There's a really interesting thread going in the post on what it means to take a more targeted approach. Since it deals with marketing via social networking, which is a topic we wanted to discuss anyway, I thought I'd bring it up to a main topic. Chris writes:
"As an avid cyclist, I recently bought a very expensive bike. I spent a lot of time researching the bike and visited maybe 100 web pages, including cycling discussion boards, blogs and reviews. By the time I decided on my purchase, I had visited the manufacturer's site only once, and there was only one piece of information I wanted from them: frame specifications. I didn't want to hear anything else they wanted to sell me or tell me about the bike. Everything I wanted to know about quality and performance I learned from other cyclists. Personally, I see this kind of purchasing behavior growing rapidly, and I don't see a lot of marketers addressing it. Will it eliminate targetted marketing? No. But there's clearly a changing dynamic that intersects with targetted marketing."
What if by "targeting" we meant applying the right message at the right time? In the case of Chris' bike purchase, the right message would have been only about specs, and toward the end of the decision-making process. How would the manufacturer have known about you and where you were in your process? Well, if they were really into social networking, perhaps they'd be monitoring the biking blogs, and if you had visited their site once and they captured any information about you (via opt-in registration of course), perhaps they'd have sent you a follow-up asking what they could do to help your research. Dare I call this notion "social marketing"? Does it violate some unwritten rules of social networking?
What do YOU think about "social networking?" How would you feel if you received some sort of marketing touch, even if personalized, after posting to a blog? Let's discuss.