A fundamental shift in marketing?

Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, is no doubt correct in his assertion that social media has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. If you don’t believe me, check out his video “Social Media Revolution.”

Qualman has put his mark all over social media, from YouTube to Facebook to Twitter to his widely read blog – and emerged from the other end as a self-appointed social media expert. Marketing through social media has worked for him. I’m sure he has sold lots of books and provided many speaking engagements.

But has it really changed the way we market all services and products? No doubt, social media is taking the marketing and advertising world by storm, but that doesn’t mean that strong marketing campaigns are conducted any differently than they have ever been conducted. It just means that marketers have another set of tools in their toolboxes.

Integrating these new tools with traditional marketing and creating the best mix is challenging, but savvy marketers have already jumped in.

We’re storming the castle like Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride. Like we took to website development 15 years ago, marketers are bringing the same principles to social media marketing, which holds the promise of making our work faster, our reach wider and our opportunities greater.

But, lest we forget, we still need to formulate a mission, connect with targets, choose the right vehicles (for the right audiences), say something compelling and reinforce it through repetition. That hasn’t changed – and that’s fundamental.

– Terri Smith