Fighting the Resistance

Denial is a disease in today’s business landscape. Apparently, a lot of today’s top companies didn’t get the memo.

This is how many companies feel.

In preparation for a career in marketing and PR, I started educating myself on today’s best marketing practices. I read numerous books, subscribed to a ton of RSS feeds, and made sure that I was up-to-date on industry news. I did this mostly because I was under the impression that it was my job to note and adapt to the changing marketplace and how it consumes its information.

However, it seems many companies are slower to accept and utilize newer technologies than I had originally thought.

A huge part of today’s business is social media. However, many  organizations are slow to explore this new frontier of marketing and deny its benefits out of fear. Many feel the old system works, so why should they change it?

David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, said it best; “The message hasn’t changed, but the medium has changed. We need to continually find new vehicles to get the messages out.” He then goes on to say that companies who are not participating in what’s being said about them are ‘living dangerously’ and without a voice on the web, they are seen as suspect to those who do pay attention.

One of the main arguments is that top-level executives don’t have time for social media. However, Forbes Insights released a recent study, cited in Scott’s book, which begs to differ. It states that the Web is considered by executives to be their most valuable resource for gathering business information. Additionally, 74 percent rated the Internet as ‘very reliable.’ The editorial director of Forbes Insights, Stuart Feil, states in Scott’s book that “C-level executives are more involved online than their counterparts, and younger generations of executives-those whose work careers have coincided with the growth of the PC and the Internet-are bringing profound organizational change to these companies.”

It would seem like this would be enough to sway key decision makers in a company, but I think it’s going to take a lot more to get them to give up their security blanket; the old rules of marketing.

However, whether they like it or not, social media is going to eventually take over marketing. According to Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, authors of Trust Agents, “…being active on the human-faced Web is your company’s best chance to grow its business in the coming years.” In another instance when asked ‘why social media?’ they state, “Yes, we can get by without it, but what are we missing when we aren’t connected?” They also compare social media to a tidal wave, saying that some will run and some will ignore it, but others will be prepared and ready to roll with it. Furthermore, while some are busy hiding their heads in the sand, others are anticipating change and finding opportunities.

I personally refuse to hide and be afraid of new technologies. I’m of the mentality that you should adapt to change and learn how to use it to your advantage. All I can say is that I think it’s foolish for companies to ignore new technologies that could help them more than any direct mailing or sales call could. So I’ll fight the resistant of social media until they finally see what they’ve been missing the whole time; the wider you cast your net, the more opportunities you’ll have.

If we had stopped at the invention of radio, imagine where we’d be, probably stuck sitting around one instead of watching our 3D TVs at home with those dorky glasses. So no matter how much they resist me or you, or the entire social media mind set, keep pushing on to promote what you believe works and eventually they will pull their heads out of the sand and see what’s coming.

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