MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Managing the Gray : Some Rules to Begin With…

The blog I have been assigned to follow this term is http://www.managingthegray.com. Managing the Gray is a blog of podcasts by C.C. Chapman, who incidentally will be speaking to our class later this term. I think it will be interesting to follow his blog prior to his talk with the class to get a good understanding of his background and insights into the social media realm.

Chapman is Co-Founder and Partner at The Advance Guard. The Advance Guard is a new media consultancy that uses social media as a form of radical marketing. I think his insight will prove to be valuable to our class as he has worked with some major industry clients including American Eagle Apparel, Coca-Cola and Warner Bros.

As a marketing podcast and blog, Managing the Gray hopes to teach companies and businesses about the ever-changing (media) world we live in.

Upon initial review of the blog, one particular entry caught my attention that I would like to share today. In his podcast for April 16, Chapman discusses the five New Rules for Marketing as seen in the magazine Ad Age. He provides a link to the whole article but unless you have a subscription for the site you will be unable to read it. (http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=135943) As beginner social media students I think these rules are good way to start the course. I’m also including the comments that Chapman made on them via the podcast, which are quite insightful.

The five new rules for marketing are:

1. Listening to consumers is more important than talking at them.

2. You can’t hide the corporations behind the brand anymore – or even fully separate the two.

3. PR is a primary concern for every CMO and brand manager.

4.Cause marketing isn’t about philanthropy, it’s about “enlightened self interest.”

5. Social media is not a strategy.

C.C. Chapman’s comments include:

  1. One thing to do is start listening no matter how big or small your organization. Listening helps you identify problems, find brand advocates and hear what people are saying about your product. You can get a sense of the current trends- what are people talking about the most and also what they are complaining about. Listening helps you see where your consumers are online or where the people you want are. If you can listen to your advocates you can listen to your competitors brand. Listen to your whole industry and not just yours brand. Reaction must be discussion based.  
  2. There needs to be “radical transparency” when it comes to corporations these days. People want to know about green initiatives and other similar ventures. Even if it has nothing to do with the product, at a corporate level if you are doing good things share them! People will be more likely to buy your product if they feel connected to your corporations’ community investment, outreach, etc. Letting the public know about the  “touchy-feely” stuff is critical.
  3. Marketing and PR go hand in hand. Chapman cannot see a separation between the them. Due to this, there needs to be more discussion and communication between the two.
  4. At the end of the day organizations are still trying to sell products. Similar to the transparency point, cause marketing will work because you will get a better reaction from people by associating with a certain charity, etc.
  5. Social media will not save you if you have a bad product. It is only one of the tools at your disposal. It needs to be integrated with all other aspects of marketing being used. 

I thought these rules and his accompanying comments were very interesting, thought-provoking and useful. I hope you think the same and gain some insight into the world of social marketing because of them.

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May 17, 2009 - Posted by | Review of Monitored Site

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