Email Vs. Social: Predatory or Symbiotic?
Content distribution is critical to any business's success, and it relies on an entire supply chain of people developing, syndicating and monetizing the media. Email is one of the key channels involved. Email is not an "and/or" question, it's "and ... what else?"
When I hear people talk about the demise of email as a communication tool, in favor of social media sites, I usually categorize this as narrow thinking. Email, as I've said many times, is pervasive in our culture and has evolved in how we use it in personal and business communications, and also in terms of what we consume.
The hub and spoke of personal management systems has evolved beyond the days of a paper-based day planner as the central hub, to the use of electronic systems -- computer/laptop or even mobile device, for some. Along with this shift, email and social have changed how we develop communities, how we manage these communities, and the fundamentals of business. Some of these shifts are predatory toward traditional methods of communication and how businesses market and sell their products, and some are symbiotic.
Email and social are symbiotic in many ways. While I do see generational differences in the use of email, there are several truths to email that will not change its value in our culture.
· Email is the number one business tool!
· Email will be vital to your education and evolution as a professional.
· The more money you make, the more email will be vital to your success.
· Email solves the time/distance effect of direct mail, and social won't challenge this fundamental value in business notification.
· You'll never be satisfied with one-liners without context or explanation (that is, Twitter replacing notification value and publishing value).
· I don't believe businesses will ever give up control of the customer lifecycle.
People who make a living in the email space can easily support the value of business-to-consumer communications through email. You can't deny the positive effects of targeting and personalization and controlling some elements of timing customer communications with business interactions. You can't deny the business value of notifications and service to productivity, efficiency and customer service value. You can't deny the value of electronic fulfillment of business exchanges. You can't deny the value of email in business networking events and exchanges. There are so many inherent uses for email that I get bored hearing the talk about its ostensible demise.
What gets me up each day? People talking about the collaborative effects of email with other digital channels, and the true impact of stacking channels to inform business decisions. Next-generation attribution will find many connections between channels, points in time, contextual interactions and optimized media. All will help build and foster experiences with consumers and businesses.
The foundation of any technological innovation in the history of mankind is based on solving "time and distance." Email is no different! It will not go away.