How ‘Social’ marketing is like Soylent Green

Goin' social in Tucson

Goin’ social with the Contract Packaging Association at the Tucson Omni/National

Okay, we get that Spam — the canned pink, meaty stuff — has a protected trademark, unless it has a lowercase “s,” in which it’s less edible still. And Kleenex ain’t just any paper product. Unlike brand names, however, in the struggle to make “social” interactions relevant, there aren’t many actual rules to governing relationships.

What’s social networking in a B2B sector where smallish businesses do outsourced manufacturing and packaging services for large brand-owners? The key — just as in the movie Soylent Green  — isn’t about industrial machinery, it’s…people.

Presentations, discussions with attendees and deep thoughts at a winter confab of the Contract Packaging Association led me to wonder how this group of (mostly) small business execs is un/like their counterparts in other sectors. One of the presenters, following a group participation event, noted that he’d never seen a group with so many self-identified “socializers” vs. other kinds of personality types. Then came dinner, drinks and a day of golfing around. So yeah.

It was a fun trip that led me to write a short column on those personalities, and the “people thing,” in my column for Contract Packaging magazine: “Where’s this Relationship Going?