In the past five years social media has snowballed to become a dominant force in media and marketing. Here in Australia we now spend more time online, 17.6 hours per week , than with any other media. Astoundingly, Australia leads the world in social media consumption averaging 6 hrs 52mins per person per month.
So it is fair to say that social media is now having a significant impact on how people receive information and how they consume marketing.
Social media finally brings “people” into the marketing equation. Its possible to actually develop real relationships with consumers rather than just broadcast messages to them.
Bob MacDonald, CEO of Procter & Gamble, one of the world’s leading advertisers recently said,
What I would like to have is a one-on-one relationship with seven billion people in the world and be able to customize offerings for those seven billion people. Digital allows that relationship.
Social media signals a major disruption in marketing. Its now time for advertisers to take notice and adjust accordingly.
Longtime Madison Avenue executive Hank Wasiak has posted a great piece on Mashable titled How social media has radically altered advertising which I strongly encourage you to read in full. In it Hank presents his 5 suggestions for a much needed change in the advertising mindset required to embrace the social media world:
1. Lighten Up. Stop lamenting the end of advertising as we know it. Celebrate the emergence of advertising as the consumer wants it and as it was meant to be — the art of one-on-one persuasion.
2. Listen Up. Take Chris Brogan’s advice. Grow bigger ears and become an expert at listening to what people feel. Value response and engagement skills as much as creative abilities.
3. Loosen Up. Get comfortable with giving up control to gain confidence and traction with clients and consumers. Client relationships ought to be rooted in trust, transparency and creative programs that are built on a strong positioning and responsibly deliver what is promised.
4. Ladder It Up. Embrace “collabetition.” Resist the urge to say “we can do it all” and openly collaborate with like-minded competitors to add value to an idea or program.
5. Live It Up. Everyone at an agency has to immerse themselves in the “social circles” in which consumers live and move everyday. Observation and understanding have been trumped by participation and engagement.
Hank feels that now it’s time for the advertising industry to embrace these social marketing opportunities with the same enthusiasm it had for the disruptive change of television.