I wrote a post, and you (insert liked or hated) it
Last week I wrote a post suggesting a social media service provider should possess marketing acumen.
While I stand behind that, I thought it interesting that several people pointed out that all marketing types aren’t suited for social media. On this point I agree. So I’d like to dive a bit deeper and share more of my thoughts, fwiw.
I stumbled upon this quote from Scott Monty, who heads Ford’s SM program, and thought it relevant:
“Let’s not kid ourselves. Using social media as part of your marketing mix is far more than recruiting some über-connected individual who can bring attention to your brand. It starts with crafting a strategy and understanding what your business objectives are. And it means never, ever taking your eye off the customer and doing what matters – providing value to them. After all, isn’t that what you’re in business for?”
Two points I zeroed in on: 1) That social media is part of marketing and 2) There are skill sets required beyond the ability to amass followers.
So, if it’s a marketing program, doesn’t it make sense to have a person with some marketing background head the program? Or, at the very least contain the overall program within the marketing department?
Once upon a time ….
“Interactive” agencies were born – from a need. I remember those times well, and (as a marketing leader) it was a hassle to hire two separate agencies for what – IMO – needed to be integrated efforts.
I had each whispering their specific agenda into my ear, albeit with good intentions, but their viewpoint was decidedly one-sided. They weren’t thinking around the sum total of all efforts/programs. My job was to look at the bigger picture: The overarching strategy, how these executables supported my company’s strategic imperatives, and how I benchmark and measure each.
I was caught in a tug-o-war between experts in their particular, specific fields. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I needed experts. However, if the web shop had more “traditional” brand strategy experience (and appreciated its magnitude), or my agency had web capabilities it would have made my life easier.
Fast forward to smart “traditional” agencies that, foreseeing the coming paradigm shift, staffed up with the specialized talent (creative, strategic and techie) to offer all services under one roof. (Can you imagine any agency now failing to offer web development?)
Now, while a plethora of specialty shops (agencies or consultants) exist, be it by industry- or discipline-specific, for the most part the great divide of “traditional” vs. interactive is arguably lessened.
See where I’m going?
No matter the offering (creative services, social media, product development, user experience, etc.) a strategic roadmap must exist.
If social media consultants/agencies lack the depth to understand how to build their engagement roadmap around a company’s specific brand, positioning (and other) strategic requirements and know how to measure results against business objectives, how can the company possibly execute successfully and without diluting brand?
I’m not talking about contrived or canned conversation. I’m talking about engaging in a manner that is consistent with the brand, be it in tactic, tone or voice.
We can rebuild it
I agree that marketers don’t automatically or necessarily have the chops to execute against social media initiatives. Having said that, smart social media consultants/agencies that lack “traditional” marketing experience will be wise to take a page from the history books and staff up (or partner) with marketing types in order to offer a deeper, more well-rounded set of offerings.
Note: IMHO, while they’re at it they’d be wise to bring in folks that understand how the move toward the semantic web could shift things to best position themselves for where the puck will be, as opposed to where it is now.
My bet is, as this happens and these new bundled service offerings evolve and then become main stream, we will lose the term “social media”. But that’s another post.
Another point was raised regarding programs, trainings or seminars on social media. I was not referring to programs that teach about social media concepts, tools, how-to’s, etc. Rather, I was speaking of firms or consultants paid for services provided.
p.s. Wow, long post. I feel like Rob Hahn, except a girl and not as smart.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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