At the moment in the UK, there is an ongoing exchange of ideas in the media and by politicians in favour of, and against Scotland becoming an independent country outside the union of the United Kingdom. What I have noticed during my short time in country is the vast difference between London and the rest of the UK.
For as long as I can remember there were different scenes in London compared to the North. Rare groove was a very London thing, whilst acid house started to percolate through the clubs in the North of England. (Admittedly Colin Dale doesn’t get enough credit in his work championing early house in London). Going back further, the Ska revival came out of the Midlands and Northern Soul was called that because it was played from Wigan to Stoke-on-Trent. All Around The World Records regularly charts with singles and compilation albums that seem crass and unsophisticated to a London audience, precisely because they are aimed at audiences outside the capital.
This cultural divide extends online, tools like Foursquare have a much lower adoption rate outside the M25, part of this is down to poor mobile infrastructure – which is worse than the Swiss cheese nature of networks in London.
The disparity between London and the rest of the country reminded me of the old city states in Greece, I don’t want to flatter London by comparing it Athens, (lets face it Tower Hamlets, Newham and Hackney are more akin to Sparta), but the difference between London and the hinterlands hints at a de-facto independence.
So what does all this mean for social media marketers? This is something that I have pondered the past few days. I think that there is a case for a definite segmentation in the approach; targeted advertising is a given so the change would more in terms of owned media. Outside London; mature platforms like Facebook, with less focus on mobile marketing. In London, a more experimental approach perhaps incorporating WhatsApp to capture mobile phone numbers (which are a more reliable ID than email addresses which can be easily churned).
I would be interested in hearing other people’s ideas on this, please feel free to put any thoughts in the comments box below.