November 21, 2011

Of Course Social Media Doesn't Work ... Among Traditionals

Here's a story I hear all of the time.
  • "We started our Twitter presence back in 2009.  We currently have 449 followers, though we sell $60,000,000 of merchandise.  We've sold $2,000 on Twitter in two years.  In fact, we think we've also sold $2,000 via Facebook.  We do what we're supposed to do, we listen to customers, we engage customers, we offer discounts and promotions.  Nothing works."
Now, I'm usually one of the first to jump on the bandwagon and demand accountability of all marketing channels ... but ...


... we have to ask ourselves a question.
  • What percentage of our current customer base and prospect base is comprised of Traditionals, Transitionals, and Transformationals?
Catalogers have, by and large, failed the Social Media experiment, and for good reason.  Quite honestly, a 62 year old rural shopper isn't terribly excited about using Tweetdeck to "follow a brand" so that the shopper can take advantage of 15% off plus free shipping, a promotion that was also plastered on eight email campaigns and on the cover of two catalogs mailed this month.


Catalogers, by and large, cater to Traditionals.  So we have to ask ourselves ... what about Social Media so improves the shopping experience among Traditionals that Transitionals would abandon catalogs, websites, email marketing, search, and any other channel in order to instead use Social Media to initiate commerce?


Be honest ... what about Social Media so improves the shopping experience among Traditionals that would cause Traditionals to abandon existing channels?


This is why various channels "don't work" ... we fail to align a marketing tactic with the audience most likely to embrace the tactic.