Archive for the ‘CEO’ Tag

2010: The Perfect Social Marketing Storm

So, if you believe 2010 is the year of the return, forget the “u” shaped recovery, etc. We are talking the “V” shaped RETURN.” The tsunami of pent of demand, the rise of social marketing as a recognized marketing channel, and the competitive pressures to outperform the market to validate your company’s supreme dominance will be firece. No problem, finding budget for marketing will be the least of your problems. Having to justify social marketing doesn’t seem as daunting when you have budget and sales are coming in… “Cool, where do I sign-up?” If not sure about 2010 being the roaring recovery, read further….

We know that social marketing is becoming mainstream. I think in 2o1o it will become table stakes. If you don’t have a facebook page, twitter account, and linkedin profiles; you are so 2009…. In reality, we are seeing major brands begin to increase their budgets for social marketing by a factor of 20% – 30% of budgets. One major CPC brand is dictating that a percentage of product innovation come from ideas from their community. Increasingly, we are not having conversations about “Why should I do it?”, but “How do I use it for competitive advantage?”

We know that most companies have stabilized the bleeding even though they had a mediocre year. Sales are off from their height, profitability is down, budgets are constrained, probably a layoffs/backfill hires not made/new positions not budgeted. Entering into another year of a multi-year recession means most organizations now expect that you will figure out how to do more with less and will not accept “the economy” as justification for underperforming results. The expectation is that you will figure out how to outperform the market.

However,  the real question is not whether the economy will recover with pent up demand in 2010, but what if it doesn’t? What if the recovery is a real dud?  Will the corporate boards be simpathetic to another year of mediocre performance? Will CEOs be calm with back-to-back mediocre years? The average tenure of CEOs. CMOs, and other senior executives is what? Will anyone accept the excuse that it “the economy”? Will the pressure ratchet up even more?

What if the market fundamentally is shifting towards social media and away from advertising and even search engine marketing?,What if I don’t shift our sales, markmarketing and customer management to reflect the market? What if the market slightly improves but we don’t improve with it? What if our competitors find a way to add a lot of new customers and revenue and we don’t?

 The best estimate is that it takes 3 to 6 months to establish a baseline measurement program for social marketing. That means that I need to build a program and execute within the first half of  2010 to give me time to see if it will work. That means 2010 is ALREADY HALF OVER in terms of impact.

We are not talking about setting up a twitter account and adding followers. I am talking about getting legitimate lead generation, customer retention, brand reputation, product development feedback, and team productivity using these tools. Someone tells you that you need a branded twitter account, ask “Why?” If you don’t hear a crisp answer related to a strategic initiative, then you should realize your return is probably equated to the time and cost you invested to set it up… Free Twitter Account Does Not Equal  to a Gazillian Free Leads…

Here are the Major Questions that you need to ask to determine if you need to invest in a social Marketing Strategy…

We can’t hit the marketing performance numbers? Not Necessarily. Your competitors may be slower to adopt than you.

 Can we get predictable and measurable results out of just doing tactical social media participation like having a twitter account and a facebook page? I don’t know, can you? How is it working for you now? Getting the results that you want? Seeing the strategic impact on revenues or customers?

 Can we build a social marketing strategy on our own? Sure, always a factor of core competencies, time, resources, and money. Give anyone enough time and money and resources and they usually build a plan.

Can my team execute a social marketing program effectively? Are they doing it now? We find with a little coaching, a clear plan, and training that organizations are able to drive execution to meet their business objectives.

 Can you tell me if you can tell me the 2010 social media forecast for my market? No, we would have to do a Social Market Audit to get a better idea. We can tell you …

  • If the market is adopting social media
  • How big your company’s footprint
  • How effective is your marketing messaging
  • How well are you doing against your competitors
  • How you can compete over social marketing better
  • Provide you with strategic marketing plan for executing and integrating social marketing

We find that our best partners in this are the folks who are already toe-dipping into social media. They have seen what works and what doesn’t. They recognize a sophisticated program will lead to better, more predictable results.

Self-serving? You betcha…. but also true.

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A Social Media Marketing Primer for People Who Don’t Blog (and Never Will)

Imagine a typical CEO, late 40’s – mid 50’s, has one of the bright young guns, 3-4 layers removed in the organization, comes into a meeting and proposes that the organization do something in marketing around social media. The CEO’s only experience with “social media” is linkedin, possibly logging into facebook to monitor their tweens behavior online. Twitter? Google X application of the week? Invitation to X,Y, Z community every week? Blog? Nope. “They are lucky I check email on a regular basis with as busy as I am”

Sound like someone you know? Sound like you?  Sounds like most of us. At this point, you are saying, yep, so why should I pay attention to this social media stuff if I am not going to use it?

The short answer is…. because it is changing the face of marketing and business in general. Remember they said the same thing about websites, ecommerce, online applications, web hosting, etc…  Some of these you were leading the charge and some you were dragged kicking and screaming. The real question that you should be asking about social media is not whether there is value, but what is the risk if I am an early adopter….

The reality is that most of the people I speak with about social media will never blogs, but the real value in social media is not in getting all of your customers to chat about your product 24X7, because they won’t unless they are really, really angry, but how do you get the 10% of people who sign up, which is 10% of the people who visit to interact on your website about topics that will help your business… by the way, translates into about 1% of people interact… means 99% of us won’t on a regular basis (note: I can discuss technographics and real numbers with the best of them, but I am making a point about the value of having a small percentage actually engage to create value)

Anything is a better experience than the stale, 3 year old, and boring website you have today…. anything that differentiates your company, explains why people should buy from you versus the competitors, drives SEARCH ENGINE traffic to your website, and creates credentialling in the sales process is a tool that you should be embacing to club your competitors over the head… AND yes, you can get trememdous value from a small number of people interacting.

The how it works, how you manage risks, and how you go about getting your team to figure out how to make it work for your organization is the details that can be worked out. The question is whether you can see value in social media even though you will never blog….