Case Studies Will Not Save You

Demand is increasing for case studies showing business success with social media and social CRM — a clear sign that social media and social CRM are passing beyond Early Adopters into the Middle Market. Early Adopters don’t need case studies, but the Middle Market does. [1]

Unfortunately, case studies will not help the Middle Market very much.

As Seth Godin said:

The reason social media is so difficult for most organizations: It’s a process, not an event. Dating is a process. So is losing weight… and building a brand.

On the other hand, putting up a trade show booth is an event. So are going public and having surgery. Events are easier to manage, pay for and get excited about. Processes build results for the long haul.

When you are good at social media, your audience will be somewhat unique to you: your evangelists and your fans. If you follow someone else’s wake of social media success, expect your results to vary. The Early Adopters may give you tactics to try, but their results will not be yours because your process has different inputs and should take different turns.

If you are holding out for someone in your vertical to win so that you can be the fast follower, please start your process.

Also in the words of Seth Godin:

How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”


FOOTNOTE
[1] In his book entitled Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore explains the needs, motivations and relative population sizes of Early Adopters and the Middle Market. For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_the_Chasm.

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