15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing & Social Media (RAMs) Don’t Work!

random acts of marketing social media ramsThere you sit in the executive conference room watching everyone nod their heads about the latest idea from the new executive on the block. He or she has a new idea that is going to “save the company.” It could be anything from a random LinkedIn group, social media campaign, planned “go viral” video” or who knows what.

The sad thing is nobody in the conference room has the guts to state the obvious… that there is no budget, time, or resources to implement the new random act of marketing or social media with any level of success.

So, everyone in the conference room nods their heads, takes notes and smiles as if they are excited about the project. However, in their heads they are thinking “how on earth am I going to get this #[email protected]$%@ thing done!??  They start having nightmares in their heads of the budgets they are going to have to rob, the people they are going to tick off and the begging they are going to have to do of needed resources to pull this one off.

Sound familiar? Have you seen this scenario before?

I like to call it a bad case of the RAMMIES.  Scratching tasks and tactical to do items off your list may make you feel good. You may feel a sense of accomplishment. However, in reality too much randomness in your business is a recipe for disaster.

Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) defined:

 

Random Act of Marketing:

An attempt to grow market share, increase brand awareness, drive revenue or other business benefit that is NOT integrated, can not be easily measured or justified and does not integrate with other marketing and biz tactics.

RAMMIES:  

Multiple RAMS which often lead to wasted investment, little to no benefit in the form of brand awareness, revenue and often lead to lay off, market share loss, gray hairs, stress, sleepless nights, mass consumption of chocolate or other high fat foods.

We have all done them, seen them fail and regretted them…. the RAM.  It may start out as a simple Facebook page, Twitter profile or LinkedIn group. The key is what may seem like a pointless little project could eat your ROI before breakfast and lunch!

random act of social media marketingTop 4 signs of a RAM:

1. Not funded

2. Not in the plan

3. Not integrated

4. No defined metrics for success.

 

15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) Do NOT Work!:

1. No budget + no assigned resources + no plan = no results

2 Robbing Peter to Paul is not a strategy. If your planned strategy to obtain the necessary budget requires you wearing a black mask, hiding in the back alley of your office or nabbing lunch sacks of fellow employees then chances are you have a bad case of the RAMMIES.

3. RAMs cost more. Although in the short term you may think completing a RAM or two will cost you less money, in the medium and long term it will do just the opposite. Where you save money now could end up costing you double later on when you have to go back and update, fix errors or integrate with other parts of the business.

4. RAMs are not good for ROI. It may feel good for the short term to cross the random task off your list. You may even be able to impress your peers or stakeholders when you provide a snazzy presentation of all the great random tasks and accomplishments you have made.  However, over time it will inevitably become more difficult for you to prove a return on investment. The same list that delivered you a short term ego boost in the board room might just land your name on the short list for the next round of layoffs if you aren't careful.

got facebook data? they got yours!5. RAMs have a way of hiding the real impact. Return on investment across all marketing and social media investments is usually impacted negatively or positively by each and every task. Too many RAMs can have an exponentially negatively impact to your bottom line. Since RAMs are not within plan, budget or associated with real metrics their risk is not usually known up front. These types of projects usually come back to bite ya' in the “RAMMIE” at some point in time.

6. Difficult to set realistic expectations with executive management and key stakeholders. Because you lack a plan, goals, objectives, assigned resources it makes it difficult to make real commitments. It becomes even more difficult to set realistic expectations with top executives and stakeholders who have a vested interest in the bottom line. I've seen marketing and business leaders fail over and over again in this scenario. They wind up making promises based on a hope and a prayer and wind up needing the same thing when they are later asked about the results they so foolishly promised.

7. Lack of goals and objectives makes it more difficult to align needed evangelists, partners and stakeholders. Because a RAM lacks the fundamental success elements such as basic goals and objectives, it becomes difficult to obtain the needed support from both internal and external evangelists, partners and stakeholders. Those smart to the RAMMIE can spot them from a mile away and avoid them at all cost.

8. RAMs don't fool smart business leaders. As mentioned above in #7, the smart business and marketing leader can spot a RAMMIE from a mile away. They've seen them, usually been taken by them in a past job or assignment and avoid them like a spammy Twitter bot. You may be able to fool your co-workers or even a clueless boss. However, eventually you will run into a RAMMIE smart stakeholder who will blow holes in your RAMMIE plan at first glance.

9. RAM timelines are usually not accurate. Because no proper planning, resource allocation or budgeting is associated with a RAM, timelines are usually not realistic. RAMs are often chosen to solve a short term, self imposed emergency business need. Often times they are the result of an executive meeting where a key stakeholder has an idea or demands a project be completed. People scurry, make promises and before you know it a RAMMIE team is formed with a deadline all team members know is impossible to achieve. Everyone goes with the RAMMIE flow as they are either afraid to lose their job or don't know better. Either wasy this entire scenario is a disaster in the making.

setting proper expectations10.  Lack metrics to measure success and set expectations. Measuring success is obviously impossible without proper goals and objectives. Executives and stakeholders are going to have different expectations. Since no proper metrics are set with a RAM, it is close to impossible to manage expectations and measure success or failure.

11. Rams guarantee increased risks. Depending on your business, the risks could be associated with brand, reputation, delivery quality, customer satisfaction, and the list goes on.

12. RAMs are difficult to sustain. Because of all the reasons mentioned above, RAMs are difficult to sustain. It's pretty hard to maintain a project of any kind without a plan, assigned resources, budget, goals, metrics, alignment of key stakeholders and time lines.

13. RAMS don't force you to stop doing the things that you should stop doing.  Often times RAMs are taken on because nobody on the team, including executive management has the guts to say no or stop doing something on a list that should be stopped. Usually if you were to do the proper planning for a RAM it would easily uncover that you don't have the resources or budget to be successful. This would mean that the resources and budget will need to come from another budget (rob Peter to pay Paul). As a result this means something else will have to “not get done”.  Cancelling other projects is usually avoided by the RAM lovin' manager.

14. Working for a manager who insists you continuously implement RAMS is risky business. If you have a manager who takes on RAMs repeatedly and you repeatedly get the mess to clean up at the end, then I would look for another job or position before you are the next casualty. During my 15+ years in corporate America I saw many people lose their jobs because of RAM lovin' managers. They may offer you a false sense of security or internal stardom in the beginning. However, your success will not last unless you deliver real results.

return on investment15. Integration brings higher return & leverage across multiple mediums. Even though it may seem more difficult if you are new to social media, marketing or business, the truth is, it isn't. Integration across mediums, projects and plans is the best way to increase return on investment on a large scale. The more you can integrate and avoid the RAMs, the better off you will be. For a business wanting to adopt social media, be sure to focus on goals and objectives where social can have an impact. Every goal or objective is not a perfect candidate for social media or marketing. Take the time to plan and integrate for the highest results possible.

 

 

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About the Author:

CEO / Founder Marketing Nutz, full service social media, digital marketing, experiential brand, conversion optimization agency. Ranked by Forbes as Top 10 Social Media Women and 10 Social Media Power Influencer. Keynote speaker, author, strategist, consultant, coach, & trainer. Helps businesses of all sizes integrate social media into the DNA of their business, connect with target audiences to nurture authentic customer relationships. 15+ years experience working with Fortune 500, Franchised corporations with 4000+ local franchises to entrepreneurs and startups.

63 Comments

  1. BelovedOne February 22, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Shannon:

    This is a brilliant message. Everyone talks about how we should be on social media, but few people talk about creating a social media plan. Thanks for your reminder of the obvious.

    Blessings,

    Andrea Scott

    http://andreascott.info

    “Mentoring for your success”

    • PamMktgNut February 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm

       @BelovedOne Thanks Andrea. Yes, it’s funny in the social ecosystem how few talk about plans. Because of the tech involved all of geeks that are so attracted to the shiny objects get so excited many lose track of whey they want to use the shiny toy in the first place! People always think planning takes so much longer and is more expensive. In reality it’s not if done right. The ROI can be exponential and pay far above the time and resource invested. 

  2. SociallyGenius February 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    This all makes a ton of sense.. Although most “marketing” that I do is actually a RAM. Hopefully, at some point this year, can put my big boy pants on and create a budget & implement a strategy for my site. I’ll update you when I end the RAMMIE trend.

    Curious, is the whole random acts of marketing term a previously coined term or did you just make it up?

    • PamMktgNut February 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm

       @SociallyGenius Hey I think you can start by even taking small baby steps. Start by taking one part of your business or marketing efforts and really focus in on it. It will give you the opportunity to do it more quickly and with a tighter budget. You will also be able to more easily see the results in less time. Then you can move on to other parts of the biz. Not sure about coining the phrase. It is something I have been using since I can remember in my first job out of college. Don’t ask because I am not telling you when that was no matter how much you beg 😉 ha ha

  3. clayduda February 23, 2012 at 7:04 am

    @NVEchols Dude, that’s so spot-on. Thanks for the link.

  4. ninagbsn February 23, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Great eye-opening article! Thanks for sharing, and for sharing the 10 tips to a zoom start!

  5. PamMktgNut February 23, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    @AmitV_Tweets Thanks so much Amit!

  6. PamMktgNut February 23, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    @PegFitzpatrick Thx Pegster!! How ya’ be sistah? think we’re finally ready to hook up on some of the “stuff” we were going 2 connct w/prior

  7. SoulMarketingUK February 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    @DWesterberg Thanks Dawn for RT’ing and your great post @PamMktgNut. Have a great weekend!

  8. teetate February 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    @KateOttaviano Thanks so much for the follow, Kate. I promise my tweets only include sarcasm & chocolate worship. 🙂

    • KateOttaviano February 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      @teetate if you can convey sarcasm and chocolate worship in 140 characters or less then I have no choice but to follow you 🙂

      • teetate February 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

        @KateOttaviano heh sweet…then I’m golden. 🙂

  9. Jan Bear February 25, 2012 at 11:44 am

    My “RAMMIE” was a podcast I didn’t really have time for. I’m glad I did it, even though I had to drop it, because I made some great connections and learned about what podcasting takes. So when I go back to it, I’ll have enough information to make a plan and do all the other good advice you give.

    I’m about to sign up for your series, though. It’ll help me make a success, instead of a marginally useful RAMMIE, of the next attempt.

    • PamMktgNut February 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm

       @Jan Bear Good news is you admit it! That’s the first step. RAMMIES happen to all of us and as long as we acknowledge them we can recover in one piece 😉 Would love to have you in the series! I’ll be looking for some case studies of folks who know they have random projects. I’d like to use them as guinea pigs to stop the RAM and get some goals, objectives and metrics around it and then try again. The goal is that they will have better results and can then come back and share the results with the community. Let me know if you are interested. The podcast would be a perfect case study. 

  10. DebbyBruck February 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing & Social Media (RAMs) Don’t Work! http://t.co/GnqFhuyn via @PamMktgNut RT @lilachbullock

  11. AlexFergieMU February 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    good article 🙂 @sarahsantacroce @PamMktgNut

  12. triskeleweb1 February 25, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    So many good points. I find too many businesses think in campaigns and not in an integrated marketing plan. They also forget that once they start a Twitter or Facebook page, there’s got to be resources and commitment to continue, otherwise they’re wasting time and money on, as you say, RAMs.

    • PamMktgNut April 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm

       @triskeleweb1 Very valid point. There must be investment in ongoing support and maintenance. Plus it can’t be looked at as reactive. Biz’s must stay proactive in their approach, listening, planning and execution. 

  13. […] Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) will eat your return on investment for lunch and dinner. Don’t fall victim to the random blog list (like this one) without first having a plan with clear goals and objectives, understanding of your audience and target readers and a plan to further align and integrate with your business and marketing goals where appropriate. […]

  14. wsiabelpardo February 27, 2012 at 3:22 am

    I will put light on a fact: RISK. Congratulations for the post, Pam 🙂

    • PamMktgNut April 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm

       @wsiabelpardo Thanks so much. Yes, I agree… RISK. Avoiding RAMS is a form of avoiding risk. It’s crazy how people don’t understand random does not equal results. Don’t know why some folks are so afraid of a plan and metrics. Crazy talk to my brain 😉 

  15. goldennames February 27, 2012 at 11:11 am

    @SmartBrief @pammktgnut tell me more

  16. BizCompare February 28, 2012 at 9:22 am

    @100zer Thanks for the RT!

  17. […] 6. You live for Random Acts of Marketing and Social Media (RAMs). RAMS feel good short term as you cross items off your check list. However, a set of random acts of Facebook marketing are only going to get you random acts of Facebook likes that will do very little for your business bottom line. Still don’t believe me? Then check out this post ->15 Reasons Why Random Acts of Marketing Don’t Work!  […]

  18. Sue Reddel March 15, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Great post Pam. Everyone wants to jump on the latest band wagon not fully understanding the time, money and energy involved. Social media is terrific but it must be part of a holistic integrated marketing plan that has goals and understanding of who they are targeting. Thanks for keeping it real out here.

  19. Amanda Socci April 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Thanks for this article on RAMs. Interesting concept.  You drove home the point that RAMs are ineffective marketing strategies without supporting the argument with real-life case studies. Would have been more helpful to learn who did what and why it didn’t work.  This is not an exercise in pointing the fingers of blame, but rather, a realistic learning lesson to teach us all what not to do with marketing. Thanks, Amanda Socci, Alexandria, Virginia.
    http://socciwriter.blogspot.com

    • PamMktgNut April 3, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      Amanda – We are working on several case studies that are going to bring the msg home strong. The challenging thing is that most biz’s don’t want the RAMs to be public. Once they figure out they do them they want them gone as quickly as possible. We have some clients thought that learned it the hard way and are seeing great results. I have many of many case studies from my days in corporate. It is how I survived 13 layoffs at one corporate alone. Nice plug for your blog w/no context to content or post. You should find some case studies on proper etiquette. 😉  

  20. PamMktgNut April 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    @paulsteinbrueck Thanks & Hi Paul! #getrealchat

    • paulsteinbrueck April 10, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      @PamMktgNut Hi Pam. Ready! #getrealchat

  21. jameshicks April 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    @Tribe2point0 @mqtodd thank you for the references

  22. kilby76 April 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    RT @PamMktgNut 15 Reasons #RAMs don’t work! Stop the randomness! http://t.co/ALrxUg65 #getrealchat

  23. MsKellyGoldston April 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    @PamMktgNut Don’t normally follow #getrealchat but I’m loving the #RAMs concept! I’m in b-school for digital mktg and RAMs = all too common.

    • PamMktgNut April 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      @MsKellyGoldston Thanks & welcome! Great to have you! #getrealchat

  24. paulabgreen April 11, 2012 at 9:37 am

    @PamMktgNut Great post, thks! How about “Random Acts of Marketing deliver RanDUMB results”? http://t.co/veQnsCVY

  25. […] Remove the RAMs from the list. If you are addicted to Random Acts of Marketing then it is time you stop. Remove anything from your “to do” list that is not in budget, […]

  26. MZazeela April 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Pam,
     
    Thanks for your insight. I think random acts of anything, in business, are a waste of time and resources. As you have alluded, very likely the product of limited imaginations, desperation, and poor leadership.
     
    While I agree that some case studies might give some context, it is not difficult to understand how ineffective RAMs would be.  I sell for my company. I equate RAM with picking numbers from the white pages and dialing for business.
     
    Cheers,Marc

  27. MZazeela April 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Random acts of Marketing or how to throw away valuable resources! RT @PamMktgNut https://t.co/hVHz1fJh Cheers Pam.

  28. […] See original authored post on Pam Marketing Nut blog […]

  29. […] Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) will eat your return on investment for lunch and dinner. Don’t fall victim to the random blog list (like this one) without first having a plan with clear goals and objectives, understanding of your audience and target readers and a plan to further align and integrate with your business and marketing goals where appropriate. […]

  30. […] Business Page? Quit Blaming Facebook Timeline Changes & Fix Your Own Marketing Problems! 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) and Social Media Don’t Work The Only Guarantee in Social Business is Change CEO Social Mindset: 15 tips for a Healthy Social […]

  31. […] becoming a nuisance and therefore ignored. What you need to avoid are, what one blogger has termed, Random Acts of Marketing and Social Media or […]

  32. […] 15 Reasons Why Random Acts of Marketing Don’t Work […]

  33. […] 15 Reasons Why Random Acts of Marketing Don’t Work […]

  34. […] Stop Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) […]

  35. […] RAMS is a requirement. The only way to do such is stop doing them. Bottom line if it is not in the […]

  36. […] Stop Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) […]

  37. […] 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) and Social Media Don’t Work […]

  38. […] 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) and Social Media Don’t Work […]

  39. […] plan. I highly discourage you as a CEO or CMO to jump on Twitter as only a random act of marketing. Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) will eat every last morsel of social ROI for breakfast, so be careful. I have written plenty […]

  40. […] plan. I highly discourage you as a CEO or CMO to jump on Twitter as only a random act of marketing. Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) will eat every last morsel of social ROI for breakfast, so be careful. I have written plenty […]

  41. […] 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) and Social Media Don’t Work […]

  42. […] 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) and Social Media Don’t Work […]

  43. […] 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) and Social Media Don’t Work […]

  44. […] 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) and Social Media Don’t Work […]

  45. […] 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing & Social Media (RAMs) Don't Work! | The Marketing Nut From https://www.pammarketingnut.com – Today, 2:42 PM […]

  46. […] 8. 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing & Social Media Don’t Work […]

  47. […] 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) and Social Media Don’t Work […]

  48. […] 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) and Social Media Don’t Work […]

  49. […] 1. Stop the Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs). If you are seeing lots of buzz and not enough bucks, it is likely you have a problem with RAMs. RAMs will eat every last morsel of ROI in your business. RAMs love buzz. They love tactical to do lists that have nothing to do with driving real business result. The best thing you can do is eliminate these as fast as humanly possible. Start by examining your list of “to do’s.” The first list you must create is the list of things you are not going to do. What are you going to cross off your list? No business has extra resources sitting around ready to execute social media. You must acknowledge changes need to be made fast. Eliminate the RAMs before they eliminate you! Check out this article for more information -> 15 Reasons Random Acts of Marketing Don’t Work! […]

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