A marketing story: The tortoise and the hare

Do you remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? Did you know it is a marketing story?

You know, the one where the rabbit takes off in a blaze leaving the tortoise moseying behind. We all know the ending, the hare gives out of gas before the finish line and the turtle jogs by breaking the tape.

This story is not unlike mass advertising and social media.

The hare and mass advertising have a lot in common. Mass advertising, like the hare, spends a lot of energy out of the gate but usually expires before the finish. I am not against advertising. Eyeballs don’t mean people are buying or evening listening just like the hare’s speed doesn’t ensure he will win the race. Check out  Bob Knorp‘s viewership vs. buyership post along the same lines.

The tortoise reminds me of social media. Social wins the race by consistently delivering value and building trust. Reaching the right people with the right message takes patience and persistent effort. Building relationships that connect folks to your company is a marathon not a sprint.

Could these two different animals work together?

Mass marketing is good at getting a message to a large number of people. With enough money, ads can overcome the invisible impressions with frequency and depth. If you get in front of enough people you will reach somebody that presently wants what you have. If you try this with social media it will fail. Social media is not about exposure. It is about community and conversation.

Advertising and social media can work hand in hand when they both focus on relevance and permission. Advertising to people that want to receive your message converts. Using social to build advocacy and retention through human interactions after reach is huge.

What say you?

photo credit: peretzpup

Press ESC to close.