I recently commented on some less intelligence social media marketing techniques by brands, picking up on a great post by Sameer Patel, Marketing your Marketing. Basically he was arguing against the rising practice of enticing your visitors to ‘Like’ your Facebook business page by throwing them a discount coupon and commented, “what were they thinking?”
Now Jeremiah Owyang comments on The Peculiar Marketing Trends Among The Social Software Industry. I can summarize my reaction by quoting Sameer, “what were they thinking?” as I see a similar logic in operation. Three are very old school and one is new school. First, some firms are putting up airport billboards. Yet he notes that some brands might question it that is the best way to invest in marketing.
Then others are hiring attractive women to staff their conference booths to supposedly lure in prospects. Jeremiah notes that while they might get some eager males for the wrong reason, many serious buyers might not want to get anywhere close to the booth to avoid having their picture in the conference tweet stream. The iPad prizes mentioned by Sameer are more subtle. Others, especially female prospects might simply be offended. A combination of iPad prizes and models appears to doubledown on your mistake. Other software firms are adopting virtual mascots for Web promotion and physical ones for event promotion.
Then there is the rise of might be argued as virtual versions of these gimmicky efforts. Jeremiah notes that in order to appeal to our shrinking attention spans, infographics are the new white paper.p I would suggest that these are generally designed with a focus on SEO and link bait, as much as with serious content.p Jeremiah notes the link bait aspects.
In marketing there has always been an attempt to lure people in ways that do not add any value to the serious nature of the conversation about the product. There is nothing inherently wrong with this as long as it is done with good taste. Now we have SEO as a byproduct of search engine algorithms.p We are appealing to these tools with material that is alluring in the same way that mascots and models attempt to attract people. It can be argued that the physical versions of link bait do not necessarily get the right people to engage. I wonder if that will be the same result for the virtual marketing techniques?p
I know there is not a clear yes/no answer to this question. However, I do think it is question that needs to be asked. What has been your experience?