Excitement for social media has been in full throttle in NYC this fall.
From Advertising Week to Shop.org to the IAB Summit to Ad:Tech, media properties (both traditional and new), corporate marketers and interactive agencies have been happily proclaiming that “users are in control,” and that’s a good thing!
At the various tech, advertising and commerce conferences I have attended in NYC over the past weeks, dozens of media execs--buyers, sellers, planners and analysts--heralded a new consumer led social media marketing revolution:
“Yahoo vs. MySpace, Facebook, Digg, YouTube” "Embrace content ‘produced by ordinary people’ and ‘get influence on your side’ via Yahoo Answers, Yahoo 360…every ‘one’ creator of content leads to ten synthesizers of content and then 100 coveted consumers. Yahoo can make ‘your’ brand part of ‘their’ identities."
At the same time, however, a sobering dose of real world pragmatism was injected at the conferences by corporate marketers and seasoned advisors that serve them:
Coca-Cola Interactive Marketing and HP Interactive Marketing are open to investing more in social media, if ROI can be proven and if the financial rewards outweigh the brand risks.
Isobar and Mediaedge:cia want to spur more client investment in social media, if bottom-line results can be demonstrated and measured.
Suzie Reider, CMO of YouTube, and long-time media professional, surprisingly expressed dismay that prospective marketers at YouTube are asking for quantitative evidence of the worth of the YouTube clip culture, such as a “Dynamic Logic” marketing effectiveness study (see "YouTube on marketers: Won't be 'messing it up'").
While the “community” is in control at YouTube and other social media properties, corporate marketers are making it known that they are in control of marketing spends at the properties.
Although social media is very user-friendly, it is not yet sufficiently marketer friendly.
The lack of a proven ROI in online social media, coupled with inherent brand risks in online social networking, are deterring corporate marketing investments in MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Google Video…