Social Target Marketing for Complex Sales – Evangelism, Advocacy, Justification

September 26th, 2011 by Judy Leave a reply »

As part of our process, we have built a three-part conceptual framework for social target marketing and the business impact that we believe is critical for managing the complexity of the buying process in today’s market.  The first, “Open Letter to CMO’s” focuses on the impact that social is already having on the purchase behaviors in your industry and established the foundation for the criticality of the business case. The second, “Social Target Marketing for Complex Sales” focuses on the right approach for your organization to take and that the timing is more critical than ever.

The third is understanding how to apply that process to internally developing the consensus around the business case for social target marketing.  Our recommended approach is to focus on building the business case as part of the evangelism and then allow the internal team to build the business justification based upon the available resources, budgets, market priorities, and timing factors. We schedule one-on-one meetings with each of the critical stakeholders to build consensus prior to a formal meeting. At the meeting, we then provide external social market research as validation and a checkpoint for the internal team to evaluate your organization’s readiness.  Our commitment is to manage the business case and evangelism processes, but transition the actual decision making process to the internal sponsor.

Based upon our experience, this “opt-in” model is critical for buy-in, when done correctly, is very efficient in both leveraging expertise, driving shared understanding, and building consensus. At which point, the organization is empowered with sufficient knowledge to clearly determine whether social target marketing is the right model for engaging with the complexity of your markets.  Like the “blooming onion”, we start by peeling back the layers and breaking down the walls to identify and reach the heart of your internal stakeholders, core and your extended team, to help them understand the business case, why it’s important and why they need to pay attention now.

The first step is to schedule direct calls with those on your team who need to be “on the bus”.  I will reach out to them individually (or together) to help with the education, to understand their perspective, what motivates them, what triggers would compel them to invest and propel them further in their purchase path.  My goal is to get everyone on the same page, and share my findings with you, as you audit this process.  It’s only when we have agreement on the business case, that we will take the next step with the research to assist in making the social targeting marketing program tangible in your market.

We have found those direct conversations to be critical as we not only get better clarity on the market, but we also get an understanding of your internal constraints and objectives. This helps us to better focus the target market application research to make it more relevant to the team, provide the market evidence and validate that this is happening in your industry, right now, and will be the basis for our discussion with the team to facilitate their mutual understanding and commitment to the process.

The research is the bridge between evangelism and advocacy.  Our goal is to support your role as the internal advocate.  By engaging with the stakeholders, together we provide the right context around the relevant interactions that you stitch together to provide the best decision support which mirrors the complexity of your organizational buying process.  As you incrementally build consensus through these layered and interconnected relationships, not only do you build momentum, but you ultimately justify why this investment and why now.  With this process, you can achieve a hard ROI because we can now point to the economics of buying by measuring and being held accountable to specific metrics which are fed into the business case and ultimately integrated with your buying process.

At the end, it’s all about the execution and how this applies within your world.  As a next step, let’s discuss who are the critical stakeholders and how should we approach scheduling the direct meetings as part of the consensus building process.

Judy
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Judy Mod, Principal of Social Gastronomy, is an executive who specializes in Social Buyer Target Marketing, Network Selling, Social Networking Strategy and Community Adoption, and Enterprise Social Business Programs. Judy has over 25 years in driving top line revenue through global sales, business development, marketing, strategic consulting, strategic alliances/channels/partnerships roles. Judy has an extensive background in B2B with roles in enterprise social networks, technology (consulting services/software/hardware), semiconductor, environmental, chemical/petrochemical/oil & gas, process and manufacturing industries. A recognized early adopter and leader of emerging technologies, Judy is recognized for her ability to merge the needs of organizations with the innovative solutions in the marketplace. Judy is regular speaker on social market leadership, the social enterprise and strategic alliances. Judy serves as the president of the Social Executive Council, the premier organization for senior executives to collaborate on developing enterprise-wide social business strategies. Previously, she served as president of the Southeast US / Latin America chapter of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals and on the boards of Global EXEC Women, Women in Technology and It’s The Journey. Judy is an ardent fundraiser for Paint Georgia Pink, a 501 © 3 serving the breast cancer community. A graduate of Cleveland State University with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, Judy also holds an MBA from the University of Dallas. For more information on Judy, you can check out her LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/judymod, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JudyMod or contact her directly at jmod@socialgastronomy.com.

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    Product evangelism is similar to affiliate marketing, but without the incentivizing. Consumers who are so overwhelmingly impressed and pleased with their purchases, with the service they receive, or with the innovations available to them take word-of-mouth recommendations to a new level by actively promoting products or services with no personal stake in the company itself. And that makes all big difference: consumers are much more willing to listen to testimonials from people with no personal agenda, particularly people they know.