New Age of Socialized Engagement: Monte Lutz, Edelman

New Age of Socialized Engagement: Monte Lutz, EdelmanNew Age of Socialized Engagement: Monte Lutz, Edelman continues the Alterian 2010 series. In this presentation, Monte gave his impression of the profound changes in marketing Edelman sees.

  • Social media is about story—and trust. Citing the Trust Barometer, he asserted that trust was at an all-time low among consumers. The 18-29 age group has more trust, but they don’t consume traditional media [maybe that’s why they trust more?]
  • Trust in experts is up and “people like me” down. Billiam the snowman had the highest trust according to one survey [don’t know what to make of that, is he an expert? ,^) ].
  • When people are facing uncertainty, they will accept a new idea as truth when they hear it from 3-5 sources on average. This gives people peripheral vision.
  • Home Depot employees found that the corporate filters that prevented them from accessing social media sites could be defeated by taking computers out of docking stations.
  • To succeed, brands have to stop being all about themselves.
  • Social media is fast. In one contest, a woman built an audience of [hundreds of thousands] within 2 weeks to win the MTV challenge.


  • A key takeaway here is that brands will earn engagement and trust when they prove that they are interested in people. Not as customers. As people.
  • As I have written for years, the context of the waning Industrial Economy was a prolonged, pent-up demand for goods: during the Industrial Economy’s lifespan (1750-2000), people had relatively few material goods, so firms focused on making products and order taking. During the mid-20th century, however, pent-up demand began to be satiated in wealthy economies, so marketing developed to increase demand. Production began outstripping demand. Since then, the problem has worsened, and overcapacity plagues virtually every industry.
  • Because humans are inherently social, every product or service has a social channel of value about which firms are largely ignorant—because they aren’t looking for it. A car has a core value for reliable transportation. Its social channel relates to how the ownership of that car increases the social status of the owner through his experience of owning it. Some of that is based on its features, but it is increasingly based on his involvement in the brand, and hoe that can help him connect with other people. I predict that, as product features will continue to commoditize, the social channel will come to displace the core channel in terms of differentiating value.
  • This means that brands will have to listen and get personal again, so they will know what they mean to that person and how they can serve him better. Individually.
  • This is more doable than most marketers think. Remember the 1-9-90 rule: one percent of people in a community create, nine percent manage and ninety percent observe. However, by interacting directly with the ten percent, you are reaching one hundred percent. We will undoubtedly discover that it is much more efficient than mass marketing, whose brief heyday was in the 1960s and 1970s (in the U.S., other countries varied), when big media had little competition.
  • This is what Monte meant when he said that brands had to stop being all about themselves.

This is part of a series of my notes and thoughts on Alterian’s Social Business Summit 2010. To see all of them, hit the Alterian tag (also under the title of any post in the series).

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