#MAPmad = Marketing – Advertising - PR mad
I’m speaking at Social Collective ( #SoCol ) end September here in London. It’s at an event committed to raising the bar in SoMe designed for an audience of intermediate to advanced level industry types. The perfect audience for my #MAPmad debate.
Recently, while in Soho downing a few drinks with Darika Ahrens and Paul Armstrong I discovered I was not the only one frustrated with the SoMe situation. Darika had already been doing her part to clean up SoMe as it relates to PR. Paul had already been planning some sort of SoMe smack down – ok, less smack, more getting down to the core of it.
The three of us will be sharing a stage to take on the more dysfunctional SoMe. The M in MAPmad? that’s where I’ll be sounding off discussing the current landscape.
I struggle with the idea that SoMe is a tool that simply energizes, engages, and allows you to listen. Although I agree, all those things are important, (without them you are failing) I can’t help but want to roll my eyes when some SoMe superstar opens his gob and starts regurgitating the same thing over and over – you just know he doesn’t quite get it – he’s passionate though, bless him. (deep sigh)
We’re beyond energizing right? We’re all thinking in Social Life Cycles now, right?
Social Technology enables brands to create professional crushes between said brand and core audience, including:
1. Industry Stakeholders: <media, government, shareholders, talent>
2. Company Stakeholders: <employees, contractors, suppliers, customers>
Using Social Technology to lower the cost to serve or increase sales is the bare minimum you need to simply get a seat at the table. If you’re still touting that your Social ROI is all about soft attributes – then perhaps your clients can start paying you in soft attributes for your SoMe expertise?
I would argue that if your SoMe is not lowering the cost to serve or driving sales… you are not a SoMe expert or strategist ( or super star, or manager). Driving sales should really be the litmus test that separates the SoMe people who can actually do their job and the rest of them who are just making noise.
–> a digital campaign has it’s place – but it has it’s place within the Social Life Cycle. It’s not about retro fitting SoMe into some campaign so you can tick off a box. This is about basic marketing that starts with insights, is followed by a strategic plan that considers your social life cycle.
The real work starts post sale but must be planned for pre-sale. This isn’t marketing that sees you through awareness, acquisition, retention, and up/cross sell. It isn’t. This is the business of creating a social life cycle between brand and core audience that breeds professional crushes.
- If you’re shopping for SoMe support – take heart – there are plenty of good <real> ones out there. But do your homework.
- If you are working in SoMe but not yet delivering the bare minimum <meeting objectives: lowering cost to serve or driving sales> it’s never too late. Brush up on your marketing skills, understand the customer life cycle, identify the key moments of truth specific to your business (an MOT is every single time your customer touches your business/brand>, take a few steps back and look at the bigger picture. Start looking at the Social Life cycle.
If I have triggered any thoughts, ideas or differences of opinion – as usual, they are always welcome.
In the spirit of people worth knowing, I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to someone I will always have time for. Someone I have a lot of respect for and someone who I am honoured to call a friend – you can find his blog here and on twitter – he’s @Juxte
I’d like to think we all have our own @juxte. Someone who has known you for donkeys. Someone who has earned your respect. Someone who has carte blanche when it comes to telling you exactly how it is.
Justin is head of communications at Osum. Quite frankly, he should be running the company (although I hear his boss is beyond gifted and definitely perfected the art of stick handling – hah!) In the short time Justin has moved in to the energy sector he has created a culture of change, he has challenged the status quo and he has pushed himself to limits that have probably resulted in sweaty palms to say the least.
He’s the visionary. The epitome of the go-getter. The guy who dreams big and lives bigger.
Having a less than comfortable day, I found myself on the phone with Justin. We reached a point in the conversation where there was a brief silence before Justin blurted out: “Can I push you? Can I push your buttons?” And in true Justin style, he did exactly what he set out to do.
I’ve broken away from the day job. I’ve set up in business for myself. I’ve been working hard on the pre-launch. I’ve made a point of running it by Justin. His response?
- Why is it so small? And why are you making me read so much?
- If you don’t seriously fail and learn big 17 times in your first year, you’re not doing it right.
- What’s your number? Your goal? Where is this going to take you?
- It’s best served in three. Anything more is confusing.
- Well thank god something’s making you uncomfortable – it’s the only way you’re going to grow.
- Don’t wait for the fuggin anointing woman – do it.
He’s right. On all counts. Why is self-medicating so difficult? Why are we so good at seeing the potential, talent, and success in others but when it comes to ourselves our vision becomes impaired? I can’t tell you why, I can only tell you it’s common.
I ended the call with a lot of insight, sound advice and the perspective I needed to talk me off the ledge – HAH! I ended the call that much closer to achieving my goal.
They say it takes a village to raise a child – I think it takes only one to raise an entrepreneur.
On that note, if you yourself are venturing into the world of self employment or just pushing yourself to do things that make you uncomfortable, then I hope you find some grit in @Juxte’s words of advice. I’m willing to bet that they’re words we all need to hear from time to time.
I am playing with something and testing it’s ability to produce live. Please ignore me this one time.
Now I’m not one to throw the baby out with the bath water… but I am one to call a spade a spade and the way we do marketing and advertising needs to change.
I don’t have all the answers (just yet) but I am fully ready to acknowledge that it’s time to start digging.
I was recently approached by company X to help deliver a proposal that would drive sales. I asked for a week to do some research. I circled back a week later with a proposal that suggested their focus should be on customer service and operations to plug the holes in their bucket not on driving sales. Their churn rate was 1 in 3. Why spend so much time and energy on finding 900 customers just for 300 to walk away with such a negative experience that they wouldn’t consider returning. They thanked me and moved on. They needed to tick the boxes and meet their targets. I get it.
Some trends worth noting:
- An increase in niche communities will only further splinter the customer base beyond what it is now
- Instantaneous sharing of customer experiences, good and bad – although bad news appears to travel a lot faster.
- A strong dislike for noise <broadcast advertising online>
- The world is going niche
- The Adv. Model is broken – #AdMad
- If 78% of customers trust the recommendation of their network then we have to ask ourselves, “How do we become part of the conversation being had by the 78%?” – it’s certainly not by broadcasting to them
- The adoption model is shortening although not as fast as we’d expect
- Businesses have to work hard at being relevant (to their customer… not to their shareholders, although ironically…)
- I think @EricQualman is right… you have to embrace Social Technology now to even be a player in this market five years from now. And it does not equal facebook!
I wonder about Affinity Marketing and if it’s yet to see it’s full success. I wonder if Loyalty Marketing and Affinity Marketing hooked up to recognize and reward the conversations being had about you and your brand that leads to a sale or referral.
The conversation fascinates me… if you share a similar mindset or have some insight that you feel proves me to be a little off centre – then connect with me – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.