In her recent blog on Marketing Nuts entitled 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing & Social Media (RAMs) Don’t Work, Pam Moore set out to outline the primary reasons why online marketers who habitually engage in RAMs really need profound psychiatric help. She defines a RAM as a misguided attempt to increase the awareness of your brand, obtain market share or any other business benefit which by its very nature cannot be readily measured, justified or fails to be integrated with the rest of the marketing strategy.
A Morass of Repartee that Becomes a Magnet for Bots
All online marketers at one point or another have engaged in RAMming through RAMs, mostly with the justification that it seemed like a good idea at the time. RAMs usually start with “well, of course we have to have a Facebook page,” and soon end up sucking away valuable marketing resources in a morass of repartee with individuals who have no intention of ever buying anything from you, and which ends up being a magnet for not much more than bots. Moore’s 15 identifying points that a marketer is being RAMmed are quite detailed, but here are some of the salient points.
- RAMs cost more than you might think – RAMs are the equivalent of the Homerian Odyssey’s sirens: devious creatures who lure sailors with their enchanting song to shipwreck on rocky island coasts. It may seem that a RAM is actually going to be free or next to it… until the hours start piling up and an ever growing amount of personnel and other resources have to be allocated, which brings up Moore’s next point:
- Reshuffling limited resources is not a proper plan – Moore terms this robbing Peter to pay Paul, and it refers to the imprudent tendency to take funding and personnel away from a part of your marketing strategy that is budgeted and planned and ploughing it into a RAM that is neither. The “seat of the pants” determination that a RAM is worth engaging is usually equivalent to an IV drip of cyanide into your business, as marketing functions that do achieve positive results are replaced by RAMs which achieve negative ones.
- If it doesn’t boost Return On Investment (ROI), don’t do it – From the time that the first Neolithic dirt farmer traded a pig for six chickens, ROI has been the only real measurement of the efficiency of being in business. If the amount of time and work to raise that pig cannot achieve a satisfactory return measured in poultry, then it’s a bad trade. Similarly, engaging in a RAM that derives a negative ROI is a foolish strategy that ensures that you will have counted your chickens before they’re hatched, especially since you’re in the process of frying those eggs in a pan!
- RAMs are risky and unsustainable – Engaging in a RAM can pose significant risks to your entire brand’s reputation, and affect customer satisfaction and delivery quality among many other undesirable effects. Fortunately these negatives are mitigated to some extent in most implementations as by their very nature, RAMs are not sustained for a prolonged period of time due to the fact that they lack a budget, planning, formally assigned resources, time lines and of course, goals and metrics.
It’s Often Best to Leave the Project on the Table
The best way to avoid RAMs and all the misery they inevitably bring with them is to integrate every single aspect of your marketing strategy, both on and off social media, and to ensure that every component has a measurable and specific reason to engage in it. Moore points out that not every objective or goal is achievable through social media or even other forms of marketing. There are just some times when it’s best to leave a project on the table than risk shooting your entire brand in the foot.