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Social Media is Fundamental New Way to do Business


August 2, 2011

Doug Hadden, VP Products

Internet marketing guru Seth Godin warns us that social media is not television 2.0. It was looking at the web as TV 2.0 that ensured the dot com bubble/Internet “dark ages”, according to Godin in a Yahoo interview.

The interview is focused more on the marketing discipline. Yet, there are some lessons here about how social is a business model, not just a marketing channel.

Humans are still Humans

Godin suggests that the era of Mad Men where marketers spend money to sell average things to average folks is at an end. It’s the end of the ‘industrial’ era in marketing. Humans remain humans, so the impersonal approach is not likely to succeed. Some of the characteristics of this fundamental way to do business, according to Godin, includes:

  • Transparency: people will find out the truth on the web, so organizations that persist in being open will be more successful that those who do not.
  • Authenticity: social media will not be successful if it doesn’t match what the company is all about
  • Communications: those in charge of communications (Godin says marketers) should be responsible for making products and supporting customers. (in other words, marketing becomes customer service that becomes marketing and products)
  • Publicity: the product is the marketing, not the other way around

Extending these Ideas

My observations align with Godin. There are a few additional trends:

  • Customer-centricity: industrial-style command and control structures have become ineffective in the social media network, so Godin’s idea of communications can be extended to all company processes
  • Social: transparency and authenticity extends because social is becoming a new business model
  • Sustainable: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is maturing from a corporate sideline or marketing effort to new business models
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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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