E-commerce Link: It’s All Social
For most of us, digital marketing and e-commerce have yet to bear fruit in times of slow consumer spending and record unemployment. But digital is providing remarkably significant value for some brands. These leaders are not gratuitously rushing into realms like Facebook or Twitter to "engage" as much as they're taking a step back, breathing deeply and ultimately finding their ways back to tried-and-true practices that can be significantly enhanced by digital. For them, staying grounded in achieving business objectives is proving to be the difference between success and failure in today's challenged economy.
The sooner brands realize all of the Web is a social media, the sooner they move toward e-business success. Think about how we've used digital media since the beginning: instant messaging, e-mail, mobile SMS/texting. We're using it socially. Yes, 10 years later Web 2.0 is much easier for people to use today, but the resulting hysteria around its "newness" often causes us to handcuff ourselves rather than integrate digital strategies in meaningful ways.
Think of it this way: Most consumers have been using the Web to shop, share photos and music, compare prices, and complain about products or services for more than a decade. This pattern is not new nor is it reserved to younger "social media" shoppers.
Free at Last
Removing the "mind shackles" and accepting that the entire Web is a social media are giving a select few organizations the ability to create increased loyalty among customers, control costs and drive acquisition in slow times. They're overcoming today's most pressing challenges from cost containment to delivering goods and services.
Most marketers claim that ownership and measurement of digital and social media are what prevents it from really shining. Namely, we can't settle on who within the organization is responsible for it or how to measure it. But if we agree that all digital media is used socially, then we likely can agree it's a conduit for everything else. Once we wrap our minds around the reality of all digital media being social, it becomes easier to see what's honestly new about our environment.