Looking Good and Winning

by Ken Mueller on June 21, 2012 · 27 comments

Looking Good and WinningToday’s guest post is from Geoff Livingston, co-author with Gini Dietrich of Marketing in the Round. They will be having a book launch party and discussion this afternoon (June 21) in Washington D.C. Tickets are still available if you’re interested in attending.

Today’s social media world is under fire from the CMO office.

Frankly, the sector deserves it.

We value looking good online over winning. Meaning, social doesn’t deliver great business results.

Social media companies have created metrics that tell marketing strategists little. The results experts deliver don’t correlate to hard business outcomes or key performance indicators.

Bringing social back into the larger marketing fold and tying it to real business metrics remains one of the primary drivers behind Marketing in the Round, a multichannel marketing book I co-authored with Gini Dietrich.

It’s not that you have to choose one or the other. Many social strategists do succeed AND look good. Ford’s Scott Monty is an easy and often cited example. Wendy Harman is less well known, but she always seems to get cited for the Red Cross’s work.

You can win ugly, and walk away with the purse.

You can look good, and still end up waiting in the soup line.

I can count scores of social media, PR and marketing experts online that I cannot associate with any social brand success other than their own name.

Then there are the scores of integrated social media successes whose primary social strategist name escapes me. I have no idea who is behind Etsy’s social media strategy or the person’s name at Wieden + Kennedy who thought of doing YouTube responses with the Old Spice Guy.

It’s just a question of focus. In the long run, winning is what pays the bills. I guarantee you that both the Etsy and Old Spice social strategists are experiencing heavy demand.

That’s why we need to retrench social media within the larger measurable context. While we may want to keep our heads in the clouds, we should keep our feet on the ground.

There’s no reason we can’t do both so long as our priorities are straight.



About Geoff Livingston

Geoff Livingston is an author, public speaker and strategist who helps companies and nonprofits develop fantastic marketing programs. He brings people together, virtually and physically to build loyal networks for business, change and higher knowledge. A former journalist, Livingston continues to write, and has authored three books. Most recently he co-authored Marketing in the Round, and wrote the social media primer Welcome to the Fifth Estate.




  1. […] one; the one at the time when he was funny), but precision is needed to strategize and execute integrated social media marketing campaigns and to measure their business outcomes. Anything else is mud […]

  2. […] one; the one at the time when he had talent), but precision is needed to strategize and execute integrated social media marketing campaigns and to measure their business […]

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