Her self-important "My Life" opening segment notwithstanding, Martha Stewart's keynote address at DMA09 in San Diego sparked some interesting questions and discussions for a number of people I spoke with this week. While it has been dismissed as "too obvious" and "nothing new" in plenty of venues, our perspective is this: As direct marketers struggle to find their way in the increasingly-important landscape of Social Media, it is helpful to hear from "early adopter" business leaders.
Even though many of us are preaching Martha's message to our clients, there are plenty of CEOs, Presidents and Founders who have not wanted to face the reality of this new media channel. We talk to Marketing Leaders every day who are fighting tooth-and-nail to put Social on their marketing roadmaps, to get their executives to commit resources, and to find partners that will help them navigate a path to effective execution of a Social Media Marketing Plan. They end up with a half-baked program without any parameters or guidelines, and soon discover that the customers they've worked so hard to engage have given up on them. Or they land a savvy summer intern who, come August, leaves behind an active and engaged Twitter account with no one to follow through. Worse yet, they discover a branded Facebook Fan page started by a rogue store manager that now has a few hundred followers and an unmonitored message thread.
It's the CEOs of these organizations who needed to hear Martha's keynote. It's the executives and business unit leaders who needed to hear her say, "Our goal is to be where consumers need and want us," and realize that she isn't talking about mailboxes or inboxes or shopping malls.
Update: We've added a few links to other write-ups of Ms. Stewart's keynote. If we're able to find a video or podcast, we'll be sure to add that as well! (All links open in a new window.)