Why (Some) Digital Marketers Don't Get Social Media

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

ClickZ, 4/15/11

Dear Readers,

When covering interactive marketing in the United States, it’s easy to get swept up in what’s happening in New York and Silicon Valley. A visit last week to Boston let me escape the bubble and hear what’s on the minds of marketers based in this vibrant digital marketing hub. Here are some random observations from those conversations.

A Social Media Marketing Paradox

Because social networks are built on digital platforms, the theory goes digital marketers should be better prepared than those from traditional marketing disciplines to navigate social channels.

This is an assumption I had previously accepted as an undisputed fact – until I met up with Michael Nicholas, Isobar’s U.S. chief strategy officer and a digital marketer since the 1990s. At the risk of upsetting others in the interactive community, he shared this observation: some digital marketers are having a tough time understanding and approaching social channels.

“Traditional marketers immediately understood the power of word of mouth and how it could affect marketing metrics,” he observed. In contrast, digital marketers “have built their portfolio based on clicking to outcomes, whether it’s search or performance, banner ads, or even site side,” he sai

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