Over the past few months we have become very adept at harnessing new media and emerging technology to tap into market segments that traditional mediums often don’t reach. Texting, Facebook pages, viral videos, podcasts and blogging are now normal elements in many of our marketing plans. We have an interactive team whose sole purpose is to share new information on everything from the latest widget and cool tool to ways we can create viral relationships with our client’s customers. For many of us older folks here, it’s very stimulating because there are many new ways to communicate, and new rules of engagement. An outdoor billboard has a seven word limit rule and an internet billboard has an entirely different criteria to meet to be effective.

These are easy enough to understand. But when we talk about creating a viral idea that can be so sticky that it gets passed around and posted by 1,000’s of people in a very short period of time, well some of our clients just don’t get it. They can’t imagine a world where communication is mostly in the written word and not a two-way vocalized exchange. How can it be that these folks log onto their Facebook pages and communicate when it’s convenient for them? The sharing isn’t even in real time? What about posting music and videos to their pages in order to share with friends and further shape their online personality? Or spending hours and hours in forums, never seeing/meeting the people they chat with? Or narcissistically blogging their thoughts, activities and opinions for all the world to review?

And when clients ask what the ROI will be for these viral marketing tactics we give it our best guess, and nobody really ever knows. As one member of our interactive team put it, “isn’t Nielson guessing when they share their ratings?” Sure we can measure how many read a blog or respond to a text message. And nothing replaces measuring the bottom line – increased sales. Now that’s a unit of measure a client understands. And they’ll just have to trust us on the what, how and why’s of interactive and social media.


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