Archive for July, 2014

CMO: Time for Social Programs with Provable Profits

Just Published!  Social IMC – Social Strategies with Bottom-line ROI

While there are many books talking about engaging people on social media like Facebook, Twitter, PInterest, LinkedIn and hundreds more, all describe the return you will get in general terms.  Usually, the discussion first informs you social ROI [return on investment] doesn’t exist as a financial calculation but, instead, rests on the influence and intangible benefits you receive from social engagement; however, nothing could be further from the truth.   The key to social success is to stop focusing on specific site strategies and, instead, focus on engaging your highest value markets and build strong, measurable, 1-to-1 relationships with them.  That is the goal of Social IMC – Social Strategies with Bottom-line ROI.

How it started

I teach social and mobile marketing at Northwestern University.   About 9 years ago, one of my graduate students who worked at a major retail company said that while she understood the power of social media, she could not justify staff because she could not prove the bottom-line impact of a social strategy.  She asked me the question which plagues many companies…”What is the profit impact of developing a social strategy”.  While I did not have a good answer for her, it started me on a mission to find the social strategies which drive profitable, measurable social programs.  In talking with CEOs and CMOs across the world, I found 3 strategies companies were using and – good news – 2 had proven bottom-line impacts.  In other words, these 2 strategies link your social investment to your sales and marketing systems.  These strategies allow you to grow market share and increase the lifetime value of your high value markets using KPIs, relationship funnels, and the same metrics you use to justify and measure all of your business metrics.  Social IMC shows you how to use social to achieve provable business results.

What’s in the book

Many books focus on the theories behind the use of social media and mobile applications in marketing—but this is not one of them. Social IMC provides strategies based on proven business models that have produced real-world results.  Each strategy has been taught, tested, and developed by the author himself, and all are thoroughly explained in an easy-to-follow format that includes references to exemplary businesses from around the world. By the time you finish reading this book, you will be able to identify which strategy is best to use for each of your company’s high-value markets.  You will know what steps you need to take to successfully design, develop, deploy—and maintain—your business’ social and mobile approach.  A veritable “how-to” guide for using social and mobile technologies to propel business profit and growth, Social IMC is sure to appeal to business leaders and entrepreneurs worldwide. The strategies discussed in the text have been proven effective in a wide variety of models, including both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and companies targeting businesses or consumers on international, national, local, and hyper-local scales.

Special Introductionary Offer

It’s time for you to develop KPI driven, 1-to-1 relationships with your high value customers using proven social strategies.  Learn what IBM, the NorthFace, American Express, ONE.org and companies throughout the world are learning about developing bottom-line driven social strategies.  Get a copy of the new book Social IMC available on Amazon.  Click here for a special $5 off discount!

 

Randy Hlavac

 

Randy Hlavac teaches social and mobile market at Northwestern University in Chicago IL.  He is also CEO of Marketing Synergy, Inc – a consulting company helping companies develop their social and integrated marketing strategies and tactics.  His new book – Social IMC – shows companies how to best design, develop, deploy, justify and measure their social marketing and mobile marketing programs.  It add business metrics and proven strategies to your social marketing programs.  Randy can be found on Twitter @randyhlavac

 

Executives – Listen to the Electronic Water Cooler in your office

Gossip has always given executives key information to manage their organizations

In the days of “Mad Men”, people would gather around the water cooler each day.  In these “water cooler breaks”, gossip, rumors and other “nasty” information would be traded.  While much of it was probably untrue, the “water cooler network” was often accurate in predicting firings, layoffs and other business problems and challenges.  Often, the “water cooler gossip” was a harbinger of events that would occur in the near future.   Executives would task their assistants and trusted staff to keep them informed about the water cooler gossip because it often yielded key information useful in managing the firm.  While the official events in the office were telling one story, the gossip chain represented by the water cooler might be telling another – more accurate – version.

While the water cooler is long gone in most organizations, it has been replaced by electronic gossip.  In the initial days, many employees used Facebook, bulletin boards and other electronic social networks to exchange gossip.  But there were two problems.  First, these networks tracked the individual contributing the gossip.  While this was not a problem between the people at the electronic water cooler, the second problem was that these systems were – for the most part – open social monitoring systems.  In other words, if an executive was savvy enough to monitor social chatter, they could often identify employees who were making false or damaging claims and take action.  In essence, the electronic water cooler was “bugged” and therefore risky to use on really “hot” gossip.

Marketing Synergy CEO CMO consulting services

The water cooler is now electronic and anonymous…and you need to know how it works!

Gossip will always be with us but electronic gossip on open networks was a real problem.  To address these need, entrepreneurs have created Privacy Apps and, as an executive, you need to learn about them and how they work.  Privacy apps allow users to talk about company gossip anonymously.  This means they can discuss sensitive or “hot” topics without the concern about being monitored by social monitoring systems.  Their conversations cannot be traced to the individual.  While social networking apps are open to anyone, anywhere in the world, many of the privacy apps work only within a geographic area.  This allows people to know the people they are gossiping with are likely within their office or office complex [or their apartment or condo unit for personal gossip].  As an executive, you can monitor them but you cannot source the conversation…unless they say something personal.

My daughter is interning at a major corporation headquartered in Columbus Ohio.  When she first went there, she used one privacy app to “overhear” interesting company gossip about different managers and corporate initiatives.  It helped her learn the “lay of the land” and get more acquainted with the challenges facing the company.  At her apartment complex, she found people were connecting through another privacy app to discuss what was happening at the complex.  It was interesting information and testament to how popular these apps are.  In fact yesterday, I spoke in the morning with journalists in the last quarter of education at Northwestern.  When I mentioned these apps and who was using them, few raised their hands.  Later in the afternoon, I gave the same talk to our Northwestern Cherub group – high school students who are aspiring journalists.  When I asked them the same question, nearly all of the students raised their hands.  

Executives – get ready – privacy apps are here and growing!

You can easily begin monitoring anonymous social gossip in your office.  You just download the top 4 privacy apps [for free!] and see if anyone in your office is using them to discuss company gossip [I’ll bet they are].  I keep these 4 on my phone as I visit client offices and, while I am in the waiting room, like to see if there is chatter and what they are saying.  The four apps to download and test are:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the big 4 today.  I have had the most success with Secret for business conversations and Yik Yak for discussions around condos, apartments and in public [like Starbucks].  However, in your area, WUT and Whisper should also be tried.  You should download these free apps to your iPhone or Android phone and see if anything is happening around your office.  Today, private apps are one of the largest growing app categories in the US today.  You need to be aware of them and being using them to find out if the water cooler gossip has moved into the anonymous world of private apps.  Without them, you may be missing out of important news traveling the electronic grapevine.

I’d like to hear about your experiences with the anonymous discussion apps.  Please comment on this article or your experiences [or both].  This is a new application in social and one we need to test to see its importance in our social world.  Also, if you like this blog article, please tell your colleagues.

 Randy Hlavac

Randy Hlavac is a consultant and instructor of Social and Mobile Marketing at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.  He is also the author of a book on social marketing called:  Social IMC – Social Strategies with Bottom-line ROI.  This “Hands On” book lets entrepreneurs, business executives and marketers evaluate different social strategies to select the best approach for your high value markets.  The book shows how to use social to engage specific high value markets to create a holistic & 1-to-1 database driven relationship.  It shows you – in detail and with global best-of-breed examples how to make social an integrated part of your marketing mix.  Randy can be reached at rhlavac@msinetwork.com.

 

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Randy Hlavac
Randy Hlavac is a marketing futurist who – since 1990 – has worked to integrate new technologies into the marketing strategies & tactics of B2B and B2C companies.

July 2014
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