What to do in 2010: Better target, distribute and measure

2009 went by fast, crazy, busy… All of my colleagues were powerpoint heroes and road warriors. With the economic downturn, budgets are spent more carefully. Smart marketers ask to see where their money is going and which ideas will bring them return. Apps, Facebook, Twitter, house parties, sampling…name the tactic or channel you want, but you need to match it with a plan to target, distribute and measure.

We were brainstorming in the office the other day and a dear colleague who works on traditional media asked me a broad question: “What works in social media nowadays? And what doesn’t?” There is so much excitement around fan pages and Twitter handles that it is easy to forget that you need to devise a plan around these initiatives. Otherwise, you’re relying on luck for audiences to understand, embrace and pass along your message.

What happened in 2009? It was the year of the clutter. Touch-screen technology and apps became mainstream. Developers started forming small companies that focused on applications, which work across multiple platforms. Newspapers took ads about apps. Amazon announced that it was selling short stories and planned to be the iTunes of publishing. Here’s the take away: Content is king, but it’s smaller than ever. It’s parsed into byte size bits. So, you need a truly creative strategy and smart distribution plan to break through the clutter.

What doesn’t work in social media anymore? A Facebook fan page, a widget, an app…. that you just develop and post out there.

What works in social media? A Facebook fan page that with sustained activity, that goes beyond pushing updated news to audiences. A widget or app that is tied into a wide distribution network, targeted to the right audience. More importantly, apps that deliver value and utility.

2010 will be the year of truly creative work in social media. We will need to grab audiences attention and rise above the crowd. And only those programs built on solid foundations of targeting, distribution and measurement will break through the clutter and make their marks.

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