Giving up control

Headed to Denver and the ProGreen Expo today. I'm putting on a presentation titled, "Social  Media is the New Village Square, where do you fit in?" Lot's of gardening businesses are using social media while others are looking and wondering, "what's in it for me and my business"? Hopefully by the end of the presentation they will have a plan of action, and a realization of what social media is all about.

Today Seth Godin say's, "Horizontal marketing isn't a new idea". Vertical marketing is what you saw during halftime at The Super Bowl. Ads designed to appeal to the masses. Marketing that,  "starts at the top and involves running ads, sending out direct mail and pushing hype through the media. Your money, your plans, your control. It might not work, but generally the worst outcome is that you will be ignored and need to spend more money."

Horizontal marketing is the crux of what we are going to discussing at my workshop. As  Seth say's Vertical marketing, "means creating a remarkable product and story and setting it up to spread from person to person. It's out of your control, because all the interactions are by passionate outsiders, not paid agents."

The only way Horizontal marketing can work is if we first start with a fantastic product or service. Many believe that social marketing might be a way to drive business to a less than stellar product, or business. Social media has the power to amplify a message, not make a poor message better. Horizontal, or social media marketing involves fans willingly spreading the good news of your offerings.  Learning which tools will help do that is on tap for tomorrows talk.

The hardest part of horizontal marketing as Seth say's, is "giving up control". You no longer can control the message or the speed that the message is spread. That's in the hands of today's marketing department, your "fans"!