Recently I interacted with 3 sets of people from the online industry – ones who have adopted to newer ways to engage with audience with Social Media; other being, old school traditional marketers like brand managers & alike who still take internet as a playground to market or push stuff and the last one (the unfortunate ones I believe), the agency folks – the connecting cords between audience & brands who understand new media but have to play fair in the traditional manner most of the times.

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Call it my rant or whatever, but I still think that we haven’t got the true sense of engagement in networked world. More so, I think Social Media is far from being adopted soon enough (will rant more about it sometime later though) in India. But I was surprised to see one interesting trend though.

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Lets go back a decade or so, when I got introduced to internet. Then it was all honky dory since every body was talking about this new fad called *Internet* and every tom, dick or harry was jumping on the bandwagon thinking to earn some quick cash out of this hoopla. Agreed, times were strange then and everybody was trying to make sense out of it. Then came the period of busting out the fat from the system with dot-com bust.

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But just think how things have changed? FYI I follow lot of lingo syntax’s of people around me when trying to catch a trend. For example, think how marketing was defined on the internet? Previously it was called Internet marketing, Web marketing, online marketing and even now also it seems that people do use these words to facilitate any sort of conversation related to marketing over the web. Now we as social media evangelists coined this new word and many adopted it, understood it, practized it and spread it along the way. But many didn’t got the term; some did, some misinterpreted and snow ball effect continues (Reason being there are too many so-called social media experts all around I guess).

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Below is the small trend I saw about web terminologies:

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Interesting – when I search social media vis-a-vis internet/online marketing, it showed that social media is crossed over other web terms. Is it because social media is already here or may be people are trying to know more about it? Whatever the case, it surely shows a subtle crossover between push marketing and engagement oriented *Conversational marketing*.

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But for me, terms like online marketing or internet marketing is so Web 1.0 typo which marked the age of affiliate marketing, email marketing, spammies etc. But now we all have got smarter.

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Our decisions to buy or endorse something online/offline are being influenced by lots of factors which traditional marketing has failed to capture. That’s why so many people rant about television advertising is not working and if they say that its working then I have to say that they are in self-denial state. Whatever is the case, the sufferer is the brand in the long term.

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So what should be done is the question – I won’t prophesize that you should just jump in the social media or engagement oriented metrized campaigns. We should try to understand the medium first, involve/engage ourselves into the conversations. Then we can be the best judge that our brand fits or not.

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So finally what I would propose is getting hands dirty and then decide what suits best for your brand. Metricize it if needed (but of course keeping the reality & perception into picture). And as the medium evolves, so will you & the brand.

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So what do you think is the best option in this scenario when conversations are being driven all around web? Do you want to control or want to drive it?

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Read some of my unconventional rants on Social Media here, here, here, here, here, here and few more.

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