Magazine article CRM Magazine

Why Twitter Is Not a Strategy: Though New Technology Is Tempting, Marketers Have to Get Back to Basics

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Why Twitter Is Not a Strategy: Though New Technology Is Tempting, Marketers Have to Get Back to Basics

Article excerpt

From social media to marketing automation, modern technology allows marketers to connect with customers more efficiently than ever. But relying too heavily on technology can be costly. If marketers allow technological tools to take the place of fundamentals, customer relationships may suffer and customer loyalty could be at stake, Tom Doctoroff, Asia CEO of advertising agency J. Walter Thompson and author of Twitter Is Not a Strategy, says. The key, he told Associate Editor Maria Minsker, is to align the basics with the buzzed-about technology and to allow the two to work hand in hand.

CRM: What inspired you to write this book? Why was the timing so crucial?

Tom Doctoroff: I wrote the book because I really feel like the advertising and marketing [industries are] in a state of identity crisis. There is so much technological innovation and there are so many things to learn that it's easy to forget the importance of marketing fundamentals. It's my key belief as a manager and leader that marketing and advertising are industries that are differentiated by conceptual precision and abstract thought. Many people feel insecure when things can't be proven or quantifiably supported through analytics, but marketers need to have faith and confidence in what they do. They need to remind themselves that loyalty is not generated from a stream of data, but from a carefully cultivated relationship.

CRM: The book's title is blunt in its dismissal of Twitter. Is that really how you feel?

Doctoroff: I think social media is a fundamental part of engagement. The title is meant to provoke a debate on whether or not timeless brand building can be replaced by a new era of consumer empowerment, but ultimately, my goal is to suggest that they can coexist. That is, the traditional model of top-down brand building, which is characterized by message craftsmanship, and the bottom-up era of consumer empowerment, which has been turbo-charged by technology, can--and should--be aligned. There is no fundamental conflict between them. It's not a choice.

CRM: Why do you think that the two have gotten out of sync for many brands?

Doctoroff: Usually it all comes down to the consistency of the brand idea. …

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