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Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson and editor Mark Choueke locked horns in a debate over the value of social media to marketers. The columns are at www.marketingweek.co.uk/Markritsonpeople and http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/Markchouekepeople. See extracts of comments below

In social media’s defence
Who knows whether those who use social media sell more stuff and deliver better shareholder value or customer loyalty? As with mobile advertising and the like, this topic is infected with the sound of vested interest.
Simon

Concluding that social media is of limited potential based on the number of Twitter followers accrued by the corporate accounts of a few large brands misses the point. But then you could always continue to do what you’ve always done…
Neil Perkin

A proactive approach to embracing social media is vital. You may not be there, but the conversations about your market, your business will be.
Mark Palmer

Mark Ritson replies
I have no problems with you plugging your whole marketing budget on Facebook and Twitter, but when I turn up with your CMO or managing director to review your marketing plans, you better have a numbers-based explanation for why you spent on Twitter rather than PR or the sales aid or the website.

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Mark Ritson’s recent article “Social Media Is For People Not Brands” (MW 2 September) is rather difficult to substantiate as it states social media is categorically not useful for brands, when using only Twitter as an example.

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