The Secret To Social Marketing: Lessons From An Early Morning Spin Class.


What does a spin class have to do with marketing? Well nothing, except I had one of those moments of clarity right in the middle of my early morning spin today. I truly figured out what really makes good social campaigns work—and the answer… well… Let me tell my story.

It has been one of those weeks. Big eye roll –as I tried for the millionth time to explain to an executive that if you really want to participate in social marketing, you have to let go a bit.

He is one of those who wants it all content, getting likes, lots of shares  and of course– having the next viral sensation. But at the same time he also wants total control. Approving and reading  every single, comment, tweet, blog, and photo put out by the company on any social channel. I have tried several times to explain that it just won’t work.   And, the truth of the matter is that  he is so worried about “protecting the brand” and not trusting anyone— that we all go into “marketing paralysis” and his brand will never be successful on social.

Right after that.  I showed my next client this super cool video that we created. It wasn’t the traditional   “corporate speak”  but it did engage with their audience. Really it did.  Everyone in the focus group smiled and said things like  ” Love it” ” You made my day” “Hey, thats awesome!” .

And isn’t that exactly  what you want?  To have content that  connects with your audience? But, the marketing director, who really doesn’t “get” social– big comment.“the font isn’t our “graphic standard” we can’t use that video, its not corporate enough! ( I don’t know about you but I don’t consider Helvetica a big brand image font.)

So brings me back to my spin class…

You see when I go in there and watch the instructor and try to do everything so perfect—you know I end up not really enjoying the ride. But ,when I go in there like today, enjoy the music, follow the cues of everyone in the room, just relax,  and have fun–I have an awesome ride.   I leave feeling good about the class, the instructor and myself. That’s exactly what good social marketing is suppose to do! Good social marketing makes you leave a post, a photo a video, feeling inspired, good,  and connected to the brand.

The one thing I do know about marketing engagement—the harder you try to be witty, to be perfect, to be well corporate– the less you will succeed.

What my experience has shown is that when you stop trying so hard, and letting your product or service be human– those gems of creativity in the moment, may not be “brand” perfect – but will connect with your audience and help your brand succeed.

Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millenniums —Why Good Marketing Departments Need Them All!










By Lisa Laughton McCarthy-Digital Infusion CMO- February 10, 2015

Just this week, I witnessed someone forced to retire before they were ready. It was really a situation of “out with the old and in with the new.” At first, I didn’t think much about it, I was too busy. But as the days went by, it began to eat at me. Maybe because my husband looks at my team, and often jokingly says I am probably the “oldest social media digital marketing person out there!” But is that such a bad thing?


During the dot-com boom, I was hired by a very progressive in-demand agency. We were creating websites, and brand strategies for a host of start-ups, as well as a few of the traditional brick-and-mortar companies that saw the need to get on board with this whole new internet thing. I was in my 30’s and hired as one of the older “grey hairs” as they affectionately called anyone who had worked in the real business world.

But, they seriously needed me. Not only because I had the creative marketing talent but I also possessed the business acumen necessary to ensure that the  super cool things  we were proposing were actually going to translate in the business world. Besides, who else were they going to put in front of CEOs, CMOs, Board of Directors, and Investors to explain why the ground-breaking initiatives were going to make them money.

It was a fun and exciting time, and my career hasn’t changed much.

Which brings me to the present and the relevance of grey hairs today, and our participation in the marketing and creative mix. Believe me, I value my team of young, savvy technology and marketing people who keep me up to speed on the newest social and digital happenings, and the technology folks who go off and figure out how to put our ideas into something that works.

But I have come to realize our success is the direct result of having a combination of generations working together, being open minded, that helps us create really great stuff. Oftentimes, the coolest stuff doesn’t translate into ROI for a business. It doesn’t mean we can’t find a way to incorporate it into the mix, because often looking progressive is part of the business brand strategy. But, everything we create and recommend must align with a business goal, and be a valid reason to invest dollars.

I want my innovators to keep innovating. I love new and different and unique. And I understand, for great creative to work, the client has to be open to fresh, unchartered territories.But I also value business principles and sound marketing investment strategy. I also want to help the next generation of marketing and technology people not to lose sight of the end results.

So, hey, maybe I am one of the oldest social media digital marketing people out there . Its ok. There is a touch of wisdom and experience behind the innovation we create. And, that is why it works.