Some of you may have noticed that a posting I had up earlier last week is now gone. The reason for this is that someone in leadership of the company I was writing about threatened to "trash" a friend's reputation unless I did. Using that company as an example of bad marketing is not as important as my friend's reputation so I acquiesced. But something else happened in the process. It proved the power of social media properly used.
This little blog has very few regular readers. Maybe around 500. We get around 500 new readers every month and a few end up getting the RSS feed so that number is rising steadily. In this case, my little flame got to a single customer of this company and set the company's leadership into an absolute tizzy. The fact that this little blog opened up a conversation between him and a customer was completely lost on him, as did the opportunity to take a hard look at his marketing and make improvements.
That's the point of all this talk about social media.
We are in a world where we cannot control what the market is saying about us (unless we want to include threats to friends and family as a controlling factor). Using marketing practices that worked in 1990 don't work anymore. It doesn't matter how many people we reach because it only takes one or two to make or break us.
It's a dangerous world out there because there are real market leaders who are investing in making sure smaller, innovative companies don't succeed in the long run, and, in the short run, making sure they drive down valuation for eventual acquisition. Ignore the market conversation and use outdated, underfunded marketing at your own peril.