Be Careful What You Believe About Social Media

Eric Clemons, professor of operations and information management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, drew some fire with his argument that the Internet shatters all forms of advertising. Enough so that he updated his post in an attempt to quell the criticism (or perhaps fan the flames) on TechCrunch, telling people how to properly frame their rebuts, ridiculing them for how they chose to comment, and warning them that he was right one time back in 1989.

As much as the Clemons post provides an excellent example of how someone allowed a message to manage them as opposed to managing their message, it might be useful to explore his argument. And, in doing so, demonstrate why his message failed.

Beyond his argument, there is something else to consider. When communication messages across all media are aligned, the outcomes are generally more substantive than singular communication streams because it accounts for sensory capacity and orientation. Specifically, sensory capacity and orientation are two factors that help determine how much influence a "cue" might have to a person. And, people are only influenced by a cue when they become familiar with that cue.

Where impressions play a part is that they help establish familiarity. For example, a cue, like an onsite product review, only has influence if the prospect has the capacity, orientation, and familiarity with the product to capture their attention. If someone has been exposed to several print advertisements, television advertisements, news stories, blog posts, direct friend referrals, etc., they will automatically gravitate toward reading the review of that product over the review of another product that they are being exposed to for the first time.

Two more posts on the subject of why impressions still count.

The case for frequency on Drew's Marketing Minute.

Brain Rules For Marketing - Part 2 on The Marketing Spot.

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