many years ago. Year after year, I come back to this philosophical kernel: sales is where the rubber meets the road. We often get so distracted with the fun, new-fangled social media marketing tools like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Yet, marketing and advertising are ultimately about sales. So, yes, those tools are useful channels for communication. But, if they aren’t used with sales in mind, their ROI is difficult to measure.

With respect to agencies, Web 2.0, social media marketing, etc. will make a lot of dough for many agencies. People love the new communication channels and fun Web-based software tools. For many, however, this will be a money pit, a dazzling show and wheel spinning exercise. If not taken seriously, these types of efforts will get many agencies fired. No measurable ROI and they’ll be shown the door.

Social media marketing exercises can be a major distraction. Businesses need to realize that these tools and “strategies” are merely communication channels. That’s it! Nothing else has changed. If you’re not delivering the goods through those channels, you’re not going to move the sales needle. And by “goods” I mean the following:

  • Prospecting and lead-gen. Do your social media marketing efforts produce fruitful leads? Or have you deluded yourself into thinking that you’re “building a brand” by socializing. Heck, even Coke has to sell soda.. eventually.
  • Persuasion. Remember the line from Glenn Gary Glenn Ross – “A-I-D-A. Attention, Interest, Decision, Action. Attention– Do I have you attention? Interest– Are you interested? I know you are, because it’s shit or walk. You close or you hit the bricks. Decision– Have you made your decision for Christ? And Action.” Persuasion takes many forms… but I just love that line from the movie. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the guy to read if you’re really interested in persuasion research and reality.
  • Closing. You have to make promises, and provide compelling calls to action and offers. Like Vince Vaughan’s character says in “Wedding Crashers” – “Now get out there and close some ass.”
  • Deliver value. Pure and simple – the product has to be a winner.
  • Customer service. Every good solution, product or service has to be supported by supreme customer service. Make sure the right processes and people are in place.

Remember, “business” still has to happen. Don’t get distracted by socializing for socializing’s sake. Yes, business is a social activity, but value has to be added and profit has to be made.


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