Archive for July, 2009
You can image the conversation, right? Business in the front (traditional marketing & corporate mindset) and party in the back (social media & mindset). Rather than me ramble on… here’s Duncan:
After the meetup we met for dinner and had an interesting conversation around how the Gen X and Gen Y folks in the room reacted to Duncan’s presentation. Here are the thoughts of business professionals who understand the corporate mullet (in order of appearance): Valeria Maltoni, Gloria Bell, Eileen O’Brien, Duncan, and Bill Lublin:
What do you think? Have you seen a noticeable difference in how both groups approach integrating social media? If you are a Gen Yer, what do you think of the assessment? Why do you think there’s a gap in professional social behavior as compared with Gen Xers? Or, are there Gen Xers that could also use a filter?
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Let’s pretend… Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all go away due to lack of funding or revenues. What happens next?
If you are a social media consultant how will you advise your clients to continue their social media efforts? If you are a company how will you maintain your social media efforts?
Are you serious about social media enough to innovate or come up with another strategy to use social media to stay connected with your customers, prospects, employees, investors, etc.?
Seriously, have you thought about it?
[Phew! This goes on record for one of my shortest posts ever!]
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I don’t know if you’ve notice, but over the past few weeks I’ve been commenting on Twitter about self-promotion and the need to bring it back. With the impetus of social media being towards limited, if any, self-promotion (unless I missed the memo that it was okay), I’ve notice that the pendulum for people engaged in social media has finally swung from 100% to 0%.
I don’t know about you, but I have about 5-8 people nationally that I feel confident referring for marketing, PR or social media consulting. Locally, it’s even less than that. For all the people I know on- and off-line, it’s a little sad that I have such a small pool of people to refer. And isn’t that the point of social media to build relationships that could potentially lead to referrals? That’s what we tell companies all the time, right?
What’s the issue? Sure, we all follow the social media “rules” and we try to build relationships with people first and foremost and that’s great…but then it falls apart.
The people that I feel comfortable referring are people that I met online first, then offline, and then they’ve shared links to their client work or have outright been a part of their clients’ campaigns online. I’ve been able to see their campaigns and get a 360 degree view of the person, how they think and their abilities. I’ve also had conversations with some of them about their campaigns or projects.
There are people who I follow on Twitter or Facebook that I that feel comfortable saying I know them pretty well, but honestly I have absolutely no clue where they work and/or what they have done as marketing, PR or social media professionals that would deserve a reference.
I have people asking me all the time to refer consultants, agencies or speakers on particular topics because, in their minds, I am “well connected.” And I am consistently drawing a blank, which, needless to say surprises most people.
Honestly, I have to question this “no self-promotion” rule and why we all (I am guilty of it too) make people feel SO uncomfortable to do so. It goes back to my favorite adage “people don’t know what they don’t know” and right now I don’t know what you all do.
I am not talking about blatant, outright self promotion…I hate that as much as the next person. But once we have gotten to know someone, haven’t they earned the right to share online with us the campaigns they are working on or a project they are proud of?
And yes, I get it…sometimes there are NDAs or confidentiality issues. But find a creative way to let us know what it is you are working on or what benefits you might provide a potential client/customer.
I’d like to be able to refer all the smart people I am connected with…but I need more than just knowing what you share on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or your blog to be able to do that. I need some kind of evidence that you are strategic, tactical and deliver results so I can feel comfortable telling people to give you a call.
Please, help me out. I’d like to be able to provide references for you or your business. If we know each other and have connected either here on my blog or on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn let me know what you’ve been working on or share with me some of your recent campaigns/projects.
Anyone else having this issue? What can we do to help people get business or job referrals? Is the lack of self-promotion actually hurting us?
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You might be wondering what an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher has to do with integrated marketing communications (IMC). Well, I consider Galileo a dot connector and integrated marketing communications is about marketers connecting dots so that your customers, prospects, communities, etc. don’t have to. And you know me, my marketing brain only thinks one way, integrated. But there’s more to this post than that…
A few weekends ago we drove past a billboard for the Galileo, the Medici and the Age of Astronomy exhibit at The Franklin Institute. I hadn’t heard about the exhibit so the billboard did its job, I was hooked, I checked it out online and we made plans to see the exhibit this past weekend. (Amazing, isn’t it?! A billboard! See push marketing still works.) I even talked about it on Twitter.
Even though I have lived my entire life only 25 miles from The Franklin Institute I had never been there (true!), so I was really excited to check it and the Galileo exhibit out…the notion of history, politics and science intrigued me to say the least.
To prepare for our trip we checked out The Franklin website and made a list of everything we wanted to see in addition to the Galileo exhibit. The one other thing that we were completely jazzed about was seeing “The Sky Tonight” at the Fels Planetarium. Just think about it, sitting under the night sky during the day, how cool, right?
The weekend rolled around, chores were done, and errands were run. We set off for The Franklin. Finding parking was a breeze (which is never the case in Philly), we didn’t have to wait in line to buy tickets, and everything was perfect!
And then it got a little bumpy…
After we bought or tickets, the girl behind the ticket counter shoved a little schedule towards us and we immediately looked for the 4:15 time slot for The Sky Tonight, but it wasn’t listed. Surely this had to be wrong, right? We checked their website schedule twice during the week and once before we left. It was listed on their site…they even offered the ability to add it to my calendar. But no. The girl said that was the schedule for the day. We were so bummed, but off we went to the Galileo exhibit and we picked another show at the planetarium.
Wait! What’s this? The sign above our heads as we entered the planetarium said “4:15 The Sky Tonight.” Excellent, she was wrong! It was back on.
So, we sat through Cosmic Collisions, which was amazing and actually made you feel like you were moving, which was a bit freaky. Afterwards, I figured I’d ask the guy “in the know,” the one running the planetarium shows. It was one of those typical “Hey Mister!” scenarios. I asked and he said, no it wasn’t showing. Naturally we asked why the sign said it was…he said “good point, I guess we never changed it.”
Hmmm, interesting. Onward and upward as they say. We left the planetarium to see what other goodies we could find to entertain ourselves with.
Organizations, like The Franklin, that require flexibility typically have a “subject to change” on their website. While I get that as a marketer, but as a consumer, I really don’t. I wanted to see what was advertised. It’s that simple.
What’s the point to all of this? It’s the little things that matter. Organizations need to make sure that they have all areas of marketing integrated…no matter how small the details. Because if you don’t your customers will notice.
If it’s Twitter, tweet me back and let me know that you’re excited for me to come visit (The Franklin didn’t); if it’s website make sure your schedule is reflecting the very latest, up-to-date information (honestly, we would have picked another weekend to go); if it’s a lobby sign, make sure that’s up to date too (don’t tease me!).
While the overall experience at The Franklin was a great one, it would have been excellent if only The Franklin delivered on what they advertised.
And as you know, it’s also a lesson in customer satisfaction and social media. I have a voice and, for better or worse, I am using it here on my blog. Will I go back to The Franklin? Absolutely. Even if annoyed, we still want to see The Sky Tonight and we’ll give them another shot to make good on their advertising. Will I tell others how cool The Franklin is, you betcha! But I’ll offer this word of advice, if there’s something you really want to see…call first to check the daily schedule.
What do you think? Should we marketers worry about every little aspect of integration? Is it the little things that create or enhance a customer experience or affect a brand?
[Image: Discovery Magazine]
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“A guy walks into a bar…”
It actually goes more like this “a communicator walks into a meeting and the VP or client says ‘I want bloggers!’” (or we want a “well known” social media consultant!)
I used ‘communicator’ because I don’t want to be accused of continually beating up the PR rank and file and because it’s not always PR folks, it’s also marketers and organizations/clients seeking social media consultants.
So what’s the pickup line you ask? “I/We LOVE your blog!”
If you have a blog I am sure you’ve heard it before. Someone wants something from you and they figure the quickest way in is to flatter your blog. What annoys me about this pickup line is the assumption that bloggers are so vane that sucking up with an insincere one-liner will make them give you what you want. A lot of us bloggers don’t blog to be self-important. We blog because it’s a space for us to share our thoughts, insights or opinions and to be a part of the community (whether that’s marketing, social media, golfing, wine, shopping, business, whatever…).
When I get this line (and my gut tells me they are insincere), I’ll usually say “Hey thanks! So tell, me what posts have you liked or disagreed with the most?” The usual reply: “er, um, ah…” Yeah, thought so. Another indication of insincerity is that they have never once commented or even tried to be a part of the community.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you want something from someone who blogs―whether it’s a blog post you seek or consulting services-don’t enter the relationship with a cheesy one-liner. It doesn’t work in a bar and it surely doesn’t work in business because no one wants to be just a person on your list. (Actually, this is just good advice for interpersonal relations…people know when they are being used, no matter how smooth, suave or smart *you* might think you are.) Relationships do matter regardless of the situation.
Next time you find yourself uttering those words, remember that you have just joined the ranks of being “that guy (or girl).” (In case you don’t know what that means… it’s the obnoxious person no one wants to be near.)
Have you heard any other one-liners recently?