10 December 2009

Online Media is a Process, not an Event

The above headline is my revision to a statement by Seth Godin that generated some Twitter buzz today. Seth wrote: "The reason social media is so difficult for most organizations: It's a process not an event." That's a concise and brilliant thought.

If I may edit a little, the same observation applies to all online media. Online Media is a process, not an event.

The diagram above illustrates this point. Traditional media requires a marketer and an agency to plan, buy and execute. Online media -- and yes, social media -- requires steps beyond execution.

Those added steps are to measure, optimize and revise. It's a constant process. That "constant process" is the difficult part for most organizations, because it requires a sustained effort throughout the marketing timeline and beyond. You don't just launch and then watch the sales roll in (or not).

I've provided a bit more explanation of what the "constant process" entails in this presentation on SlideShare. Even so, it's just the start. My next post will elaborate on what comes next.


  1. Steve -

    Great post. We were just talking about this yesterday and the effect it is having on things like agency compensation, true feedback loops with clients and being a bigger part of their businesses.

    It also means that agencies and clients will need be more than just the sales definition of partners and need to be extremely involved and transparent in the metrics that ultimately drive sales.

    - Tripper

  2. Tripper, thanks very much for taking the time to comment. Reader commentary keeps me sharp.

    I loved seeing the words "partners" and "metrics" in the same paragraph of your comment. A lot of agents and agencies whine about how they want to be "partners" with their clients, and some clients pay them lip service by routinely using the word "partners". In both cases the word is being used in the old, half-my-ad-budget-is-wasted sense of the word. These days the only true partner is the one focused on results.

    Sometime soon I'll start blogging about compensation, which is the direct outcome of accountability.

    Thanks again, Tripper!