Retailers Who Separate Social From Other Mobile Marketing Are Failing

More social marketers are failing than succeeding. That's the baseline conclusion of a recent Forrester report, according to Erik Sass in MediaPost.

The problem: Most marketers separate social completely from the rest of their marketing efforts or use it to carry an entire marketing program by itself. That doesn't work, Forrester analyst Nate Elliott says in the report, "Integrate Social Into Your Marketing RaDaR." Instead, marketers need to integrate social effectively into established marketing plans.

That may seem obvious, but what Elliott calls "Social Exceptionalism"—treating social as something unique and separate—is widespread. While Elliott doesn't call out retailers specifically, it's hard to conclude they're immune to the problem.

The difficulty is that social just seems somehow special. And it's true that social efforts ranging from shopper comments on a retailer's website to Twitter and Facebook campaigns have a different element than traditional marketing campaigns: Customers are the fundamental drivers. Instead of a carefully crafted message beamed from retailer to customers, it's the things customers actually care about that become the focus in social.

But that's not as far from traditional marketing as it seems, and it's certainly not different. Stores have always listened to customers (with varying degrees of success), and while social may seem to represent a constant demand for damage control, it's also a continuous, real-time focus group. At the same time, it's a continuous opportunity to work on shoppers as they shop by way of the social media most customers are likely to use on mobile devices, such as Twitter.

For example, linking loyalty programs with mobile versions of social could let retailers bypass third-party check-in services and market directly to the customer in-store. But if social is in its own silo, that's never going to happen.

For more:

- See this MediaPost story

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