Is Social Business the New Frontier for Marketers?

I read an excellent article in this quarter’s Market Leader written by Mahesh Enjeti from SAI Marketing Counsel in Sydney.

Mahesh reasons that marketers have lost their seat at the top table, frequently relegated from strategic decision making to more tactical promotional and marketing execution roles. The rise of social media and the modern day marketers’ desire to deliver likes, shares and engagement online, has done nothing to raise the profile of marketing at all. It really needs to start conversing at a business / P&L level.

Mahesh points towards the social business as presenting a huge opportunity for marketers.

The idea of the social business is simple: taking social media principles and applying them within a business to drive competitive advantage. For example creating an internal social network, al la facebook, as the hub for collaboration and sharing of best practice. See Yammer and others for examples.

I completely agree with Mahesh’s thinking. This certainly is a key opportunity for marketers to grasp in order to elevate their position back to the board room table. Communications mixed in with real, tangible, measurable business performance improvements.

However surely there is also a need for the profession to focus on the very definition of marketing too. Understanding the customer and creating products and services to match the customer need that make a profit. Great post from Mahesh on this point too by the way.

This involves marketers having a hand in all levels of the value chain such as:

  • new product development
  • market and segment selection
  • distribution channels, and
  • pricing strategy
  • last but by no means least, promotion

Social media has created huge opportunities for marketers, but at the same time, too may snake oil salesman have meant it is likely to never deliver on its potential.

The opportunities associated with the social business might just turn this on its head and present a new frontier for marketers.