More and more, I am noticing terms like 'social media experts' and 'the social media crowd' being thrown around. These blanket statements are usually claiming that this so-called group is about to get their comeuppance, and will soon find out how little they really know.
Then again, I've seen plenty of references to how traditional marketers are nothing but 'dinosaurs' or 'luddites' that 'just don't get' social media, and 'don't know how to reach today's consumer'.
And more often than not, these two groups are lobbing these blanket statements/labels at each other.
It seems as if some people believe there are two groups making these claims:
1 - Social media evangelists. This group is passionate about social media. Some would offer that their passion outstrips common sense. Others would imply that they know nothing about 'real business', and are nothing more than snakeoil salesmen.
2 - Traditional marketers. This group has a solid background in traditional marketing and business. Some would offer that they made their careers in the 80s and 90s, and their thinking hasn't progressed from that point. Others would imply that they decry the hype over social media simply because they don't understand it or how businesses can use these tools.
Of course, both stereotypes are quite silly, very harmful, and in most cases dead wrong. But the problem is that I am seeing more and more people talking about how someone else 'doesn't get it'. One minute it will be someone with 30 years experience as a marketer claiming that 'social media experts' don't get it, the next minute it will be someone identified as a leader in the social media space, claiming that traditional marketers downplay social media because they 'don't get it'.
To everyone, I have one plea; Can we please stop the insanity?
Just because someone has 30 years experience as a marketing/brand manager for P&G doesn't mean that they can't also be social media experts. Just because someone else is a 30-year old social media evangelist doesn't mean that they don't understand how to create a social media initiative that meshes with a larger communications strategy.
Traditional marketing is NOT about to die, just like social media experts aren't about to 'get their's'. But this space as a whole isn't going to move forward as quickly as it could unless these two camps stop pissing on each other.
Both groups have much to teach the other. Here's hoping we all put aside our jealousy and insecurities and start to learn from one another.