A worthy post by Brian Solis of PR 2.0 summarising what has become obvious some time ago thanks to blogging:
Attention PR and practicing Social Media professionals, step away from using “messages” to target “users” and “audience.” They are no longer filling the theaters, stadiums, and auditoriums to hear from marketers.
The implications for communications and marketing are profound and joint, they both need to take note and no longer define themselves by company processes or departments.
Discussing marketing in terms of audience and users implies a one to many approach, whereas focusing on people begets a one to one communications strategy – shifting from monologue to dialog.
Brian also has rather sound advice that does go a bit further than the ‘you-can’t-market-as-you-used-to’ meme:
When we look at groups of people respectively, we’re forced change our migration path to them. Each group is influenced, inspired and driven by unique channels and communities. Figuring out who we want to reach, why they matter to us, and why we matter to them, is the ante in order to buy into this game. Then we reverse engineer this process of where they go for their information and discussions to learn about how to reach them. And, while there may be several horizontal mediums that overlap, the vertical avenues are dedicated.
When you want to have a conversations with someone you do these two things – listen to the other person/people and try to say something of interest or of use to them. Otherwise you become unpopular and people will avoid you. Why on earth PR and communications departments can’t get that simple truth right and still blather on about messaging?!
Let’s go ahead and eradicate “messages” when discussing customers and people. They don’t want to hear messages, they want to hear how you can help them do something better than how they do it today or how this is something that they couldn’t do before, taking into specific account, their daily regime.
Messages are not conversations and there is no market for them.
Bonus link: There is no market for messages