Social Media

Be Realistic About Where Your Dollars Can Take You

Laurel Mintz, CEO of Elevate My Brand is my podcast guest next week and below is an excerpt from the conversation. Laurel is a renowned marketing professional with both an MBA and JD. Her company works with global brands such as Susan G. Komen for the CureNestle, and Popchips. She’s an expert on everything marketing/ digital strategy, social media, and events.

An Excerpt from the Podcast:

Joe:  What do you see as one of those things that most people don’t really understand about marketing?

Laurel:  The time and money it takes to actually do it right. I mean that’s the easy answer, right. I think people feel like marketing should be a magic bullet, and ultimately marketing is about strategy and planning. I think when companies come to us and they have really high expectations, we have to kind of bring them down to earth sometimes and let them know, “You’re starting from zero. You have X number of dollars to spend on marketing and advertising. This is really the output you should be seeing from this, and we have to kind of pull them down from the clouds. Because, as you were saying earlier, you know, Facebook is what everybody would love to be but very few companies are that, so I think being realistic about where your dollars are going to take you is probably the biggest issue that we see, and I would say secondarily developing the right messaging and content. Content is so critical as you know in this day and age and people just don’t spend nearly enough time crafting the right message, making sure that there is consistency in content and sending it out on the right platforms.

 Joe:  I think one of the big fallacies people have and you can agree or disagree with me and expand on it is that they think social media is free marketing.

Laurel: Right. I’m probably being a traitor to my industry right now by saying this and agreeing with you. It isn’t necessary evil. I think social media’s here to stay. I think if you are a new company, you need to be on it, as we talked about earlier it’s a really important customer service tool. It can be a great PR tool. But, you also need to make sure that you’re utilizing the advertising components and spending some money on it as well and not just spending money on advertising but spending money on the right graphics, spending money on the right content. There are so many other pieces that are built into developing a proper social media campaign and that’s why there are so many agencies out there like us that have a million people dedicated to doing that every single day because it’s so content, it requires so much content.

Marketing with PDCA (More Info): Targeting what your Customer Values at each stage of the cycle will increase your ability to deliver quicker, more accurately and with better value than your competitor. It is a moving target and the principles of Lean and PDCA facilitates the journey to Customer Value.

Can You Make Online Collaboration Easy? 0

Next Weeks podcast guest, Dana Sednek Bowler specializes in eLearning, virtual meetings/collaboration, project management, analytics tools & strategies, and leadership facilitation. She puts these skills to work at Interaction Associates as the online learning manager. Dana Bowler

An excerpt from next week’s podcast:

Joe: What do you think makes online collaboration difficult, or isn’t it? Should it be second nature to us, but I don’t think that it is. I think people struggle there a little bit. Why is that?

Dana:  I actually think our own human nature is what tends to make us challenged in the face of online collaboration because we try to apply the same principles of how you do it face-to-face in an online environment. We try so hard to be like, “Whoa, this is what I would do if everybody was in a conference room together, so let’s replicate that when we do it online.” We forget that there’s all of these really great tools and techniques that you can use in an online environment that you don’t actually have available to you in the face-to-face world, so you miss out on that opportunity to be able to have a collective conversation with 125 people, all at the same time.

That’s available and doable in an online space, but you can never get that done in a face-to-face space unless you’ve got four hours to kill, right? I think that’s the challenge, because we don’t know what we don’t know, and we forget that there’s all of these other tools out there that can helps, kind of, leverage this next generation way of working with one another.

Joe: Could you give me a couple of examples of those tools?

Dana: One that I just mentioned is all about the chat. Being able to frame a question that everybody can answer and respond to. I love to use focused question on top of a chat to get everybody’s answers or responses coming.

Then I like to use a third tool at the same time, like a virtual whiteboard where I can collect or start to throw up onto the virtual whiteboard wall some of the themes that I am seeing throughout the chat that’s coming in. All of a sudden, I’ve gotten everybody’s voice heard. Everybody has the ability to type in something, and then I’m able to pack up all of the comments or insights into some key themes that I’m hearing in a meeting, for example. Then I look at the whiteboard and I see – OK, so it looks like we’ve got three or four themes that are running throughout this conversation.

Once we do that, then we can use another tool like, either a poll or a pointer tool to say – OK, now let’s prioritize. Now that we’ve got these three themes that are important to us, or these five themes that are important to us; now let’s vote. Which one do you feel is the most important or relevant to the work we’re doing today. So, then you crowd source this ability to prioritize the focus for the meeting, and you’re getting feedback on where the energy in the room is, or where the energy of the content is located – and that’s really helpful. It is to say that there’s a whole lot of tools out there, but it’s more important to know how to use the tools to get at what it is that you want to achieve with your meetings.

Lean Engagement Team (More Info): The ability to share and create knowledge with your customer is the strongest marketing tool possible.

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What do Customers Buy, Part 2 0

John Goodman’s new book, Customer Experience 3.0: High-Profit Strategies in the Age of Techno Service takes John’s Customer Service expertise and puts it into a digital context.  John has managed more than 1,000 separate customer service studies, including the White House sponsored evaluation of complaint handling practices in government and business and studies of word of mouth and the bottom-line impact of consumer education sponsored by Coca-Cola USA. John Goodman

John has taught service quality and service re-engineering courses at Wharton Business School’s executive education program.  He has appeared on “Good Morning America”, the ABC Evening News, The Discovery Channel, National Public Radio and as a panelist on the PBS show, “The Editors.”John is the Vice Chairman of Customer Care Measurement and Consulting (CCMC).

Last week, I posted the first part of the podcast, What do Customers Buy: Experience or Product? This is Part 2 of 2.

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The Start of Behavioral Business Models 0

Thomas Koulopoulos on a Fast Company blog post said:

We are at the tail end of an era that has focused almost entirely on the innovation of products and services, and we are at the beginning of a new era that focuses on the innovation of what I like to call “behavioral business models.” These models go beyond asking how we can make what we make better and cheaper, or asking how we can do what we do faster. They are about asking why we do what we do to begin with. And the question of why is almost always tied to the question of how markets behave.

He goes on to say:

The greatest shift in the way we view innovation will be that the innovation surrounding behavior will need to be as continuous a process as the innovation of products has been over the last hundred years. The greatest shift in the way we view innovation will be that the innovation surrounding behavior will need to be as continuous a process as the innovation of products has been over the last hundred years. It’s here that the greatest payback and value of innovation in the cloud has yet to be fully understood and exploited.

Thomas Koulopoulos, author of Cloud Surfing: A New Way to Think About Risk, Innovation, Scale and Success (Social Century) was guest on the Business901 podcast, an excerpt on how innovation may apply to learning.

Related Podcast and Transcription: A New Way to Think About The Social Century

Joe:  When we look at innovation but it seems so often that the guy that left Harvard, or the Bill Gates, the Steve Jobs, the people that didn’t finish school, they learned what they wanted and had the idea, and moved on. We spread that across millions now to be able to gather that learning.

Tom:  That’s exactly right. I was coincidentally just talking with someone a few days ago. A very bright young lady was in her second year at Harvard and decided, “You know what? I have nothing left to learn. I’m not motivated anymore.” Now, her parents weren’t very happy about this when she first told them.

But she went out and started three business. One business which is making huge inroads in the child sex trade, and is helping make that a more visible problem, and helping to solve that problem. One business that, by the way, is meant to develop a whole new type of University for entrepreneurs.

There are people who sufficiently motivated can do incredible things. They need some basic access to education, K-12 as well as higher learning. Once they have that access, you know what, the world is going to be a vastly different place, and vastly different for the better.

That, to me, is a future that I am very optimistic about. And frankly, hope I live long enough to inhabit. At the rate things are going, I think you and I will see the impact of that and the impact will be profound.

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Go Global, Go Viral, Start Local 0

In a recent podcast I ask @ekaterina (Ekaterina Walter) about going viral. It may not be the answer you would expect from the author of The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand and Think Like Zuck..

Related Podcast and Transcription: Visual Storytelling with Ekaterina

Excerpt from the Podcast

Joe: Is that why I would think that most of the platforms that seem to go to that magic word viral seem to be more the YouTube or the Pinterest variety?

Ekaterina: There’s no such thing as viral. Viral doesn’t exist and I actually hate the fact that this word is actually part of our vocabulary. What we mean by viral is an overnight success. But if you look behind any overnight success, any business overnight success, any content strategy overnight success, anything, there’s always a lot of hard work, a lot of preparation, a lot of thought that got put into that viral aspect, and a lot of the times a lot of budget too. There’s no such thing as viral. There is such a thing as “How do I product content that really truly hits the nerve? How do I produce the content that emotionally connects with people? How do I produce the content that not just everybody under the sun, but people in my community can relate to?” That is the most critical piece that everybody is missing.

Please everybody; we want everybody to think this is funny. We want everybody to think this is cool. No it doesn’t matter. What matters is your brand, your product, your community, and reaching to that community in an important and sort of relevant way. That’s what we need to go after. When we say viral, all we mean is we created a cool piece of content that’s well thought out, that’s our own brand, and absolutely connects and resonates with our communities.

Joe: You make a great point there and the environmentalists make a great point. I see an analogy between the two because if you want to think global of how to help with these global problems and everything, you need to start local. You just told me if I want to spread the news is to start in my community and do well there first, right?

Ekaterina: Absolutely. That’s something we always forget – especially marketers forget – because the shiny object for them is the new social network that came out, the number of people that are not yet my advocates, they’re not yet my buyers or customers. And that is the wrong approach. You know people always ask me Joe, “How did you grow your personal brand? How do people or influencers in the communities really grow their brand?” That’s how they do it. Do you want a secret? Here you go. Are you ready? Here’s a secret. They take the 50 people, or 100 people, they follow them and they take care of those people.

They take care of their current communities first, of their current customers first. They engage with them first and that’s how that 100 grows into 100,000, into 1,000,000 etc., and the number goes on. That’s how everything starts. That’s what you need to do with your content, with your engagement strategy.

Related Podcast and Transcription: Visual Storytelling with Ekaterina

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Marketing Magic of Moses: Content, Stories and Targeting 1

Everyone will tell you it is about Content, Stories and Targeting (Relevance) your audience. Well, sure it is, we have been talking about that since before the days of Moses. Just look at what Moses offered:

  1. He was born a Hebrew, he was one of them.
  2. Evidence to lead: He was practically king of Egypt
  3. His Call to Action was a better alternative to slavery, independence.
  4. During the journey at certain moments of truth he brought a few (10) plagues,  parted a few seas and received the 10 Commandments to help form a nation.

This is not attempt to discredit Moses. I could have used the “marketing” campaign of our founding fathers that resulted in the creation of the United States. It is just an attempt to demonstrate that most “marketing” campaigns have contained the same successful platform for the last thousands of years. Today, marketers have taken this construct online with the tools that exist today.

I have always operated under the philosophy that the best indicator of future performance is past performance. We could argue this point, but I am betting my evidence on a few thousand years of history. What I do believe is communication happens at a more accelerated rate which causes change to happen quicker. Once when Moses campaign may take a lifetime, we now see an overthrow in Egypt materialize and happen in a short time span. It is the speed of communication.

There is another component that I believe that is happening that couples with the speed of communication, it is influence. We construct our present day messages with more data and information than ever thought possible (I have read that data can now predict where I will be (location) a year from now). As Kaiser Fung said in a Business901podcast (Framing Big Data Transcript):

Having the data and the numbers are really important. Like we said previously, completely trusting the numbers and the analysis is also very foolish. You need human intelligence to interpret these numbers. It is really an interplay of the numbers and your interpretation because ultimately, even though the numbers will never give us cause of information – they can never really tell you with certainty that A causes B, it would tell you that A is related to B. It is human interaction that is needed that kind of tie these things all together into a credible story. Forget the notion that you will find one story that is correct, and everything else is wrong. All we are trying to look for is a story that is our best story, given our constraints of what we can and what we cannot.

Even with all the data in the world, it is the influence of the person delivering that has the most significant effect on our decision. How do you gain that influence? How do you become an influencer? Is it by the number of connections? Is it by the books you have authored? Or, do we leave LinkedIn tell us?

I think it can be summed up in one word, participation. Are we participating in the conversation? Are we participating in doing the work? Are we participating helping to create outcomes? I think it goes past  the Jobs To Be Done type thinking. It goes into what I have always termed playing in the customer’s playground. It requires additional influence that we gained with developing cooperative structure both internally and externally to the organization. It is not passive observation. It is participation.

This is what my new eBook CAP-Do (More Info) discusses, The change that is needed in the conversation between the supply and demand side. The change in structure of that overlapping responsibility. That area where we struggle to maintain balance between “whose job it is”. We must assume it is a joint responsibility versus drawing the line in the sand. It is not saying the customer is always right. It is not assuming the blame. It is about how we frame the opportunity to move from a solution type thinking to openness. We must be willing to be influenced before asking others to be influenced by us.