John Bell, who heads up Ogilvy PR’s global 360° Digital Influence team, touches on the difficulty of selling social media plans to mainstream clients.
Many brands and businesses want to take advantage of social media – influencer outreach, activation of networks or communities and radical visibility – to fill out their marcom plan. They are not ready, or maybe even suitable for organizational change. They need to launch a product, boost sales this quarter, or demonstrate that they are innovative. We see this with many consumer package goods companies (CPGs). They are sales machines. Often their brand leadership is transitory at best. The brand managers move from brand to brand within the organization as they conquer challenges.
Bell advocates experimentation, but notes that a less-committed approach, can lead to shortcuts and shortcuts can lead to program “underperformance” and a perceived sense of failure.