Just as with software, the messaging process is primary for social media – but why do so few people get that? Having started off in tech as a database administrator and systems analyst, I’m often struck by the usefulness of software development ideas to the rather separate work of market development. Many marketers skip over the importance of a co-ordinated integration of marketing functions, while such a mistake could never be made by software people. It’s an especially severe problem in the world of social media.
In today’s world, where software involves components, processes and applications which work together in fluid, agile and unforeseeable ways, the key task for developers is to agree how the system speaks to itself. Processes need the same name; they need to be fairly self contained while leveraging as much as possible of the already-existing functionality.
In the marketing world, there are few tech firms whose marketing has a strong infrastructure. It can be done, as the impressive global campaigns of IBM (for a smarter planet) and Fujitsu (“Human Centric Intelligent Society”) show. These campaigns integrate and leverage those companies’ strategies, outlook and brand. They are clear and comprehensible at the corporate level. They are well enough articulated to form the framework of an approach and messaging architecture which can be easily taken up and adapted by both internal business segments and external partners.
There are many practical advantages, including the ability to develop creative assets (copy, design, multimedia, messaging etc…) which can be developed and tested quite systematically because of the economy of scale reflected in a global roll-out. But the key advantage is that it makes the marketing process faster, better focussed and more operative.
However, for such an approach to be most beneficial, all marketing disciplines need to be able to put the strategy to work: that means the ‘top down’ responsibility to communicate internally when developing and implementing the approach has to be coupled with delegate the ‘bottom-up’ authority to implement and adapt it.
While some disciplines are more centralised (advertising, is a common example but it varies from firm to firm) social media stands out as a communications channel which is often delegated without oversight or accountability.
This article was first published by Yahoo! Contributor Network.