From watching Mark Ritson’s video Beyond Digital Marketing I could say that I agree with a lot of things that he says but not completely in others. As I am just a marketer in formation, I may use some basis from academic papers to support my main arguments and ideas.
“Social Media is Social Media, a medium for people”
From his definition of social media, Ritson completely isolates brands and companies from it and that is simply not fair. In the article “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media”, Kaplan defines Social Media as “a group of internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of web 2.0 and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content”. For me, this is a more inclusive definition that goes beyond just semantics and formation or words.
“When the brands get involved in social media, by definition they are not welcome”
Again, on this point and in most if his definitions, I think Ritson is being very orthodox and I don’t think taking terms by literal definitions is a really smart and valued way to point an argument. “From a consumer’s perspective, the use of information communication technologies offers a number of benefits, including efficiency, convenience, richer and participative information, a broader selection of products, competitive pricing, cost reduction and product diversity”. For me, this sounds more as consumers inviting brands to participate with them on social media so they have the possibility to be more informed than ever.
“You cannot be a marketer if all you know is digital media”
Now we are talking, here we go! I completely agree with Ritson on this point. You cannot call yourself a community manager just because you know how to operate Facebook or Instagram, or both. It takes way more than that. As he said, digital media is the tactic but it needs a really well-planned strategy to actually works and accomplish the objectives for the company. For example, in 2008 Burger King launched a campaign called “Whopper Sacrifice”. The company developed a Facebook application which gave users a free Whopper burger for every 10 friends they deleted from their Facebook network. The mission was consummated by over 20.000 users, resulting in sacrificing 233.906 friendships in exchange for free burgers. One month later, Facebook shut down the Whopper Sacrifice, according to them, due to privacy concerns. What would be the strategy behind this campaign? What is the benefit for Burger King of people just making their network smaller? I cannot think of anything good actually. Just take a look at the actual campaign. Just awful!
Whopper Sacrifice Campaign
As I said in the beginning of my post, I think Ritson have some really valuable points, I think I just disagree with the way he presents them, for me personally, too narrowed, and totally contrary to my philosophy that nothing is just white or black, in the middle there will always be nuances. Can you think of some more examples when digital media campaigns lack a good strategy behind?
Looking forward to your comments and examples.
Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business horizons, 53(1), 59-68.
Tiago, M. T. P. M. B., & Veríssimo, J. M. C. (2014). Digital marketing and social media: Why bother?. Business Horizons, 57(6), 703-708.