Channel marketing: What all marketing people can learn from social media

Founder’s Fund’s, Internet Mastermind, and friend, Dave McClure posted one of his periodic rants over on his blog.  Good read, great font colors. 😉

When I read it, it got me reflecting on the value I’ve seen as a marketing professional around social media, though not in the manner that most people talk about this. 

Here’s what I mean.  Many people who talk about social media will talk kind of breathlessly about all the channels that are out there, how to do things like SEO, etc.  These tools are out there and free.  The tools and concepts like SEO are easy to figure out.  And these are all new, lower cost media channels: ones in which marketing people really need to embrace and understand in order to be on top of their jobs, really in almost any industry. 

And this is all spot on—as a marketer anywhere, understanding blogging, twittering, youtubeing, facebooking, blah de blah de blah is IMHO vitally important.  Some though will sort of hesitate and say this is all too egocentric, with too little privacy, and with too high a techy dork quotient to be that important.  Or they’ll just say they’re too busy and blow it off.

My counter to that is to frame these social media outlets in a more traditional context.  A marketer’s job is to figure out how to frame a winning value proposition and to get the word out in order that sales people’s jobs become very very easy.  Social media—broadly—is a free, experimental petri dish that any marketing person can use to learn about this exact process.  All sorts of channels exist in the social media realm, with more coming all the time.  What makes this stuff both fun and useful for marketing people is that now there are free channels for you to try stuff out to see what draws and engages and audience.  Indeed, with nothing more than having something useful to say (your product) and with experimenting in where you say it (your channel), you can create a community.  For a marketer, what could be more golden? 

Dave’s rant goes off principally on VCs who don’t understand design, user experience and internet marketing.  And right on, Dave.  I would extend the points on internet marketing, and specifically social media marketing, to anyone who calls themself a marketer.  This stuff is out there and free.  Use it.  It’ll sharpen your skills for free.

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Filed under internet, mba career advice, social media, technology

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