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Business - Written by on Monday, May 24, 2010 9:00 - 4 Comments

Denis Hancock
Might social media give marketers more control than ever before?

When it comes to the impact of social media on marketing, I’ve been hearing phrases like “the customer is now in control!” more and more these days. But frankly, I don’t buy it. On one hand, I believe the customer has been, and always will be, in control – after all, what they do or don’t buy has always been kind of important. But even setting that to the side, it seems to me that social media give marketers more control than ever before, rather than less.

The reason I believe this is fairly simple. When I think of the word “control”, I immediately think of the word “power”. When I think of “power”, I think of “knowledge” (as in the latter is the former). When I think of “knowledge”, I think of “information”. And when I think through what social media enables, from a marketing perspective, time and again I see better information, more knowledge, and more power. In turn, that looks like more control to me – rather than less.

I have more thoughts on this, but wanted to stop there and see if anyone believes this “customer is in control” argument, in relation to social media, might be wrong. And if you want to hear a few more of thoughts on these (and related) marketing subjects, check out my webinar on Tuesday.



4 Comments

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haydn
May 24, 2010 12:07

Hi Denis – I think you’re right but I think marketers are spoiling their chances by focusing on the wrong type of information. Often they focus on customer sentiments, positive or negative. That polarity doesn’t really give you access to the information and knowledge you are referring to. we need to see the web as a much more powerful resource for volunteered attitudes and opinions.

Storytelling Business Social Media Marketing PR & Technology Curated Stories May 24, 2010
May 24, 2010 17:24

[...] Might social media give marketers more control than ever before? Published: May 24, 2010 Source: Wikinomics When it comes to the impact of social media on marketing, I’ve been hearing phrases like “the customer is now in control!” more and more these days. But frankly, I don’t buy it. On one hand, I believe t… [...]

Kelly
Jun 7, 2010 11:31

There is a webinar coming up that addresses this exact issue that I just registered for: http://bit.ly/cR80Al. Looks like it is really going to explore the concepts of social media in the workplace on a different level

Elizabeth Albrycht
Jun 11, 2010 7:38

I thought you might be interested in this past debate on control that I participated in back in 2008. http://ringblog.typepad.com/corporatepr/2008/02/what-is-control.html An excerpt: I think the context of all of this debate is this: What does a company actually CONTROL? Is is the brand? The messages? Most people who are writing and blogging about social media in a corporate context believe a company does NOT control its brand or messages. I am one of them! However, there are some things that companies DO control, and Mike was trying to get to that, starting with the fact that if a company didn’t exist, there would be nothing to control, so that the company at the VERY least, has control over its first existence. But what happens after that?

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