Originally posted at Collective Bias Blog 

by  Avatar of John Andrews

Technology, Content Marketing, Social Shopper Marketing


Most of today’s senior business leaders and marketers developed much of their perspective during the dot com boom of the late 90s and early 2000s. It is little wonder then that when approaching social marketing the solution for most folks is rooted in technology.  The same with most start-ups that are still pursuing the model of aggregating a huge audience, using “Big Data” to spot patterns of groups and selling ads. People buy more stuff and we get a ridiculous valuation.

The problem is, this is the exact reverse of the promise of social media, it’s social, get it?  Human’s need to be more involved, not less.  Enterprise solutions that promise to manage customer relationships across social platforms are simply modified CRM systems that extend the spamerriffic effect of email carpet bombing to social sites.  Yes, Banana Republic, I know you have some amazing sale every day but the combination of a daily email and the inability to escape despite multiple unsubscribes actually decreases my interaction with ALL email, did the algorithm predict that?  A person who actually thinks as a customer and spends most of their time interacting with customers would.
Here’s the thing, Social Media is a relationship proposition, not a direct response vehicle.  
Late last night I received a text link to an article titled Less Silicon, More Carbon from our Senior Advisor, Kate Berg, reinforcing a conversation we have shared over many months.  This theory has been furthered by Collective Bias’ journey through the capital raise process and reinforces a conversation shared with Ted Rubin during our early morning walks when traveling together. We’ve had countless hours of discussions with venture capitalists and investment bankers that ultimately lead to a central question; “How can you use technology to scale and protect your model from competition?”  This inquiry has caused me to think deeply about the future of the industry.  What is the right blend of people and machines?

Today, Collective Bias is seeking to understand this media marketplace like many others.  Our fundamental belief is that people have to be at the center of the new media equation, not technology.  We employ tech to do jobs that help broadcast and syndicate the content produced by our Social Fabric community or somehow makes their job easier.  We are also making heavy investments in measurement and analytic technology to better understand how an audience is interacting with content and the overall effect that has on the relationship and loyalty a consumer has with a brand or retailer.

Over the next couple years, technology will play a more important role as the volume of content we manage grows, but the need for people to be in control of and influence the production, quality and connective tissue of our media will be what creates the true value.

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