Thanks to social media, marketing is everyone’s job. Social media now is a prospective buyer’s primary research tool ahead of purchase. The brand best equipped to provide useful content about a product or service and engage individual prospects through authentic brand ambassadorship is far more likely to win that prospective customer’s business.
Such engagement requires specialized knowledge about the product or service in question, which often means that the employee, team or department responsible for a specific product or service also is the best-suited to talk about it. On one hand, this is a fantastic opportunity for the public to get information directly from the source. On the other hand, asking more employees to engage the public as part of their jobs inevitably means trusting people who aren’t trained marketers.
These are the needs of modern marketing, and it is important that businesses and marketing departments invest in the cultural infrastructure necessary to meet this challenge. This, of course, begs the question: If marketing today is everybody’s job, what does the modern marketing department look like?
Some worry that marketing departments will get absorbed, get outsourced or simply go away. Fortunately, we’re not seeing any of those options play out. Instead, social business leaders such as IBM, Adobe and Dell have redesigned their organizational models to prize employee empowerment through social training programs and increased access to useful branding or product information.
Marketing may be everyone’s job, but someone still needs to be there to show them how to do it properly. And brand ambassadorship in social media depends on transparency and authenticity. While there are attendant risks, the potential rewards are far greater.