No One WANTS To Watch Your Advertising, Still

This post in 140 characters or less:  Marketers will have to figure out how to buy social media, or fail. New post and video http://bit.ly/5PPZbV by @joemarchese

I'm in shock that there's even a debate about the viability of advertising in social media. The only thing that outweighs my shock is my awe of the denial of some marketers that if they just "join the conversation" (still not sure why I want a brand in my conversation), then they don't need to figure out how to buy advertising.

It's like me with my dog. I love my dog. I think my dog is awesome. I simply don't understand why other people don't want my dog around all the time. Then I realize, they have other things to do that are actually important to them, and I guess my dog doesn't make the cut. Well, neither do most brand messages in social media, at least not at the scale marketers need, hence my original post: "No One WANTS To Watch Your Advertising."

Last week I got on stage at OMMA Global San Francisco to discuss just this issue with Laura Lang, CEO of Digitas; Huw Griffiths, EVP, Global Director of Research, Analytics and Marketing Accountability, Universal McCann; and Joshua Spanier, Director, Communications Strategy, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. I could not have enjoyed the conversation any more, and think the audience found it entertaining.

Here are a couple of my quotes to give you a taste:

"Social media is littered with failed brand contests. All contests are a marketer's attempt at paid media -- they just don't know who to pay, so they put up a prize."

"Agencies who think that doing great strategy and creative in social media will be enough, and don't know how to buy media (or partner with agencies that can buy social media), will fail."

"All media is becoming social media, so if agencies can't figure out how to buy it, the whole industry is going to be in a lot of trouble."

It comes down to this: All digital media will be social media. Digital media will be the most powerful advertising medium marketers have ever seen. Advertising is simply searching for its proper form and function to fit into social media.

Here's the full panel. It's a bit long, but I promise it's worth it. "Social Media Is Not Advertising (Or Is It?"

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5 comments about "No One WANTS To Watch Your Advertising, Still".
  1. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , March 23, 2010 at 3:25 p.m.

    I'll take the dog.

  2. David Hawthorne from HCI LearningWorks , March 23, 2010 at 3:39 p.m.

    Joe, you are absolutely right. If a brand hangs out in social media, it becomes immediately suspect and vulnerable to bullies. Sure, a 'brand' can hang, if it wants, but if all it does is look for opportunities to tell me how cool it is, how much I want it, and much better it is then "whatever" I'm using or doing ...then it better look out. "GTFO of my face, brand-boy!" I'm much more likely to tolerate your mangy dog for a few minutes, even if it smells a little funky. After all, I sympathize with your predicament, and I like some dogs -though I don't have one myself.

    My point is, brand-boy should be in SM to learn from what customers are saying and doing, and what s/he learns should be made manifest in the product or service at some point (e.g. cost less AND tastes great). It's a place for marketers, not for advertisers...but for crissake, don't pretend to be interested in what I'm interested in and try to sell me a tee-shirt.

    And if they get "digital media" at all, they'd understand precisely how to show me that they listened, and that they listened to me. They certainly can learn enough from the data they already collect to figure out how to signal that I've been heard. (Maybe they'd send someone round to pick up after your dog? :-)

  3. George McLam , March 23, 2010 at 6:54 p.m.

    What marketing needs to do is DROP BACK, DROP WAAAY BACK.

    If 1% of what is broadcast is advertising, then I'd actually pay (more) attention to it. Since it is trying to be 50% or more, I ignore all of it.

    I am very suspect of products/companies trying very hard to sell me something. If they have to try that hard, I probably don't want or need it.

  4. Daniel O'Sullivan from Rock the Deadline , March 24, 2010 at 11:22 a.m.

    Perhaps the best SocMed people on your marketing team are from Product Marketing - listening to what the real pain is, where the real opportunities are, what the big picture is.

    Marketing Communication - yes, stay back, stay respectful.

    And if you just must show the dog, be discrete - without being sneaky.

    Good Luck to all of us!

  5. Anne Zeiser from azure media, llc , April 7, 2010 at 5:15 p.m.

    Dear Joe:

    I actually love your dog. Here's the proof: I love my dog, and love all dogs; therefore I love your dog.

    Cheers,
    Anne

    And, thanks for sharing the relevant commentary on social media.