I’ve spent the better part of the past two months on the road at various internal and external industry events, so it has been a bit hectic. There is some great content to share, and I am in the process of building these out in the forms of articles, infographics, and slide shows. In the meantime, I thought I would share some of the key highlights and themes heard among senior marketing leaders during my travels:
“Social is an ingredient, not the recipe.”
That was said during a cross-industry panel discussion that was very interesting across some key areas.
- Engagement, not followers: Find a common interest that your audience cares about and that will create a back-and-forth dialogue between the brand and customers. What is the benefit if all you do is push and get followers with incentives? For example, if you are B2B and in the business of bandwidth or help facilitate that with hardware or software, then your customers will be talking about movie streaming or gaming. Have fun with it and help drive the conversation; feed it throughout the organization to make the marketing contribution highly visible and impactful. Socially enable the content and enable your subscribers to syndicate and advocate.
- Combine social data with other information: Figure out how to really put some teeth into the social data by combining it with transactional information. This is how you know what your customer care about, right now.
“Realize when you are ignorant.”
This came from a discussion about driving cultural change throughout an organization, but driven by marketing. Primary research, surveys, and focus groups can take you only so far, and that data is meaningless without the understanding from within an organization. Branding is important and carries a message that can be either coherent or incoherent. If you, as a brand, are sending mixed signals from within (i.e., different groups with different email signature, logos, etc.), then this equals a major fail. Spend as much time communicating via the brand internally as you do externally. You need brand advocates on both sides.
“We know we had data, but we also know that it’s wrong.”
When a meeting starts off like this, it means it’s time to make people accountable. Marketing must be able to defend decisions and show impact with facts; the core foundational requirement for this is solid, trustworthy data. Invest in people and technology, but make sure there is a methodological process that ensures data integrity that allows you to bet the business on information.
“Big Data” (enough said)
For this I defer to our own CMO.com newsletter, “What’s Hot This Summer,” which highlights some key original content contributions on the subject (including your truly with a pretty picture). How does meeting revenue goals and improving the consumer experience sound? Easier said than done, of course; our article line-up also delves into challenges en route to Big Data enlightenment.