Posts Tagged ‘Linkedin’

Open Letter to Buyer-Enabled Organizations

December 20th, 2011

The last two posts, an “Open Letter to CMOs” and an “Open Letter to Buyers” have triggered a large number of pretty intense conversations about the frustrations that you’re feeling today around the disruptive impact social media is having on your markets.  It’s disruptive, not because of the technology, but because of the impact it’s having on your relationships with your buyers, their perceptions of your organization and their desire to want to begin or continue to do business with you.  The fear and the uncertainty that you’ve shared with me is not knowing what impact this disruption will ultimately have on your company’s reputation, revenue, market share, the quantity and quality of the relationships with your buyers, if you were to just continue down the same path you’re on today.

Continue reading “Open Letter to Buyer-Enabled Organizations” »

SEC Social Business Framework

October 21st, 2010

Beyond social media and marketing, Social Business is really about internal and external customer experience –a cross-functional responsibility of the entire organization.  To help executives wrap their arms around the key pieces that can be augmented through social efforts, the Social Executive Council (SEC) created the Social Business Framework. This framework is designed to help organizations understand how to align, manage, and bring cohesion to business objectives, company activities, and social solutions. In essence, this framework “operationalizes” social business in a manner that modularizes its components into company-relevant pieces that can then be utilized to build a social roadmap of strategic and tactical steps that facilitate implementation.

This framework also helps executives visually understand the complexities associated with a successful social program, as well as gain clarity on the:

  • Multidimensional benefits of an enterprise-wide social enablement program.
  • The structured business gains when implementing a social communication layer that allows free flow of ideas and reporting.
  • Limiting results gained when assigning social activities to one silo-ed department and/or junior marketing/public relations associate.
  • Opportunity costs of not participating in this program from a financial, efficiency and productivity perspective.

The SEC is an active forum for senior executives to collaborate and adapt the Social Business Framework to their own organization. The impact is too large and too overwhelming to do it alone —the SEC and this framework are here to facilitate the process and help our members gain social market leadership.

The True Cost of “Free” Social Transactions

August 26th, 2010

This week I had a conversation with another LinkedIn Group leader that I wanted to share —our conversation puts the challenges of social media marketing front and center.

We were discussing how the amount of noise has increased within social media networks and that there is a lot of junk out there on, for example, LinkedIn groups. She was frustrated with the amount of spammers posting advertisement and she felt she had to continuously monitor the group to make sure the interactions were professional and relevant.

I told her that the real cost of social transactions was shifting from sellers to buyers.

What does this mean?

If you think about it, we don’t really bother to consider the true cost of our time on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, industry forums and communities, blogs, etc. Beyond the value that you get from sharing with friends and colleagues (my wife posts baby pictures up on Facebook for far-away family and friends) there is a lot of stuff that sucks time away that may not only be useless but actually a true waste of time.  Beyond slightly amusing posts my friends share…. do I really need to wade through that and the 50 other meaningless announcements on my Facebook home page to find the one nugget that is worth it?

Furthermore, how many LinkedIn group posts are a blatant sales pitch, job request, and link bait to visit your website before I tune out your group?  How many SPAM emails do I have to delete on a daily basis to keep my inbox clear for my real work? BTW – I delete pretty much everything that doesn’t have a person sending and personally addressed to me. Email marketing doesn’t really work with me. Probably most people are feeling the same way.

There is no question that there is a fundamental shift occurring on the web.   The cost of information distribution is shifting to the consumer from the distributor –social media is accelerating this. Facebook is free to post and to read. However, it costs some time to post, but it is taking a huge cost of time to filter the amount of information to read that “right” post.

Now, this may sound esoteric, but think about this on an enterprise level and from a productivity perspective. The amount of emails, posts, articles, powerpoints, etc. and you realize:

  1. We are overwhelmed with information
  2. It is costly, in terms of productivity, for our employees
  3. Social media is contributing to the problem of noise
  4. We don’t have good information filters to help our organizations yet
  5. Social marketing if done correctly, can help with the problem in that we can use “trusted sources” to credential and filter information
  6. The costs will continue to rise in terms of productivity if we don’t begin to focus on the problem.
  7. Customers actually pay a transaction cost for your marketing.
  8. The currency they use is their attention. Considering how busy many executives are, spending 10 seconds reading your email is a costly time consumer when you consider how many emails they get on a daily basis
  9. If your marketing transaction costs are too high because it isn’t relevant, timely, focused, and credentialed; you negatively impact your relationship
  10. Customers are reacting to the “hidden” costs. Companies that are SPAMMING them are losing attention and actually losing brand equity.

So, what is the solution?

The paradigm shift that needs to be made in order to capture what is going on in the market, leverage the opportunity that social brings, and accommodate the practical lens of the executive, today’s professionals need to think about customer engagement in terms of “cost of attention” instead of “cost of customer acquisition.” With this new perspective, then focus your social business transactions to provide:

  • High quality
  • High value
  • High integrity

This will increase the customer’s perception of your importance, lower the noise in the market, and will translate to the bottom line in terms of financial transactions.  We are all trying to discuss and navigate through the speed of social, but not many are taking account the paradigm shifts necessary to help make social relevant to the enterprise.  I hope this blog post is a step in that direction.  Would welcome your thoughts.

Social Marketing Is & Isn’t

May 25th, 2010

Social marketing is an “effective way to build relationships over Social Media”

  • Effective – Defined as cost effective, efficient, focused, specific, works
  • Relationships – Defined as having both recognized value and emotional connection
  • Social Media – platform independent; not just LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, but the right platform to support the right interaction

 Social Marketing is not…

  • Just Another Channel – old form over new medium hasn’t worked with the transition from print or TV to internet, why wouldn’t a new form of interaction require new rules?
  • Just about Creative Branding – How many cool TV ads where you can’t remember the company afterwards. Creative just creates awareness, but not necessarily leads to a buying relationship.
  • Build “It & They Will Come” – Despite your brilliance, you still have to build a relationship to the community (credibility) and you have to actively promote your solution(evangelize)
  • Magic Relationship Bullet – just because I connect to you doesn’t mean we are friends, or even acquaintances. Hell, I don’t even know you…. Etiquette rules still apply.
  • SPAM me into a Relationship – “No matter how many times you send it (awareness), I don’t care (interest), don’t want it (relevance), won’t buy it (relationship).”

 Social Media (Marketing) is about having a presence, Social Marketing is about having a purpose….

The Blatantly Obvious Three Gets of Social Media

November 18th, 2009

As we meet and greet in the world as evangelists for a strategic management approach to incorporating social media into business, you readily identify other folks who “get it”. They describe themselves as “get it” people and they describe others as part of the club. The other two camps can be described as the “I think I get it” folks and the “I don’t get it” translated into the I don’t get it and really don’t care.

“Get it” – Already have prior experience in social media, probably understand digital marketing, it, software, etc. They have seen the power of social networking; may or may not play with twitter, but understand that social media must mature to satisfy the other camps. They are usually early adopters or visionaries, but definitely social media evangelists. They don’t need a business case to see how this applies to their jobs and their companies. Not a generational characteristic. We see more mature senior executives who are already there with their subordinates playing catch up. The younger generation gets the social media interaction thing much easier because they have entered the business world with these tools. Their challenge is that they do not have the business experience to craft corporate strategy so they tend to be focused on the tools and tactics. ROI gets mapped at the business functional and strategy level which is hard for them to develop the business case to sell the rest of their organizations.

“Think I Get It” – Generally more mature (not necessarily older) business executives who probably would “get it” if they had the time to research and play with it. We find this to be the case with mid to senior level executives who were laid off. They gravitate to it and are becoming proficient out of necessity and the luxury of free time. The employed people in this group are savvy business people, but are buried under with management and business responsibility. Probably have personal responsibilities so playing online if they are not naturally inclined to do so is pretty difficult with their schedules. Amazing how this group activates with a really tangible business case that applies to their company and market. They already have the business acumen and the web disruption experience so it becomes a translation exercise for them to “get it.”

“Don’t Get It” – this group has probably thought briefly about it and then moved on as they haven’t seen the relavence of social media to them; either personally or professionally. We many times see the pride in this statement. We see the “my kids are on it” or “I played with it” or “I am on Linkedin, but don’t really use it.” In truth, it is generally due to indifference versus ability to get it. However, when we present the business case for a strategic approach to social media, they intuitively see the value. The skepticism turns to intuition as they map this back to their mid-90′s web experience. They then figure out that they need a proactive plan and delegate to someone in their organization or realize that they have no one and figure they will get to it when it reaches a level of criticality that forces them to react.

As you have surmised, I am describing any new technology adoption. Social media is not some exotic, weird “kid” thing. Social media will be a business disruption due to the simple fact that it is a reflection in the change of buyer behavior. Buyers are doing research by reaching out to other buyers and market influencers because they do not want to wade through the pages and pages of junk search engine results. Much easier to find an expert and see what they say. Simple, but extremely disruptive to traditional business; marketing, sales, customer support, service delivery, billing, employee relations. All of these functional areas are being impacted with this level of transparancy.

Whether you “get it”, “think you get it”, or “Don’t get it”; you had better believe that some portion of your market and customer base already does…