We marketers can easily forget whom we are marketing to. We get so caught up in analytics and creative that we often overlook and rarely evaluate the human factor as it relates to our marketing campaigns. Society is shifting from offline media being the primary communication methods to e-mail, IM, and social networking as the primary, if not sole, communication tools. We must address our audience again.
Look at things like use cases, communication preferences, and of course emotional response to messages in those media. In essence, we must understand the human element of our marketing efforts and reevaluate what the means to our brand, campaign effectiveness, and overall relationship with our audience.
There's a great human experiment unfolding before us that really hits the heart of what I mean by marketing to the human element: social networking. I've written about how Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be used for marketing and business tools, but to grasp the essence of how to use these tools you must observe and participate in this social experiment. If you're actively engaged in these three networks and use e-mail, you know what I am talking about.
As you participate in the social experiment, questions arise. Questions like:
And on it goes. The human element really comes down to social networking etiquette. At some point, society determined that yelling in a communal place was not acceptable, that asking someone to be your friend before you actually got to know her was the order of events; and that there's an appropriate time to get someone's address or phone number. They all morphed into social norms that we follow almost without thinking. But the rules for communicating online are fuzzy, and for those who didn't grow up with electronic communications, this type of communication is all new and not quite natural.
Getting a feel for the rhythm and social norms of these social media will help you avoid shouting when you should be conversing and being introduced before asking for a friendship with someone. So here are three quick tips to help guide you in your social networking relationships:
Once you understand the human element of social networks, you can start using them appropriately for marketing and strategic efforts. Get involved, but do it as a person first, then as a marketer.
And don't forget: commenting on columns like this is great way to get the author's attention!
Meet Aaron at Search Engine Strategies San Jose, August 10-14, 2009, at the McEnery Convention Center.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
After selling the Online Marking Summit (OMS) event company in 2011, Aaron is now leading the charge of the newest venture, the Online Marketing Institute - the leading eLearning platform and training destination for digital marketing education.
Kahlow is one of the most recognized thought-leaders in the digital marketing and social media space. Having founded, funded, and built three prolific and highly profitable digital marketing companies, Kahlow has also delivered hundreds of marquee keynote speeches around the globe. As a speaker, Kahlow is known for his inspirational style and plain-spoken nature where audiences always walk away feeling both motivated and educated. Aaron is a leading educator translating online marketing technology jargon into simple marketing and business terms. He is a recognized author, columnist (ClickZ, NYT) and authority on social media marketing, sales and marketing integration, demand generation, business-to-business marketing, search marketing, usability, analytics, and digital marketing strategy.
Named Metropolitan Magazine's "Top 40 Entrepreneurs under the Age of 40" Kahlow is also well known for his endless energy as an entrepreneur. Having built Business Online from three guys and a brother in a dentist office to BtoB Digital Agency of the Year; founding and selling the industry's premier digital marketing event, the Online Marketing Summit, and now on his third successful start-up, Online Marketing Institute, Kahlow is synonymous with building successful digital companies. Kahlow also has served on the Board of Directors and Advisory Board to many digital associations and media companies like the International Business Marketers Association, Search Engine Strategies/ClickZ, Microsoft/ BING Prof. Accreditation, Social Media Examiner, as well as many digital technology start-ups.
Today, Aaron can be found in his new home city of San Francisco, working on the global expansion of "Teaching the World Digital" in his eLearning technology venture, the Online Marketing Institute. Facebook and LinkedIn are his preferred places to connect.
March 19, 2014