I do not like the phrase “social media”, even if I work with it every day. The reason is that it tries to describe something new and often in a free standing context. Creative Relationship Marketing is broader but also more to the point. It is broader in the sense that it also include the use of traditional media in new ways, but more to the point that it is about marketing and building relationships.
Every day we market our product and services, our ideas and ourselves, but it is really all about communications and relations. This is my view on the current and future of marketing and communication.
Social media is not new. Viral marketing has been around since forever, online forums since the time of the Bulletin Board Systems (pre-Internet) and real time communication existed in the early days of the Internet via IRC and ICQ, blogs been around for decades etc. The thing we call social media is really just new web services that has reached a broad enough target group to be interested to marketers.
What is new is the creative use of the media and the focus on creating relationships with clients. Well, this is actually not new either, at least not for some persons/companies, but the mainstream use of creative solutions are new. Many of the mainstream users still have still to understand that it is about relationship building and not about pushing a message through as many channels as possible.
Ons should also observe that for many persons the above is not new at all, if you are part of the younger generations (born in the 80’s or later) you are probably more prone to test new channels without reflecting over that they are new and creative. You are then probably more interested in the functionality and what problems it solves. You can belong to another generation and still have this focus, but you will find that the percentage is much higher for the young.
The basis of marketing and communication (that you learn in the universities) are not very hard, but to apply it with creativity and gain a competitive advantage, that is the complex part.
Over the next weeks I will go into different aspects of Creative Relationship Marketing and how you can apply this thinking to get the most out of your business. Even though the posts will be business focused, with just a ounce of creativity, you can apply it to develop yourself and your personal relations as well (if you make a distinction between business and personal).