Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Does Payment In Kind Scale?

Where I lead, The Sunday Times apparently follows!

In a piece entitled Social Climbing in Cyberspace, the writer discovers that when it comes to social networking "The reality of what they deliver can never match the fantasy of what they seem to promise" as I recounted many months ago in respect of my famous friends.

In particular, the area of social networking that has been populated by overt marketing is not that social. Truly, "It’s all a bit one-way with them MySpace stars."

You know the shark has been well and truly jumped when, of all people, the head of a record company admits “You can no longer trust what you see on sites like YouTube and MySpace,” a quote that comes from an article about the social networking launch of singer Terra Naomi that you can read here.

Parsing these two articles, I am struck by the quintessential marketing 2.0 conundrum which is this.

In generating communities of interest, we establish the levels of engagement that are our holy grail. Thus, if you choose to read the Social Climbing In Cyberspace piece, you will see this quote,

“You’ll be privy to all sorts of random acts of kindness in your community,” .. “The spirit is very much winning by sharing, and that comes around incredibly quickly online.”

All completely true of course, but within the Terra Naomi story in her reaction to the intial success of her video on YouTube, you will encounter the other side of the equation.

“Two days later, I came home to 10,000 messages from fans. I was so overwhelmed, I couldn’t speak for three weeks. That’s the downside of internet success. You deal with the craziness alone. There’s no buffer between you and this avalanche of interest. It’s scary"

In horrible business-speak, the question at the heart of this is can you scale genuine acts of kindness?

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