Friday, January 20, 2012

There is no insight button

I really worry about the turn-key, one-size-fits-all tech and tool solutions for social media being churned out by software and SAAS vendors for baffled brands and companies right now.

For example, this from a press release I saw on Thursday January 19:
“[Brand X’s] enterprise marketing technology allows global brands and agencies to easily activate social audiences and impact consumer actions on all major social media ecosystems simultaneously.”

My  translation: With one button you can broadcast at anyone fool enough to have followed you so far. If they happen to have stayed around since you bought them, that is.

Job done then?

What worries me is that hassled execs will take the magic bullet being offered – we all like to make ‘life simplifying’ decisions. It’s very seductive to sign up for a one-stop solution because it’s easier than understanding what they really need to. It’s unlikely to be more cost-effective though.

As I wrote previously for a piece with Ninety10 Group CEOJamie Burke (note and disclosure, we co-founded that international business consultancy together.)

Business as usual wants a set of turn-key tools to make everything all right. But the future isn't about tools. It is about behaviours - understanding changes, learning from them and responding to meet those changed needs.

Business as usual wants ever-more efficient ways to exploit customers. But the most efficient way of meeting need is delivered by a shift in mind-set not in technologies; a shift that thinks of customers as your partner in producing what matters to both of you.

Business as usual wants to exploit channels to deliver messages. Click to deploy. But the future resides in better understanding why people would want to share 'your message' - getting to grips with the idea that marketing isn't done to people, it is done with people.

A tool or set of tools won't - of themselves - deliver the change you need to shift out of business as usual. And unless you take the holistic view, unless you go through the culture shift, the organisational change that is required, the tools will lead you back to square one.

As Ninety10group Head of Innovation Steffen Huck points out “There is no ‘insight’ button on any dashboard.

There is no ‘Cultural Change’ button, either.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?