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Answering the question, does social marketing even work?

Molly Ryan of The Houston Business Journal has asked the question “does social marketing even work?” in her report on South by Southwest Interactive, the expo being held in the US that covers original music, independent films, and emerging technologies in one gargantuan mash-up of creativity and technology.

The consensus from those at the conference, she says, is yes, sometimes.

It’s an interesting point. So too is the apparent admission from marketers at the conference that it is very hard to quantify the impact of social media marketing for business purposes. (Certainly at today’s Ad:Tech expo much closer to home here in Sydney, there were nearly 40 companies claiming to be able to measure social marketing effectiveness.)

What’s your view?

Our view is that , while social channels and the social web are new channels to take messages and propositions to markets and audiences, what is without doubt is that to listen to the comments made by consumers, in their thousands, who choose to comment on the social web, about everything (but especially your product or brand perhaps) does work, and is a necessary, and surely a sensible precursor to a new style of consumer engagement and marketing.

On that basis, social marketing, built  on a clear understanding of consumer sentiment, the insights behind the comments, all mapped to your existing consumer intelligence data, does (certainly will) work.

And how we could ever ignore a direct comms channel between us and thousands of consumers, potential customers and influencers?

Maybe the question should be, “how do you map your organisation to those commenting on the social web?”



Alan Smith: is Head of Customer Engagement at DIGIVIZER.