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    « As the world urbanizes, will the most successful cities result from top-down planning or bottom-up innovation? | Main | ‘The Hero’s Journey’ – implications for leading change »

    February 10, 2011


    Caesar Wong

    Actually I tend to disagree (sorry! I seem to be very disagreeable here generally), although it's only with your initial premise, not the supporting content.

    If we go back to the days when telephony was a nascent technology then I definitely would've said 'companies that use the telephone will succeed' because in historical context, it introduced an alternative way of reaching customers instead of selling door-to-door. Some company comes along and creates the first call-centre, their costs are drastically reduced, and they beat their competition. Success.

    btw you should consider putting these posts on the DCoP community blog. I'd love to see what our colleagues think, and they're more likely to catch it there...

    Rowan Hetherington

    Caesar, I love it when you disagree, because it always means we get to dig deeper into something, so please keep at it :-)

    I totally agree with you (sorry!) that using new, more effective ways of reaching people (e.g. at a previous point in history the telephone, now social) will lead to success IF THAT NEW COMMUNICATIONS TOOL, AND THE WAY IT IS USED, IS RELEVANT and appropriate for the people you want to reach.

    Using the telephone wouldn't work if an influential office you were trying to contact didn't have a telephone, or if the people you were trying to reach (e.g. surgeons) rarely answer their 'work' telephone or call back. OR, if marketers were so hyped about using this new tool called the telephone that they went ahead and used it before considering who they wanted to interact with, what their objective was for the conversation or what value they were hoping to provide. I see marketers doing just that, every week, if not every day with social media!

    So, my point here is not whether the communications medium being discussed is generally on the way up or down in usage, but that marketers and communicators need to invest time in planning using the points listed in my post above. This seems more important than ever before with social, simply because the number of social tools available globally, multiplied by the number of ways to potentially use those tools is becoming infinite (just like the telephone can facilitate potentially infinite types of interactions).

    I see too many people jumping on 'social' like it's a new mass marketing channel, without having gone through the rigor of thinking about these basic steps of integrated marketing & communications planning.

    That's why I don't think 'social' is the key to success. I think relevance (the right messages reaching the right people in the right way/place at the right time) is the key.

    Do you agree / disagree?!

    Caesar Wong

    Can't argue with that! :-)

    Rowan Hetherington

    Right, need to find a new topic to disagree on then... ;)


    I just came across a presentation on this topic from Mark Schaefer that made me smile - it includes a great example (Apple):

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