Of course social marketing integration needs to continue for brands and organizations of all sizes. But the need for a dedicated “social leader” is over. More and more marketing professionals are learning the importance of social media and that no matter what your job focus – SEO, display, websites, retail marketing – you have to understand social media and how to use it to interact with customers.
Good integrated marketing rolling into 2014 must include social marketing – but that doesn’t require a social media/social business director. Those of us with those titles don’t need to worry about our jobs. Instead, we need to expand our horizons and realize focusing on social alone is becoming passé.
All of the early struggles with ROI and proving the value of social have led to this. It is a proved commodity and it’s not always about ROI. Instead, we have to cede the power and understand integrated marketing – not social alone – is the true future.
All these years we’ve fought to break out of silos and prove the value and need for our organizations to fundamentally change the relationship with our customers. Dialogue in social, great content that has value, and customer service at social scale all have helped us get to this point. But the battle to “prove” social cannot be won alone. Those of us “in the business” need to come to grips with the fact we must become integrated marketers ourselves. Most of us come from background other than where we are now so that shouldn’t be an issue.
In the latest “State of Social Business 2013,” The Altimeter Group reaffirms this view by stating: “Analysis of our survey results reveal that social media is extending deeper into organizations and, at the same time, strategies are maturing.”
Currently, in my role at H&R Block, I sit on a larger interactive team. We increasingly work together to drive social interactions and opportunities across everything we do. I don’t own all aspects of social – like some direct response advertising – nor should I. This integrated approach means my role evolves and I’m not just a “social” marketer. Our organization is driving social deep into its core after starting isolated.
As more and more brands, organizations and agencies understand and mature the truly integrated marketing approach, soon social will be part of all strategic planning and tactical campaigns. That means those of us who make a living doing this need to understand and operate in a world where we get the whole picture – not just the growing social fast lane.