I have been described many different ways in my life: loud, opinionated and over-caffeinated are just of the few apt descriptors for yours truly. However when it comes to the world of marketing, advertising, social media, branding and all that good stuff, I don't think many would refer to me as being hyperbolic.

I am not one prone to exaggerate; use hyperbole but I can see some people thinking that based solely on my use of the word "catastrophic" in the title of this article.

However, after what I just read that is absolutely the correct adjective to use to describe what marketers are doing when it comes to social media content marketing.

The headline and chart via MarketingCharts.com says it all:

Global Marketers Say Lead Gen A Bigger Social Ad Objective Than Branding

The findings come from a new study from Econsultancy in association with Adobe and fly directly in the face of a study conducted earlier this year by Vizu which revealed that a majority of marketers and advertisers indicated their primary objective when it came to social media marketing was brand-related.

So why is this most recent finding so catastrophic?

Simple.

  • It means that marketers are putting more emphasis on selling than they are at establishing relationships with consumers via branding.
  • It means that marketers would rather try and sell you something than say tell you a story.
  • It means that marketers are only in "it" to increase their bottom line.

Look, I get it re: the last bullet. This is not my first rodeo by any means. I understand making money, moving product, and on and on and on is and always be the ultimate business objective.

Consumers know that.

Don't underestimate them by any means.

But the consumer of today does not want to be inundated with sales pitches just so you can feed your lead gen beast Mr. and Mrs. Marketer. And if you don't know that  by now, you may want to consider a career change.

When I am asked for my definition of content marketing, I usually include the phrase "guns blazing" as in "you cannot go into a relationship and maintain a relationship with a consumer guns blazing. You have to engage, relate to, share relevant content with your audience and yes integrate your "guns" AKA your product, into your overall content marketing strategy."

It cannot be sell, sell, sell at every single turn.

That's an image from an article I wrote back in October of last year Dear Brands, Tell Us A Story - Love Consumers which featured the findings of a survey of 1,000 consumers over the age of 18.

As I wrote back then: "...it’s pretty clear that brand managers and brand marketers and marketers and advertisers of all shapes and sizes better take note that consumers want something in addition to the sales pitch."

When marketers begin to prioritize sales OVER brand-building and relationship-building and the like, that is a red flag of yes, catastrophic proportions. What these same marketers fail to realize that by building their brand via storytelling, sharing of relevant content and truly engaging with consumers will lead them to lead gen promised land they seek.

Make no mistake about it, however. Those marketers who go down the path of putting lead gen/sales over branding and relationships will not be be successful in the long run.

Sources: Google Images, MarketingCharts.com