Sunday, March 9

More Reasons for a Social Media Input Brief

I know I've been ranting about it a bit too much, but more news about marketers and social media ignorance came out this week.

First a report from TNS Media/Cymfony about how agencies of all kinds just don't get the social media space. Which, considering this report is from a research company specializing in social media, is as much a ploy to divert marketer attention directly to them rather than through the agency filter (who could end up diverting projects to any number of social media research companies).

A similar strategy to media sites bypassing agencies and selling themselves directly to marketers. So kudos to Cymfony. I'm sure their sales reps got a couple extra credential presentations to mid-level CPG brand managers out of it.

It also fueled a new social media blog from Mediapost, which raises the same concerns but give some voice to the agencies. Although that boils down to the standard agency FTE % finance department position: Hey, pay us more and we'll hire someone who specializes in it.

But still no one recognizes that you can't put all the attention on the agencies. They would be moving a hell of a lot faster if marketers appointed someone on their side as Director of Social Media. Which instantly sets off the agencies' revenue spidey-sense, since there would be a marketing budget supporting that job title. And the money is going to come out of some agency's existing budget, which always puts them in a defensive paranoid position (probably PR or the fuzzy catch-all "interactive" pool).

Assigning that role on the "client side" signifies their validation of social media and would be a wake up call to agencies. And might open the door for yet another niche agency role, fueling start ups, VC funds, and eventual dotcom buyouts/mergers. The typical new media circle of life.

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