The ownership and use of social media may set the competitive superiority of an Enterprise. Yet, most enterprises and their brands are “stuck” with social-as-a-news-channel approach, where controlling, monitoring, and crisis-management become the primary objectives. But, social is much more than that and has the ability to replace traditional intelligence and brand management approaches.
When a new technology is first seen, the first step that defines the technology’s survival is its ability to replace an existing alternative. Convenience and cost are some of the key determinants. When non-initiated, non-native managers are the key decision makers social replacing news sources and other communication alternatives provide the only use. Who controls social when the enterprise sets social’s role only as replacing modern day press? Corporate communications (CorpComm) managers with an objective towards reputation and crisis management. PR professionals who have established networks within traditional press and news organizations are the favored service providers for such enterprises.
As the technology matures, new alternatives start to emerge. To start with, creative people and advertising agencies find new “attention-grabbing” implementations. Influencers become the favorites for the brands who would like to make innovative, catchy, trendy statements. In addition, a search starts to emerge for defining and measuring the influence. What are the key metrics? How can the traditional metrics such as GRP, view count and reach be calculated and replaced? But, speaking of questioning metrics and influence, why not have the enterprise sales departments take the “ultimate” role in social’s control? There comes performance marketing.
Performance marketing essentially converts the marketers to short-term-oriented, click-to-sales counting sales people, greatly diminishing the role and influence of long-term approaches and branding, in general. Why? Because there are no brand-owned, sales-influencing, meaningful "branding" metrics that work real time in social. Most platform-specific metrics such as likes, retweets, mentions are good for generating platform-specific advertising revenue with no meaningful, holistic brand-based sales implications. Performance marketing serves short-term, sales-hungry platforms at the expense of long-term oriented brands.
As the social’s penetration increases, social becomes a world where many people start to live. Hence comes grandiose futuristic aspirations such as Metaverse. But, before we go too far, just imagine observing “the world people live-in and connected 24/7.” Isn’t that a paradise for data? One does not need new metaverses, the current platforms offer rich data mines. Take a moment to consider the quality and nature of data that is sourced from social. First of all, it is real time. Secondly, it is observed behavior data – a gold standard for the insights professionals. Third, it is recorded and mostly, publicly available in great quantity.
This last phase, Social-As-The-Observed-Recorded-World (SatorW) requires a new approach in managing brands and meanings. This is where branding and long-term approaches start to become much more valuable given the need for lasting, immersive experiences. Consumer insights departments should take the ownership of social. Traditional brand management sources such as surveys become irrelevant. Importance of branding and marketing starts to emerge again as the long-term view dominates, the hype related to technology and the channel’s novelty fades. In a sense, a rationalization and back to basics prevail for brand owners.
Yet, there are subtle differences for marketers in SatorW. For example, consumer insights and sales have been traditionally very different departments. With SatorW, consumer insights should work with sales. Digital marketing departments, performance marketing and sales should all be coordinated and aligned with the leadership of brand and consumer insights managers. A fast cycle insight generation and coordination takes the speed of organizational decision making and wisdom to the next level. The coming age of AGI and ChatGPT-like technologies will significantly mandate the creation of such hyper-connected organizations. eBrandValue’s suite of brand management is built for such a purpose.