Internet Week: Missed Opportunities in Social

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Marketers often make the same mistake that we try to prevent our own clients from making: not understanding your audience. In marketing parlance, that includes talking above people’s heads, using acronyms, and assuming that everyone knows what you know.

I attended a number of excellent sessions during Internet Week but feel there is still a huge opportunity to develop panels that are more tailored and give specific case studies as to which agencies and clients are doing excellent work in the sphere of social media.

A prime opportunity rests in marketing for highly regulated industries. Marketers in this field face specific challenges due to the complex and limiting nature of the business structures and regulations involved, particularly in financial and legal services. It’s a daily struggle to be able to create valuable, customer-centric, engaging campaigns while satisfying internal compliance demands and external regulation. Clients want to hear ideas and learn about case studies that are directly targeted to their unique challenges.

The nature of social media requires a lighting speed turnaround to inquiries, which makes it extremely difficult for the industry to respond. Some questions to consider are: What channels are appropriate for these industries? What is the brand trying to achieve? The answer usually involves a combination of lead generation, relationship building via the sales force, and brand awareness. These are all valuable opportunities that must be planned out and thought through at length.

It’s exciting to see companies like Morgan Stanley entering this unchartered territory. “In June, Morgan Stanley will launch a pilot programme allowing 600 of its financial advisers to market themselves and to share their ideas and expertise through social media – notably through Twitter and LinkedIn.” Insurance companies have also started to train their agents in building a local presence in their communities via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

This is a growing space that is going to see a lot of development and experimentation this year. Its important to continue to monitor and create exciting events that are relevant and targeted to this industry.

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