What’s Old is New Again (Or is It?)

I just read a great post by Ustrategy’s Ravit Lichtenberg on ReadWriteWeb highlighting the 10 Ways Social Media Will Change In 2010. It’s a great read and worthy of being carried under the ReadWriteWeb banner (I have no shame in being an unabashed fanboy of good tech reporting).

However (isn’t there always a “however”?), here’s where I disagree with Ravit. He posits that “Many ‘Old’ Skills Will Be Needed Again.”

An economic downturn coupled with the surge of social media eliminated many traditional marketing and PR roles. But this year, we’ll see the return of professionals to the field. Enterprises will turn back to marketers who specialize in understanding customer psychology and who are experienced in addressing these both offline and online. Research and development divisions will turn to customer experience professionals to draw on user needs and ideation as part of their product improvement and innovation process, and sales and support will continue to deliver services online. Expect to see job postings for social media managers, social media psychologists and social media executive administrators to help manage the infinite tasks involved with communities and social media campaigns.”

The reality is that the good shops, the smart companies, never lost sight of the core functions; they didn’t get blinded by the bright shiny lights. No, they saw the lights and worked them into larger, less tactical strategies.

As marketers, the new tools we have at our disposal couldn’t be greater. But they mean nothing/nada/zip/zero if they aren’t tied into a larger/boring/old school/smart/proven strategy.

One response to “What’s Old is New Again (Or is It?)”

  1. Hi Mike- thank you for opening the discussion about old/new roles in response to 10 Ways Social Media will Change in 2010.

    I believe that in the end- we’re saying the same thing: for marketers, the new tools mean greater leverage and capabilities to execute on strategic planning…but, as we know very well, this execution is highly dependent upon solid planning experience and expertise.

    Many of the companies I work with let go of their marketing departments last year and brought in the “young and the restless” so called social media gurus. They now look back at a year of a lot of hype but little return.

    Without traditional/old school knowledge, experience, and training–the new tools are like carrots for the toothless. These companies have shifted their priorities and are back to seeking “old” marketers–with an added criterion of demonstrated social media skills.

    How does that resonate? Have you seen a different trend? Would love to know.



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