For those of us who have been with social marketing for a while (maybe 25 years or more, but even 2), some of the things I've been seeing on marketing and PR blogs are taking over the term and giving it their own meaning - oblivious to any history of it. I submit (and yes, this is an indictment):
Of course there is a time and a place for social marketing and of course I am oversimplifying. But what you have to accept is that a large part of the market has never even heard of blogs, wikis and yes, social marketing. Many social marketing evangelists remind me of the people who bought a fax machine when fax machines were the latest - they immediately started evangelizing them, because what good is a fax machine if there is nobody you can send a fax to? Social marketing proponents do the same thing. By assuring themselves that they are right, they end up being right - but only within their own social group. Link: Andreas Duess | Portfolio: Social Marketing conversations.
Now what could that mean? Read on...
New technologies like blogs, social networking, and RSS are changing the media and marketing landscape. This Boot Camp will not only introduce these new tools, it will also move you quickly into being an active participant in social media and marketing. You'll go home with a better understanding of how to use social marketing — and more importantly, a workable plan for what to do today. Marketers will learn when it is appropriate to use these tools, how to overcome internal resistance to deployment, and how to measure the results. Forrester Research Boot Camp on Social Marketing
This "version" of social marketing is operationalized and promoted by people at Forrester Research as: Word-of-mouth, Blogs, Really Simple Syndication (RSS feeds) and Podcasting. And I thought we had problems when we were trying to expand people's ideas about social marketing beyond what I called "the other 4Ps" - pamphlets, posters, PSAs and publicity. I suggest keeping an eye (and ear) out for people who begin equating social marketing with the use of interpersonal or social networks as primary communication channels rather than focusing on behavior change that utilizes all elements of the marketing mix. Gently correct them the first time.