Blogging and communities and affinity networks – oh my :(

Sometimes too much of a good thing is, well, too much. I talk to my marketing colleagues at big and large companies and they seem to be plagued by the same syndrome – the “am I missing the viral marketing angle because none of my agencies seem to get it” blues.

They consistently sense that there is more they could be doing but not sure how to proceed, not sure how to integrate viral marketing into their existing programs, not sure how to measure these tactics and on and on.

And who can blame them. Marketing agencies seem to take perverse pleasure in “black boxing” these newer marketing tactics that leaves many marketers feeling insecure – about what they don’t know nor their ability to manage it.

And worse, when you try and nail down an agency to explain what they do you often get lots of fancy words that seem to be the right buzz words with no real traction. You know you are in trouble when you talk to an agency about viral marketing and after an hour you still can’t name a specific tactic or specific program. In fact, you often feel like you are getting snowed.

So what’s the remedy? Arm yourself with information, education and intuition. Or if you can, find yourself a viral mentor – someone who either does it for a living or someone who has had success doing it. Seek out the advice of those who know this space so you can calibrate your tool kit. Agencies can’t or won’t do it for you. This is something you must do for yourself.

So here’s an offer. Got a question in viral marketing and can’t find a viral mentor. I’ll help. Not sure your agency reco is making sense. Run it by me and I will help you assess it.

Take me up on my offer. You’ll get objective feedback and I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or two also.  

Together, we can get to Oz.

One Response

  1. What you are suggesting is right on. Look to other industries who have it figured out already.

    Since most decision makers in any industry often rise through the ranks by learning their craft from others in the industry, it is not unusual to find industry competitors using similar marketing strategies and tactics. Many people move up the career ladder by switching between companies. In the processes they also transfer the methods that brought success at their former companies. As a result, the marketing tactics used within an industry are often very similar among competitors. It is all they know!

    That is what plagies advertising agencies. They all come from the same root. If you take a look outside your own industry, you will find that other industries often utilize vastly different marketing approaches. Have you ever explored or tried any tactics that have been used in other industries but have historically not been used in your industry? You could startle your competition with new marketing approaches because they have probably never thought of those methods and will not have the immediate know-how to follow your lead.

    Get to know leaders in many different industries and talk to them about their particular marketing approaches. An innovative idea from their industry may be highly transferable to yours. Many sales superstars have risen to the top because they have taken someone else’s idea and used innovative thinking to apply it to a new situation.

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