In a recent blog post, Jim Nail, chief strategy and marketing officer at Cymfony, wrote about a study that provocatively proclaims “Spending on Conversational Marketing will Outpace Traditional Marketing by 2012”. To find out if that’s even possible, I got together with Jim and Pete Blackshaw, executive vice president at Nielsen Online Strategic Services. Like Jim, Pete is wary of the “conversation” hubbub.
What ensued was a very lively debate about whether marketers are prepared to support conversational marketing, and the answer isn’t very pretty. As Jim and Pete point out, not only are marketers not using Web 2.0 tools to create a conversation. To even listen effectively, they need to overhaul their infrastructures, big time.
We invite you to listen to the debate and then tell us what you think by leaving a comment on this blog. Enjoy …
Conversational Marketing: Irrational Exuberance or Next Big Thing?
Jim Nail has an extensive background in integrated marketing through his 22-year career that spans online marketing, market research, brand advertising and direct marketing. Jim was an analyst at Forrester for eight years, focusing on how marketing strategies and tactics must adapt to technology-driven changes in consumer media consumption habits. Prior to joining Forrester, he helped launch Web advertising network AdSmart, where he served as director of marketing. He spent 15 years planning and managing integrated marketing campaigns at leading advertising agencies including Ogilvy & Mather Direct, Draft Worldwide, Bates USA and Hill Holliday.
Pete Blackshaw, whose professional background encompasses politics, interactive marketing, and brand management, is Executive Vice President of Strategic Services for Nielsen Online, a new entity combining Nielsen BuzzMetrics, a firm Pete helped co-found, and Nielsen NetRatings. Pete’s primary focus revolves around how to help brands interpret, manage, act upon consumer-generated media (CGM). A former interactive marketing leader at P&G and founder of consumer feedback portal PlanetFeedback.com, Pete co-founded the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). He is a frequent speaker at interactive marketing industry events, serves as Ad-Tech advisory board member, authors a regular marketing column with ClickZ, and authors several blogs including ConsumerGeneratedMedia.com (www.consumergeneratedmedia.com). He is author of an upcoming book by Random House entitled “Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000: Running a Business in Today’s Consumer-Driven World.”
Also, another good reference point on the ugly side of this debate can be found here.