Careful, don’t mention the “P-word”…

Now that the world is choc-full of more marketing experts than ever before, I use a number of marketing education sites to read what these digi-legends preach. After all, with so many self-proclaimed luminaries, it’s just so easy for anyone to succeed with digital marketing these days.

One of the sites I use is Marketing Professionals – usually a very good source of reference material. It claims to serve a community of over 656,000 entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and professional marketers at the world’s largest corporations.

This week I downloaded the latest eGuide from marketingprofs: “Marketing Kits 2013 – Social Media“. It has at least 15 pages with over 4,531 words, an infographic, images and more. In fact there’s loads more words when you include those in the images and infographic. Unfortunately it says on the front of the eGuide “Republishing or redistribution is prohibited” so I cannot link it – you know how litigious the Yanks are:)

The wrong path to success…

But I can share some of it with you as I enthusiastically consumed the content. Well I started too. The first section is titled: Path to Social Media Success in 2013: A 12-Month Plan. The first sentence says: “Often, the best way to reach a huge goal is to break it down into small, less intimidating goals.”

Immediately, I knew further reading was probably useless. Another piece of content published for content’s sake. I’m sorry, but the first way to reach a goal is to make the goal measurable within a specific time-frame. For example in a social media context; “to grow a database of 5,000 active followers by 31st December”.

Although this is what’s known as a ‘lettuce-leaf‘ objective – it’s very limp and provides no sustenance to the business. A better objective would be “to grow a database of 5,000 active followers who generate at least $100,000 in measurable sales from social media posts, by 31st December”. But you’ll never see this type of objective – it’s much easier to be gutless and avoid accountability in social media.

The limp lettuce objective...
The limp lettuce objective…

I then decided to check for some key words that I know all business people – particularly those who spend their own money, not their client’s – like to use. For example, given this document includes a path to social media success, I searched for the “P-word” that people in business tend to use when measuring success – “profit“. After all, most businesses that spend money on marketing activity, like to generate the odd bit of profit as a result of their investment.

I couldn’t find it… anywhere. Not one of the 4,531+ words was “profit“. Maybe there’s a new digi-word for profit of which I’m not familiar? Please let me know folks, so I can tell my bank manager.

Psst...don't mention the P-word
Psst…don’t mention the P-word

Then I tried “return on investment” and “ROI” as we all like an acronym. Nothing – not a sausage. Desperate, I typed “bottom-line” but to no avail. So I was forced to read the document. To my delight, I found a headline in the infographic: “Establish ways to measure success“. Woohoo! This was supported by an infographic-subhead: “Top 5 measurements for establishing a brand’s effectiveness on social media“.

Here they are folks, the top 5 – drum roll please:

  1. Social presence – number of followers and fans
  2. Traffic to website
  3. Social mentions across platforms
  4. Share of social conversations
  5. Social influence

At last I was enlightened – even though the author obviously isn’t. In summary these 5 measurement criteria say “those who spend the most money making the most noise, win – regardless of cost.” Sort of like the loudest drunk in a bar or sports match who won’t shut up. But hey, they say more than anyone else, so they are successful according to these criteria.

Bollocks such as these 5 criteria, have been debunked so many times by such organisations as eMarketer and Forrester for example, I’m stunned they have the gall to continue to publish it. But maybe they’re true? Maybe business people who spend money promoting their businesses are wrong to want to get a return on their investment?

If so, I can’t wait to tell my bank manager. From now on I’m going to pay my loans and creditors in batch-loads of followers and fans. Instead of paying cash, I’ll just send the bank a link to my fans. Am sure 500 fans is the equivalent of one month’s mortgage payment? I could be independently wealthy in a few months – all debts paid just by my social presence.

These should pay off the mortgage...
These should pay off the mortgage…

And I no longer need to know all that old stuff about marketing – like objectives, strategy, tactics, budget, measurement – and forget sales. We no longer need to sell anything folks – just talk about stuff online. In fact, let’s shut down the business and marketing courses at university – they’re obviously a complete waste of time, as they focus on the business world, not the social world.

Sadly the Clearasil Kids believe all this crap being published online. They are being educated to think that success has nothing to do with performance. If only I was 21 again – life would be so easy. No accountability, no measurement criteria, just type stuff on a keyboard and business will happen automatically. Though it does sound a bit industrial age to me – repetitive mundane tasks sitting at a keyboard.

I’m off to sell something. Hmmm, maybe a social media guidebook? Wanna buy some used Likes?

A few shekels for your guidebook sir?
A few shekels for your guidebook sir?


  1. Agree 100%….not long ago, a ‘Social Marketing Guru’ asked me what ROI meant? I asked him if he knew what FFS meant….he understood that tho!


  2. He he,

    perhaps a good way to pay some of these guru’s would be with “engagement”, “hover time”, “dwell time” or “Klout Score”.

    Then we’d see if they eat their own dog food.

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