So which are you? Are you the marketing executive or other business leader who is the early adopter of new social media and mobile marketing trends? Or are you “really struggling” to keep up with the last round of trends, let alone today’s?

For Daniel Feldstein, W’03, whose job as director of marketing for Jun Group is selling new-to-market video and traffic ad solutions, most business people that he deals with are in the latter camp. It is nothing to fault. Mobile and social advertising strategies are relatively new and ever-evolving. The banner ad was invented 20 years ago and digital video 10 years ago, and Facebook opened up its ad platform a few years ago. Marketers are still trying to figure out how to get ROI out of them. And for those who have figured out something they think works, they tend to stick with what they know, Feldstein said.

Now add to the mix big data.

Daniel Feldstein, W’03

Daniel Feldstein, W’03

“You can measure everything,” said Feldstein, speaking to a session at the 2014 Wharton Marketing Conference in November. “You can almost have too much information.”

The crux of the data challenge is that the ability to capture data grows far more rapidly than the ability to synthesize them into an actionable insight. Take mobile phone tracking. Your mobile phone knows where you are at all times, and that location data is “tremendous,” he explained. Can a marketer link your location to your consumption pattern, however, and what’s driving your individual purchases?

Another social marketing challenge for Feldstein is personal: He does not appreciate a corporate brand’s attempts to “be friends” with him.

“It’s not real. It’s not authentic to me,” he said.

Which are you? The business leader who is the early adopter of new technology? Or are you "really struggling"?

Which are you? The business leader who is the early adopter of new technology? Or are you “really struggling”?

Instead, he supports the strategy of targeting an audience, then creating and delivering content that’s relevant to them—creating authentic conversations with consumers. And according to research from Jun Group, “what we’re seeing is brands moving away from creating communities on social media anyway,” he says. “Social platforms are becoming paid media and changing their algorithms so brands can’t really have conversations anyway.” What’s more authentic is when he sees brands engaging with customers in real life and letting them bring that to their social channels.

“The consensus outlook in the industry is that content is king, and distribution is queen.”

The key for an organization, perhaps, is to not be the jester. Unless that’s the brand identity you’re going for, of course.