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Archive for the ‘New media’ Category

Dalai Lama

“The Dali Lama is now following your tweets on Twitter.”

Less than a year ago I wouldn’t have even understood the meaning of this phrase. The word “Twitter”, let alone the concept of Tweets from the Dalai Lama were not in my lexicon a short year ago.  Everyone talks about the power of the Internet and new social media. Receiving this message in my morning inbox is one of  the most wonderful examples of this I have experienced to date !

I also thought, “Holy cow the Dalia Lama knows who I am!”. Now, I know what you are thinking, that I am pretty naive. He is following 64k people and he probably has a team of  Tweeters.  But still I like the ratio – billions of people out there and I am within his close circle of tens of thousands. (more…)

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Requires increased integration and collaboration

Over the last two decades, the way marketers interact with their customers has evolved tremendously.  It wasn’t that long ago (in the 1980’s) that Direct Mail and Direct Marketing were seen as revolutionary concepts enabling customized messaging and offers to specific target audiences.  In the 90’s, the Internet created a whole new standard of interactivity with customers.

With the advent of social media, customer experience management has reached new heights.  But, with this evolution comes increased complexity and a need for integration and collaboration.

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istock_000007747410xsmall21In current discussions with leading marketers and entrepreneurs, across industries, large and small, the theme is the same: “How do we get into this new Social Media? What is the latest tactic I can deploy in my organization? What are we missing not being there right now?” They are eager to explore the benefits of Social Media, especially since dwindling budgets are making this seemingly low-cost marketing panacea very enticing.


Marketers and business leaders are like the proverbial “doe in the headlights” when it comes to reacting to the Social Media movement. They are frozen, eager to react, but not certain which way to go.

I am fortunate to have been in the business long enough to have seen the transition from Mass to Direct marketing, then to Web and Electronic marketing. What I see today with the new media rings a familiar tone – a herd mentality – that has marketers abandoning their strategic fundamentals, rushing toward the latest tactical solution.

Those of you who remember the early days of Web will recall the uncertainty around whether or not, and how to venture into that new medium. The first web sites, with their bright colours and flashing banners, made marketers twitch just thinking of associating their brand’s reputation with such a medium. Then User Experience Design was born, which essentially had the new electronic whizkids turning the tables on the Brand folks, creating a whole new benchmark for customer-centric experience.

The transition from Mass to Direct marketing was wrought with just as much uncertainty. I remember trying to develop an integrated Brand and Direct strategy in the mid’90s for Plan Canada when the direct agency said, “You can do that branding stuff on your mass vehicles, but leave direct response vehicles alone…the objectives of branding and generating a response are not compatible.” This sounds foreign today, when we all believe in the mantra of a consistent branding experience across all channels.

Ten years has gone by since then, but today as in the past, marketers are clamouring to adopt the latest method to engage their customers, while ignoring strategic fundamentals. Many are approaching the new medium tactically at first, rather than taking a thoughtful, planned and integrated approach.

When I asked the question, “what are you were doing on the Social Media front”, a leading marketing executive said he had asked his team to recommend the top three Social Media tactics that they can executive in 2009.  Another, who manages a multi-million dollar marketing budget, said her company had asked facebook to come in to present!

Others are frozen, afraid to act. Those I have spoken to in the Financial Services sector, for example, are stopped at the gate, not knowing how to address the highly regulatory nature of their business.

While marketers are feeling the pressure to venture into the new media arena, they would be advised to do so in a prudent and thoughtful manner to ensure their efforts are successful and  sustainable.  Specifically, they should:

  • Assess their organization’s readiness
  • Develop an integrated strategy
  • Get their house in order to help protect their brand’s reputation
  • Prepare for the impact on their operations
  • Determine how they will measure success


In a nutshell, marketers and business leaders need to employ the fundamentals that they apply so well to all other aspects of their business before entering into the Social Media arena: assess, plan, design, execute and measure!

Stay tuned for the next blog entry: Assessing your organization’s readiness to venture into Social Media – 5 things you should consider first.


Posted by: Lianne Bridges

Lianne is President, CEO and a founding partner of Bridges Horizon, providing Marketing Transformation Consulting Services. Lianne has spent the past 20+ years managing and consulting across an array of sectors from B2B to Not-for-Profit, including such world-class organizations as: Aeroplan, Bombardier, Pfizer,  Nabisco, Southam News, United Technologies, the YMCA, Plan Canada and Alcan, to name a few.

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