The potential of advertising – attempting to attract public attention to a product or business by means of paid announcements in print, broadcast, or electronic media – is declining faster than even the most perspicacious of advertisers are prepared to concede possible.
Because the impact of a message concerning a product is no longer determined at the point of production by producers, but rather at the point of reception by consumers.
The implications of this role-reversal extend far beyond consumers co-opting the focus of a given campaign in order to critique it rather than express their support for it.
The hubristic expectation on the part of companies that believe consumers should for some unstated reason be overtaken by a compulsion to express their zealous support for their commodities offers some insight into advertisers’ lack of understanding as to the socially-created chasm that has appeared between them and their market.
This is not a divide to be on the wrong side of, nor is it an epiphany that is easily acknowledged.
If we date the dawn of the social turn in business to have been heralded by the launch of one of its key enablers, Twitter, acceding to the unavoidable truth a mere six years later that fewer and fewer people now care about, listen to, or are influenced by the opinions of companies regarding their own goods and services must shed a harsh light on, for example, the continuing relevance and utility of CRM tools and many SaaS propositions.
Social business strategies are not defined in order to reassure businesses that there are still ways of making what they did in the past appear relevant to their future as they endeavour to remain profitable in the present.
Instead, the act of iterating a social business strategy signifies a company’s choice to be proactive in mitigating the potentially deleterious impact of the social turn in business on its existing enterprise by choosing to understand and respond to it.
Define what social business means for your organisation.*
Interrogate how the social turn in business is beginning to affect your enterprise before its impact on your bottom line forces you to.
Then, integrate and execute your findings.
*Whilst this blog offers a number of perspectives on what social business is, there is no single definition, but in the interests of disambiguation let it be stated that whilst a social enterprise can be a social business, a social business need not be a social enterprise.