Can they co-exist? Do we want them to? Everyone I talk to these days is asking for multiple methods of communication. I was inspired by the article “The New Social Gurus” by AdWeek—do we really need a new type of agency? Maybe we only need to start communicating to an individual, versus an unidentified group. The more our customers do online, the more we know them. “Behavior Based Media Planning” enables us to understand what makes a person “tick” before trying to appeal to them. It is the equivalent having the opportunity to meet a prospective date’s family, friends and colleagues before the first date—wouldn’t the conversation change dramatically?
Unfortunately, or fortunately, what goes on in the six different areas to contact me doesn’t change what I am doing, only the information that I deliver and the way I deliver it. Of course, there is the divide between business and personal, and there is the ability to be more “conversational” with customers and colleagues with social media, but the source remains the same. That leads me to the question, is social media a new technology or just a new conversation?
I think it is important to put “media” (print, website, email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and outdoor advertising, mobile) in the discipline that it drives—access to audience. To better understand how all these can work to your advantage, I believe it is best to apply the time spent with the customer/prospect as it would relate to a personal experience:
Print: Long, intimate four course dinner
Website: Casual social gathering
Email: Impromptu conversation with an acquaintance or friend
Facebook: Casual gathering with friends or old colleagues in order to catch up, or chat about the latest scoop
Twitter: Quick phone call—“Hey what are you doing? I am out catching the latest on [today’s hot topic] but I have to run, talk to you soon?
LinkedIn: Great way of catching up with all the people you enjoyed working with in the past, or wish you could still beg/borrow their expertise for what you are doing today.
At the end of the day, multimedia is exhausting, because we have to THINK about what we are saying—when, why and how—not much different than your everyday conversation.