NIIT spends around 40 percent of its advertising budget on digital, but very little on social media. At the Tenth Digital Marketing Round Table, held last Friday in Delhi by the IAMAI, Mohit Hira, President (Training.com) for NIIT said that Social Media (Marketing) is like a cards game that you're playing blind, and marketers tend to forget that they're gambling with Social Media. "You never know what you're going to get, and you can't force yourself into a relationship with a consumer: there's just no depth. I wouldn't call it marketing because it hasn't reached the level of a science." Later on, during the discussion, he also questioned that a majority of those paying for courses on training.com are not Indian, and at the same time, 90 percent of the fans on its Facebook fan page are Indian; they aren't paying. Marketing Mandate? Hira's issues with Social Media Marketing are right, but only if you look at it from an advertising and promotion perspective. Frankly, I don't think it should be a Marketing mandate at all: in an open environment that is prone to volatility and herd mentality, those best equipped to track, evaluate and manage situations on social networks are in Public Relations (PR). Of course, given the recency of the need to manage these situations (though social networks by themselves are but an evolved form of forums), the industry is awash with "Experts" who know how to wield the tools and promote brands/products, create buzz, but would not…
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