Archive for January, 2011

Solution to the Pains of BtoB Complex Sales Process is a Good Social Marketing Lead Generation Program

January 31st, 2011

Most people don’t think BtoB Complex Sales when they think of social media, but social’s ability to target with laser-like precision, enable buyers to self-educate, and allow for a variety of different buying paths; BtoB complex sales may become easier, in the long run, to demonstrate social media’s ROI in terms of marketing and lead generation.  

We pulled together the common challenges and opportunities that we have seen for BtoB customers specifically. Many of these overlap for BtoC, but given these tend to be more transactional; BtoB or complex channel sales processes have more specific pains associated with the need to build multiple relationships with much greater strategic impact within a sale. The number of moving pieces can be much more visible and more easily managed via a social lead generation programs.  We thought this list might help a sales & marketing executive realize they are not alone in their challenges and begin to help them build the foundation for a business case for social marketing.

Continue reading “Solution to the Pains of BtoB Complex Sales Process is a Good Social Marketing Lead Generation Program” »

Social Business Fades Away

January 25th, 2011

For those of us who lived through the web evolution remember the disruption on business status quo quite well…

5 Stages of Web Development

  1. Websites and Webmasters – tactical and basic
  2. Web Groups – tactical and advanced
  3. Web Strategy – Strategic and Advanced
  4. Web Functional – Every Dept. and Application had a web function
  5. Business Strategy – Web no longer became an issue, everything was web enabled – assumed

In Social Business, we are seeing the same thing….

  1. Social Media Presence on Public Social Networking Sites and Social Media Managers – Assumed
  2. Social Media Groups – Maturing – Team to manage the social function
  3. Social Strategy – Evolving – Strategic and Coordinated Across Enterprise
  4. Social Function – Emerging
  5. Business Strategy – TBD – social becomes part of the enterprise DNA

If social business strategies and functions are still evolving yet, that means that there doesn’t currently exist an industry standard for developing a social business structure. This translates into a greater risk either of failure or inability to justify investment; inconsistent performance; or a lack of measurability. In short, business impact will be continue to be ad hoc until a standardized set of industry methodologies emerge. Mature organizations need risk management and defined ROI for major investments which will drive the development.

Continue reading “Social Business Fades Away” »

Building an Effective Online Corporate Community

January 20th, 2011

What is the right balance between peer-to-peer engagement and corporate control in managing an online community? Are communities supposed to be democratic and open forums of communications? Will you lose participants if you try to apply structured governance of your community? Is there a formula for balancing the rights of the participant and the community owner?

Having run several communities over the last few years and then obviously providing consulting on developing communities; my 2 cents worth is that there is a standard “community” template and hard, fast rules about how to run communities.

Continue reading “Building an Effective Online Corporate Community” »

Social Media is Raising the Bar on Enterprise Relationships

January 4th, 2011

I admit it. I have used the phrase “Relationship with the Brand” at one point in my career. I am now officially classified as a recovering “brand” guy.

 But, then again I have also used Customer Relationship Management to describe a customer relationship with the same seriousness. I have also come to the revelation that CRM really stands for customer record management.  I am also now officially classified as a recovering “CRM” guy too.

 If I keep this up, I won’t have many corporate friends left.

 In all seriousness, the state of the technology is improving and we are seeing the impact of social media on the corporate view of “customer relationships”. If you ask almost any senior executive about the importance of customer relationships, or any enterprise relationships, you will get an absolute affirmative. All of them would agree that relationships make the difference in business, but they would be challenged to express how relationships have a direct tangible benefit.

Continue reading “Social Media is Raising the Bar on Enterprise Relationships” »