“Cheap social media makes marketers lazy”

A leading UK marketer has warned that the discipline of marketing is becoming “lazy” in the face of “cheap social media”.

Computer

Simon Carter, the marketing director of Fujitsu’s government arm, says that because social media and email marketing is perceived as being “free”, some junior marketers risk over-using it and ignoring the skills and disciplines traditionally learned by marketers.

The former Thomas Cook and Post Office marketer says: “Junior brand managers think social media is a great way of getting their message out to a wider audience at virtually no cost.

“The problem is that it’s cheap churn and too often, the stuff we as marketers are taught in the classroom about targeting; about the right message; about good creative and the proposition and so on, are forgotten.”

Carter believes social media and email marketing can play an important role but warned marketers against getting lazy. “I see campaigns where practitioners no longer worry about getting email addresses right. If something goes wrong it’s like ’so what, we’ll send another batch of 10,000’. I think that without the postage or printing costs that we used to have with direct mail, it seems to matter less if something goes wrong,” he says.

Carter adds that finance directors who care less about return on investment than they do about cost are guilty of encouraging greater use of social media. “The perception that it is free means that finance bosses are happy for their marketing directors to do lots of it. As far as they’re concerned it is modern and it enables the brand to touch lots of customers without costing a fortune.”

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