May 28, 2008

Bob Bly vs. Robert Scoble: Old School Ideas vs. Newbie Technology

Bly's old-school thoughts on Facebook and Social Media and Direct Mail vs. E-Mail. Scoble's response.

Let's transition some of that discussion into the context of running a multichannel brand. Who's up for a test?

Who would be willing to execute this test within the context of their own brand?
  • Customer group #1 is marketed to via direct mail and catalogs.
  • Customer group #2 is marketed to via e-mail.
  • Customer group #3 is marketed to via direct mail and catalogs and e-mail.
  • Customer group #4 receives no direct mail, catalogs, or e-mail. They are simply left to the seductive wiles of social media.
Place your bets, folks ... which group drives the most sales and the most profit?

Social Media folks ... would you be willing to stand behind customer group #4? Or do you need the help of direct mail, catalogs, and e-mail (and paid search and portal advertising and affiliate advertising and shopping comparison sites) to succeed?

Your thoughts?


  1. Kevin -- Unfortunately, I think you're asking the wrong group of people. My strong bet is that your blog readers aren't among the social media kool-aid drinkers who have been scoblized into thinking that catalogs, email, and DM are dead.

    Why not ask Scoble to put your test proposal on his blog? Then let's see how many takers you get.

  2. Anonymous10:40 AM

    Social media is just about communication, like a party.

    If you dont send out invitations to the party, no one will come. That is why a successful social media campaign is a combination of new and traditional.

    Look at Burger King, they started witha traditional venue (TV) for their Whopper Freakout campaign and that turned into social media and viral campaign with people doing their own spoofs (see ghetto freakout).

    Almost every social media campaign has had a traditional media component. The few that were "Pure" were almost accidentally successful.

    So there is my vote for #3-ish. I think that e-mail is only a small part of a social media campaign.

  3. I find it hard to believe that die-hard catalog veterans aren't among the social media elite!

    The idea of having a social media person grow a brand without the aid of other tools, especially a social media pundit doing it, is interesting.

    And Tony, I tend to agree with you. Not surprisingly, all forms of marketing seem to interact with each other (some positive, some negative). Depending upon who the core customer is, social media may not have any relevance, it may build off of traditional media, or it may mean everything.


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