One more for the road and one for the Roadmap
I promise, I do have some actual marketing content in this post, but before I get back to the Roadmap, I've got one more comment "for the road" about the absurdity that is our national presidential elections.
You may recall my comments in earlier posts about how the media always seems to pay inordinate attention to the appearance and demeanor of female candidates -- hair, make-up, nature of their laugh. You know, the really important stuff that tells voters whether a candidate is qualified for elected office. You know, more important than the issues facing our country like the war, health care and the economy.
Well, I must extend kudos to USA Today and reporter Maria Puente for an interesting story on the front of the LIFE section this morning about how style is "an issue for '08". The story presented a pretty balanced view of the media's obsession with the candidates' (and especially Hillary's) looks.
But the best was the sidebar on page 2 of the section that dissected what all the presidential candidates are wearing. Absolutely priceless. Absolutely perfect. Here are just some of the gems:
[...] Earlier this year, Edwards was captured on camera fussing over his hair. Then there were jeers when it came out that he spent $400, twice, on haircuts. But Edwards laughed off the criticism, spoofing the kerfuffle with his own video (featuring Hair from the Broadway musical).
The former New York mayor gets applause for finally giving up on the comb-over and accepting the realities of male-pattern balding. Now if only he could spiff up those oversized, un-stylish suits he sometimes wears.[...]
[...] Then it was reported on Radar Online.com that he was miffed at his staff for dressing him like a metrosexual in a "gay" V-neck sweater over a T-shirt. McCain's campaign did not return calls seeking comment, then or now.
[...] Romney criticized Edwards on the haircuts, but then it came out that he had spent $300 on a makeup job before a debate. [...]
Go read it.
Now back to the roadmap. You remember, the Marketing Roadmap :-)
The media landscape is shifting. Right in front of our very eyes. Customers are increasingly taking control of their own brand experiences. Generating the content, deciding what is important. Targeting by behavior is more effective than demographics. It's not just about viral, it's about spreading the right message for the right result.
Now, if you've been active in social media marketing for the past few years, none of the above is news to you. At all. You already know that the traditional lines between PR and marketing are blurring. We aren't talking in isolation to influencers (the media) and customers. Intermediation is no longer the name of the game. We can, and must, talk directly with our customer, who is simultaneously both influencer and buyer. Forget about messages. We have to connect with people. Honestly. Authentically. No bullshit.
If you've been doing this for a while, you understand how important this new communication is to our brands, our companies, our survival. You've sucked that social media kool-aid right down. You get it.
But it can be hard for people to put their heads and arms around when faced with it for the first time. And there's no real way to cut the learning curve down. You just have to jump in.
Now, I am always suspicious of business experts who don't actually do what they write about, so I viewed Larry Weber's new book, Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business, with a bit of a jaundiced eye. Sure, he has the PR background but I'm not sure he even has a blog... How much could he really know about marketing to the social web without doing it? Without being in it?
Well, I can't answer that question, but I just read an excerpt from his new book in BrandWeek, and while I'm not sure I'd get much new information from the book, I was pleased with the 12 steps he outlined for companies to follow toward an interactive future.
Which makes me think his book might be a good intro for brand marketers and PR execs. Budget is tight right now, so I don't plan to buy the book, but I'd love to hear from my readers if it is any good. And of course, Larry Weber, John Wiley & Sons, if you send me a review copy, I will read it.
Books are pretty much the only things I do review here.
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