Nothing is Just Black or White

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.

Cheers,

Estefania Giraldo

Resources:

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.

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11 thoughts on “Nothing is Just Black or White

  1. I also strongly agree that digital marketing is not all of marketing, though it is now the dominator. I know in some industry, for example insurance, the direct marketing with one-on-one product presenting, persuading and selling is more effective than any other kind of marketing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Estefania,

    I really like your post! To be honest, I was not agreeing 100% with what Ritson says, till the end of his presentations. Indeed, he actually nuances his speech saying that a good digital marketing campaign can be valuable, but it has to be used within an entire marketing strategy. Some examples come in my mind, such as Coca Zero which was very well integrated (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQovoot_ZUM).

    I agree with everything you say, and you post helped me to step back and realize that it is not black or white. I assume Mark Ritson is trying to catch people’s attention during his show, and that could be the reason of “exaggerating” and make everything more dramatic.

    Once again it is a very good post!

    Thank you !

    Robin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Robin, for reading my post, I am glad you liked it. You have a really good point that I forgot to mention and that is that maybe Mark Ritson uses a different and maybe exaggerated language to catch some attention easily. I think Coca Cola as a whole is actually a really good example of integration, thank you for sharing.

      Cheers,

      Estefania

      Like

  3. Thank you for your post Estefania, you wrote about 2 interesting points between this battle of traditional and social media and I agree with you.

    After watching the videos of Mark Ritson I have to accept that I got engaged and started following him on Twitter to know his points of views about marketing. According to his opinion about that social media is not for brands of course he is being orthodox. As he said, first the strategy and then the tactics, a good marketing strategy will have a good integrated communications plan. A brand has to look further than likes; it has to develop a strategy of how it will keep in touch with their audience. In this case social media is a way to maintain a direct conversation with the consumer and brands have to be smart on how to do it.

    Apart from the above, strongly agree with “You cannot be a marketer if all you know is digital marketing”, as a marketer in process I have learned that traditional media has to be integrated with social media or vice versa, at the end we are looking to create synergy among different channels to reach our consumers, not all of them are in social media is why we need to have an integrated communication plan, as Ritson said “newspaper is dying but we forget the strength of its exposure, its expensive but it has a value”.

    I leave you the link of a well IMC campaign from Coca- Cola that won a Cannes in 2012.

    Cheers ☺

    Like

  4. Hi Estefania, these are really good arguments! I would say I’m not totally agree with Ritson too. Basically, because of the same reasons you have mentioned, too narrow-minded and conservative. Yes, something he said does make sense, like “social media is for people, not brands”. Generally, people will get distracted and pissed with the constant appearance of ads on facebook, twitter, youtube or other social media, in which making brand advertisement in social media is no longer useful. However, this also could allow brands to look at it from another perspective, brand community for example. Not only to increase their consumer engagement, brand community on social media also allows brand to reach out to their customers easier, faster and more real! On the other hand, like what you have mentioned earlier, if it is not because of the “invitation” from customers to accommodate their wants and needs, maybe up until now there are no brand community that still survive in social media. I would say those companies are not stupid either, there is no way they want to spend more money and time for social media/digital marketing if it doesn’t bring any good to them. Moreover, there is no guarantee that marketing strategy that only uses traditional advertising will still survive and stand strong in the next 10 years without the help of social media tactics. Cheers!

    Like

    1. Hello Vivian, thank you for reading my post. I really liked your term conservative, probably he just uses this narrowed terms, numbers and arguments to catch the attention of the audience and it actually works.

      Thanks again,

      Estefania

      Like

  5. Hi Estefania,

    They are really interesting point of views! I totally agree with your point of views. 🙂
    I do not fully agree with Ritson idea about media social is only people to people and not brand to people. Yes indeed, if we see the influence of famous people and how many followers that they have, social media that based on people to people is a powerful tool to influence others. However, to judge solely based on how many followers that famous people do have and the numbers of statistics are rash judgement. In fact, many of brands are successfully using social media as tools for marketing their brands or building their brand images (http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/michael-patterson-10-brands-amazing-social-media/624169). One of the example is Domino. Domino with their Domino #easyorder campaign, which the customers could order Domino pizza from twitter by using pizza emoji and tweeting to Domino twitter account or using hashtag #easyorder, are successfully engage the customer with the brand. Additionally, more than 50% of the Domino’s requests originate from digital channels (http://www.cio.com/article/3062615/social-networking/10-top-social-media-marketing-success-stories.html#slide2)

    It’s really good posting, Estefania! Cheers! 🙂

    Like

  6. Hi Estefania,

    They are really interesting point of views! I totally agree with your point of views. 🙂
    I do not fully agree with Ritson idea about media social is only people to people and not brand to people. Yes indeed, if we see the influence of famous people and how many followers that they have, social media that based on people to people is a powerful tool to influence others. However, to judge solely based on how many followers that famous people do have and the numbers of statistics are rash judgement. In fact, many of brands are successfully using social media as tools for marketing their brands or building their brand images (http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/michael-patterson-10-brands-amazing-social-media/624169). One of the examples is Domino. Domino with their Domino #easyorder campaign, which the customers could order Domino pizza from twitter by using pizza emoji and tweeting to Domino twitter account or using hashtag #easyorder, are successfully engage the customer with the brand. Additionally, more than 50% of the Domino’s requests originate from digital channels (http://www.cio.com/article/3062615/social-networking/10-top-social-media-marketing-success-stories.html#slide2)

    It’s really good posting, Estefania! Cheers! 🙂

    Like

  7. You adress some good points here. I think it is good that you are critical to his arguments, such as “When the brands get involved in social media, by definition they are not welcome”. I agree with you here regarding him being to orthodox. However, I do also agree on the point you, and Ritson, make about the importance of engaging in other marketing strategies other than Social Media. Since so may people are engaging in Social Media today I think it is an important platform to be a part of, but I think Ritson is right when he claims that traditional media is not dying. A company needs to engage in all marketing platforms where their potential customer group is.

    Anyway, interesting reading.

    Like

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