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We don’t do marketing with social media – social media is what caused the marketing game to change

[photopress:game_change_sm.jpg,full,alignright]More and more people in the marketing space are starting to talk about doing marketing with social media, or leveraging social media in their marketing efforts, or better yet, and especially coming from the PR front, monitoring the social media space in addition to the traditional channels.

For some reason that started bothering me. And it should bother you too.

Unlike email, which was a new channel of communication with customers, social media is not a new channel. Social media is what transformed the rules of marketing. By providing a platform of participation to your employees, customers and prospects, social media has changed the fundamental pillars of the marketing game. Not only have the rules of game changed, so have the players, the scope, the tactics and the added values – to use the game theory elements of the game.

So marketing has become a new game because of social media. It is not just a new channel to reach and interact with customers. Not realizing that distinction will result in companies not being able to achieve their business objectives. And those objectives have not changed – and were best described by the late Peter Drucker when he said: “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”

So the end goal of marketing has not changed – it still is to create a customer. It is everything in between to get to that goal that has changed! And you will not get there by monitoring the new social media channel. The only way you will get there is if you understand the new rules, the new players and all the other elements of the marketing game.

[6/20 update] I actually expanded on the topic on the Marketing 2.0 blog

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