The historical view of social media
Studying history 20 odd years ago taught me several things. Firstly, you don’t have 9am lectures (or if you do you can safely skip them). But secondly, no matter how much we ‘advance’ there are always parallels with history that we can compare and learn from.
Marketing is a perfect example. Going back to medieval times, people attracted customers through personal interaction. As a carpenter you did a good job for the Lord of the Manor and he recommended you to his friends. Equally, if your handiwork collapsed as soon as someone sat on it you’d struggle to win repeat business – and might even end up in the stocks. It was very much one-to-one and based on peer recommendation. In fact, choosing someone to paint your house/build a cupboard still very much works like that (without the stocks bit unfortunately).
Things started to change when we moved into the era of industrialisation. Higher levels of literacy and the advent of widespread communication (posters, newspapers) combined with the ability to mass produce goods led to modern consumer society. And this model pretty much continued into the 20th century, gathering pace and becoming global rather than just across a single country or region.
But social media changes all of this. By providing a direct relationship between the consumer and the producer it goes back to the medieval model. You don’t like something? Complain and all your friends/colleagues see it – and, because they (hopefully) value your judgement, perceptions are potentially changed. Equally, praise has an equally strong effect.
So, time for companies (whether B2B or B2C) to start acting more like medieval craftspeople if they want to understand and benefit from social media rather than end up in the stocks.
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Why Revolutionary Measures?
Marketing is undergoing a revolution. The advent of social media provides the opportunity for one-to-one communication for the first time since the move to an industrial society. This blog will look at what this means for B2B PR and marketing, incorporating my own thoughts/rants and interests. Do let me know your feedback!
About meI'm Chris Measures and I've spent the last 18 years creating and implementing PR and marketing campaigns for technology companies. I've worked with everyone from large quoted companies to fast growth start-ups, giving me unrivalled experience and ideas. I'm now director of Measures Consulting, an agency that uses this expertise to deliver PR and marketing success for technology businesses.
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