I think it comes down to educating them properly.
Internet marketing in 2013 is not all about SEO and rankings anymore
The actual fact is, that it never really was, "rankings are everything" is what the "experts" told all and sundry that it was, and because that sounded so simple people fell for it. (and are STILL falling for it)
They seem incapable of seeing that just because you are called "Aaaaacme Corp" and your name is first in the list for a particular product, does NOT mean that everybody is going to telephone you.
Search Marketing and optimising your documents for searchers ALWAYS was about getting qualified visitors and conversions from those visitors.
There is absolutely no difference between Search Marketing, Radio advertising, Television Marketing, Newspaper or Magazine marketing. The first part is ALWAYS the medium that you are using to reach your audience, not the actual target audience
Marketing to "Social Media" groups is EXACTLY the same principle as putting an advert in a specialist magazine. You are reaching out to a specific segment of the overall population.
Randomly link dropping anywhere and everywhere is a bit like handing out 'flyers' outside a sporting or a concert venue, ... 99% or more of them will miss your intended target and end up in the bin one way or another.
Many moons ago I referred to the "usual" SEO practices as "Machine Gun Marketing" when anyone with any commonsense and logic knew that sniper tactics are what really worked.