You can’t guilt people into buying stuff

guiltintobuyingThere are those that use social media as a legitimate channel to engage people and there are those who see it as a way to inflate huge ego’s and self promote their books so they be legends in their own minds.

In an article in the NY Times Gary Vaynerchuk does a good job of promoting his new book and states that social media is a great way to guilt people into buying stuff.  In fact, he is described as a tireless self-promoter.  There is little question that Mr. Vaynerchuk is a master at promoting himself. But what about his clients? They tend to regard him as a colorful savant, pointing to his immense online following and his track record in spotting companies like Twitter and Facebook, both of which he invested in long before they went public.  Did anyone think to ask about the business objectives?Can social media be used to sell things?  The answer to that is yes, but if you plan to talk to someone and then guilt them into purchasing something you really are doing yourselves and your clients a disservice.   While trends indicate that more and more brands are pouring money into social media my prediction for 2014 is that a lot of brands are going to learn that the only thing they accomplished is making facebook more money.

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New research from Adobe has revealed that a mere 8% of senior UK marketers have confidence in their own digital skills. This suggests that marketers are struggling to keep their heads above water as the technology used in digital marketing practices rapidly evolves.  This feeling of low confidence could be put down to the lack of data analysis by marketing departments, and lack of training available for digital marketing professionals. In fact, less than 3% of those surveyed had received no type of training at all.  This has given rise to agencies who are willing to come in and make money off clients ignorance and “who needs ROI?”.

I am the first to say that you can’t always assign an ROI to social media, but I also understand that consumers expect brands to be there at THEIR convenience.  I mean, do mom’s really want to have a social relationship with DelMonte?  More importantly, do they have the time to let brands into their lives?

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If you want to make marketing relevant again stop listening to self-promoters and start listening to your customers, but listen as interested real people not someone who wants to guilt them into buying your product.  That shows a very low regard for consumers, which is one of the key reasons consumers are leaving brands in droves.

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