Does it finally hurt enough to do something, or is the damage too great?

As I tweeted last week, I went in to talk to a tech company today that is seriously considering throwing real resources at social media.  That statement, in itself, is pretty damn amazing.  It must be pretty painful for someone in the semiconductor industry to actually consider doing it and doing it right.

This company is what I would consider the poster child for what is happening to high tech marketing. They have GREAT technology and a solid customer base.  Yet their revenue sucks and their stock is in the toilet because the technology hasn't been necessary... until now.  Like everyone else, they have been cutting marketing costs for almost a decade, thinking that eliminating a cost center will help the bottom line.  What it has given them is a media that is no longer interested in their story, even though now is the time it would actually provide real value.  So even if customers are willing to talk about them, there is no one to listen.

The financial situation of the company is such that they are ready to do almost anything to turn it around... anything but make a significant investment.  And they brought me in to find out of this social media thing might be the answer.

The answer is, of course, it depends.  Depends what they want to put into it.  Depends on if they are willing to let go of control and listen to the market.  Depends on if they are willing to say something beyond what they've developed as far as marketing messages.  In this company's case, it looks like they are going to do whatever it is they need to do.

The beautiful thing about social media is it can stand alone and give you return or it can make all the other traditional stuff work again.   We really need to get out of the hole we've dug ourselves into and we're not going to do that by continuing the digging.