WHO SAID YOU WERE A MEDIA COMPANY?: CLUE TWO FOR ESG MANAGERS
Search and social might be a mainstay of your ESG communication strategy. Maybe even of your enterprise strategy. It's what many of us fall for.
And yet. Maybe you're vaguely aware that your ESG messaging ROI is on the floor. In the pre-2020 epoch, B2B teams churned out content for the search and social giants to swallow up.
But as these channels clogged, audiences saturated, your posts reached fewer and fewer people, unless you knew the smarts.
The value and ROI from global organic search and social monopolies has been sliding for years. They're no longer serving you - you're serving them. In handcuffs.
At the start, they demanded every company become a media company. Which stoked it for them, choked it for you.
Look at your ROI thoroughly, you'll be as shocked as Mark Baum in The Big Short.
Remember Tom Foremski's 2005 mantra every company is a media company? The concept was this: because your audiences inhabit social media, you can no longer merely sell and produce, you must become a media producer to reach them there.
This is - and always was - pure ordure.
So put the spraygun down.
The source of this delusion seems to have been picked up quickly by Cisco in 2007 and the search and social Goliaths just after that. We tracked it. Can't blame them for encouraging every company in the world to consume their services.
Getting on for two decades later, you're a supremely rare beast if you have any first-page ranks, or thriving audience engagement from social or organic search.
It's the attrition from frequent algorithm changes, from choked news feeds, and from the Goliaths' obsession with enriching their medium over serving you value. The ROI is palpably hollow. You're obsolete, unless you keep up, retune, often re-engineer. Which you do. But the conversion ramp is flat or declining. Look at your results. They don't lie. Your trust, your constant effort, your cash, they're all thinning.
Can you hear the pied piper here? After decades of social and search investment, what do you actually have? A 'presence'. Really? REALLY?
What's that rising at the top of your chest? Could it be anger?
"I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."
Maximus Decimus Meridius, Gladiator, 2000
Do List: Calculate the ROI deficit if it makes you feel better. Rage at the number if it helps. But in your gut, you know this sinking feeling.
You've been played. The giant platforms are selling you synthetic enterprise. And SaaS is colluding too. Automated or AI systems, offering you some kind of auto-enterprise, auto-prospecting, auto-advertising. Just sit back and coast to success? Hell no, more like an invitation to abdicate. Measure the results. Software alone will never serve you.
The whole ecosystem has failed you.
How to Pivot
Time to respond. The ESG coms doors are open. Your prospects are inside. Your blood is rising. Re-skill, re-tool and return. You're not a media company, remember? You're wiser than that.
Don't hit-and-hope, it's so costly and ineffective. Get professionals to handle audience expectations, gaps, messaging, behaviour, targeting, creative, scheduling, frequency and more. Set these up with forethought, with imagination, with managerial oversight. And recycle with precision. Know what works. Vengeance is distinction.
Fewer, shorter, more impactful, differentiated films that solve real audiences problems, will always help you cut through the fog of bore.
Create your top end content with a professional.
Hit-and-hope just won't cut it any more.
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