Brand Winners... And Losers: Social Networking and Google

Brand Winners…

   And Losers

The Marketing Doctor says:   

Winner: Social Networking

Loser: Google

Folks, without further ado:

The Winner:

The winner this week is social networking. 

The flooding in Fargo, North Dakota has one bright spot: the power of people linked through social networking.

Basically, the search for volunteers to combat the flood led to the Internet when someone suggested that a Facebook group be created to help solve the problem. In a day or so, more than 5500 people had joined the effort. Here’s the story.

We are being reminded again and again of the power of social networking… and there is no doubt in my mind that social networking is not hype. It really is an incredibly powerful new tool.

But a tool for what?

Well, we don’t really know yet. Like any successful new technology, it will become a platform from which many uses grow, most of which no one can guess right now.

That said, like any new technology, social networking doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  What I mean is that the old rules of social interaction and my specialty, real marketing, don’t simply stop functioning because there’s a new way of doing something —no matter how radical that new way is.

It’s what I call O-branding, or Online Branding, and it involves harnessing the power of social networking by employing both a deep understanding of the nuances of the new technology and the technical DNA while being informed and guided by the tenets of real marketing. And real marketing means that in many cases, social networking will be one part of a larger multimedia strategy.

I’ll be talking more about this in the weeks and months to come, but for now suffice it to say: social networking is going to make your own website only one destination in the marketing equation and not necessarily the final one in the marketing of your personal brand or your business.

Speaking of social networking, one of my blogging/social network favorites, IncBiz.Net, has asked me to remind you that March 31 is the last day to apply for the Inc. 500/5000 Fast-Growing Company Award. Here’s the link. Give it a shot.

And, while you’re in social network mode, go visit me on Facebook. You could even friend me.

The Loser:

Google is the loser this week for one simple reason: they’ve just cut 200 jobs in marketing and advertising. What a mistake! Here’s the story from Reuters.

Basically, Google’s decision to cut marketers is a classic error made by people who don’t understand real marketing.  

It also juxtaposes nicely with O-Branding’s basic principle: just because the online environment is radically different, doesn’t mean that the fundamentals of marketing have changed… it simply means that those fundamentals will be employed differently —which means it is even more, rather than less important, to have great marketing people to navigate the waters. 

My guess is Google’s decision comes straight out of the number-cruncher handbook (i.e., the mindset of those finance people who decide who and what gets cut in tough times), which has long held that marketing is some kind of extraneous luxury and not a core cost of doing business. They couldn’t be more wrong. The times when sales or profits are down is the time when you most need marketing. I hope Google realizes this soon.

And remember, it’s always easier when you keep marketing and branding in mind.


Go Brand Yourself also means O-Brand Yourself. Social networking is here to stay.


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