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Bonin Bough, Global Director of Social Media, PepsiCo said at an event hosted by digital agency Razorfish in New York last night that PepsiCo would love to partner with emerging social networks like Foursquare.
Why? To help them scale. Right now there are a lot of “small technologies,” as Bough called them, that don’t provide the scale PepsiCo desires.
The panel discussion, which included social media leaders from IBM and storage behemoth EMC, also touched on how the brands partner with agencies for social.
Bough said a lot of the PepsiCo’s marketing budget is spent on agencies and that “a lot of our success is tied up in their success.”
One of the challenges at IBM, said Pauline Ores, recently a Principal Consultant in the Social Insights Practice of IBM Market Insights, is often current or potential customers want to talk to people who work at the company.
“When people want to talk to people who build or design servers, the agency can’t help with that. It’s impossible to do outside,” she said.
Len Devanna, Director of Web Strategy at EMC took a step back to focus on how his company started getting into social media. “We really embraced social in 2007. We wanted to get 44,000 employees really good at this stuff before we brought it outside the firewall,” he said, referring to the vast amount of training conducted internally, before the company “went public” with their efforts.
However, he said EMC’s core social “team” now consists of 15 people, up from just two people just recently.
Ores said she envisions a day when social media titles are a thing of the past. “The titles we have are not going to be here in a few years,” she said. “It’s like saying, ‘I manage the telephone.'”
In terms of “selling” social media internally, Ores said the conundrum most internal people face is “they can’t get resources because they can’t defend social media’s value to management, however they also can’t demonstrate value until they have resources.”