February 22, 2013
Prediction: Consumers will ultimately reject conventional social media marketing
Humor me — pretend for a moment that you care what I think.
I believe that consumers will ultimately reject the current form of social media marketing more virulently than they have "junk" mail, telemarketing, and Ginsu steak knife commercials.
Why? Because (first of all), they have some problems in common...
They are often perceived as an unwanted interruption
They require some form of avoidance by the consumer
They regularly provide access to unscrupulous sellers
They are difficult to opt out of
But social media marketing has one more, highly-important advantage or disadvantage: it makes the interaction very personal. Advertisers use the interests and information you contribute to discriminate against you — algorithms that dictate the results your searches, or what you have access to, based on your age, race, sex, socioeconomic status, and so on.
Over the last two decades, the web's liberation of information and access has won the interest and participation of billions of people. I believe that the organizations that use social media to manipulate the consumer will ultimately cause a wholesale rejection of its platform.
(Don't get me wrong, this is not a dig at ethical, transparent marketing — there are clearly many organizations that turn out important, informative, and entertaining messages that we all use, to one degree or another, to make buying decisions.)