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Battelle: Social Media And Marketing Do Mix

Search guru John Battelle attacks "the myth" that social media and marketing don't mix, citing a recent article in Advertising Age that uses one P&G digital marketing exec's opinions to conclude that advertising on social networks doesn't work. "Ad Age drew what I must say is an extremely lazy conclusion," Battelle says. "Look, a senior guy from Procter says so!" That senior guy is Ted McConnell, P&G's Manager of Digital Marketing Innovation, who opens the article with the following statement: "Social networks may never find the ad dollars they're hunting for because they don't really have a right to them." Battelle responds: "I'm here to call bull on this myth." The search guru points out that social media "assets" aren't packaged in any way similar to television or magazines, and nor should they be: "You can't barge into the middle of a conversation and yell, 'buy my stuff!' and then leave," he says. "A brand that does that will certainly be remembered -- as a clod." The reason you can't do that is there's no algorithm for understanding the nuance of conversation, and conversations are what drive social media. However, this does not mean there is no future for social media marketing. In fact, "Social media is an extraordinary place to market," Battelle says, "But you have to understand the medium you're a brand, you have to understand how and when to have a conversation." Marketers simply need to adapt, and use the targeting algorithms as tools for finding a more conversational approach, instead of letting targeting alone determine what ad goes where. What does he mean by a more "conversational approach"?

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