The world is filled with a vast array of individuals with differing views on every topic under the sun. You can find someone to agree with you on anything, which is the beauty and downside of the internet. Social media has enabled us to build communities that were not possible before. I can connect with people all over the world who like photography, marketing, marching band, and tea. All five of us in the world who like these things can build a community which supports our nerdy endeavors and 15 years ago this was not possible.
Marketing can be a sad and lonely world if you’re a department of one trying to convince the rest of your colleagues that putting your logo on everything under the sun is not actually branding. On top of that, we as IMC professionals are facing colleagues who will stop at nothing to find someone, somewhere who agrees with them and not us. You present a great new idea for connecting with customers on social media and not only face the objection of “this isn’t the way it’s always been done,” but also “well, I found this article on a not so credible social media site that says your idea is wrong.” Now you must resist the temptation of ripping that piece of paper out of their hands, crumpling it up in a ball, and throwing it at them before storming out of the room. You take a deep breath, smile, and say, “Yes, there are differing views however; I feel this is in the best interest of our organization for reason X, Y, and Z.” Not only do we need to be teachers, we also need to be lawyers arguing our view until we are blue in the face.
What this all really boils down to is trust. For those of you who have read The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team this probably sounds familiar. There are many reasons that we are not all experts on everything – the main reason being there’s not enough time in the day. In order to be successful, we need to trust that we’re all looking out for the best interest of the company/organization. Building that trust is not an easy task, which is why we (IMC professionals, marketers, etc.) need to be teachers and lawyers and not back down to those who will stop at nothing to find someone on this Earth who agrees with them. They will find someone, there’s always someone who thinks that automating messages across all social media platforms in order to provide the same message, in the same language, at the same time is a valuable social media practice. The good news is that there is also a community here to back you up. If you’re truly looking for feedback on your work and trying to brainstorm and bounce ideas off of other people, make a list of people who you look up to and respect and ask them for feedback. Use those people as your sounding board and make a decision based on that. Do not scour the internet and your best friend’s hair dresser’s brother seeking any opinion that validates your point of view. Gaining feedback is good, but it’s important to make sure the feedback is truly feedback and not just the answer you want to hear.
Let’s help each other out. Who do you follow, digitally “look up to” when it comes to marketing, social media, ect.? What resources do you consult when making marketing decisions?