Risk vs. Reward (vs. reality)
In a good "reality check" post, Lewis Green cites, "This just in from "The Pew Internet & American Life Project" of people's "evolving relationships to cyberspace. Pew found that 73 percent of U.S. adults own a cell phone, 68 percent have a desktop computer, 30 percent possess a laptop, and 73 percent connect to the Internet."
But Lewis also cited this stat..."Only 8 percent of U.S. adults are "deep users" of Web 2.0 features, using them to express themselves publicly."
There is much good discussion on these numbers and their impact over here. But right here I'd sure like to know: in selling/evangelizing/promoting--or just plain arguing--that your companies and clients should start using social media tools, are you guys using only a reward argument...or also one of lowering risk?
Sure, I prefer using the benefit (reward) argument over the fear (risk) play but I'm providing both to clients. Otherwise I fear I'm doing them--and this medium--a disservice. While the benefits clearly span interaction, relevance, authenticity, awareness and more, the risk argument goes like so:
Why risk happy customers? Web 2.0 tech should never be viewed as only a promotional outlet, but as an ongoing customer feedback (and customer research) loop. For both existing and planned offerings. If we miss out on it being a feedback mechanism then, I fear, we miss the Web 2.0 boat--and its main purpose of connecting we marketers with our markets.
Why risk market share? We also need to experiment (read: innovate) or else we run the risk of losing our competitive advantage. Innovating means trying new things, strategies, tools, programs, products and services (as well as improving on old ones).
Why risk budget? While we can account for how well much of our marketing spend is spent we can't account for the efficacy of the entire spend. And 2.0 is far more cost-effective than other media. Even though other media has more eyeballs, why not apportion a % of the budget to social media so as to limit the risk of spending unwisely?
What say you? Or what do you say to your companies and clients? Are your arguments working...or do your companies and clients fear Web 2.0 is too risky? (perhaps turn the risk argument around to work in your favor.)
P.S.: For any of you who need a bevy of benefits in arguing more adoption, a collage of reasons (value) is right here.