Marketing Voices: Three Recommendations for Marketing Leaders (11min)

Long time friend Jennifer Jones interviewed me at Forrester’s Foster City office in California, and I shared three practical recommendations for them to start doing. Listen in to the above short podcast embed, or download the file directly.

  1. Customers own your website and what you can do to get it back
  2. Social media resources: understand the 80/20 Rule
  3. How marketers can be more strategic within the corporation by leading the social charge across departments such as sales, client teams, HR, product development, support, and leadership.

I hope you forward this to your CMO and VPs of marketing.

  • I think the lesson is that customers own brand’s online presence. The website belongs to the entity(ies) that can push the most content through it. If the site is not enabled with any social interaction, the brand owns it, but they force the brands online presence elsewhere. Conversely, if the functionality is built in, they can claim stake in the online presence by funneling some of the communications through their own playground.

  • Intesting point regarding Big Brands trying to adapt and SME’s / Start Ups being Native SM users. The challenge will be for Executives to embrace and drive strategy top down or take the bottom up “see how it goes” route.

    Knowing this is not an IT play, many will still challenge the wrong stakeholders to deliver strategies! The web developers and graphic designers and other agency related service providers have to retool and rethink their value points – we live an work in exciting times!


  • Sam Levin, Yes i do know the audio is too weak…I was turning to look at the whiteboard in Jeremiah’s office and the audio got messed up. Jeremiah is still brilliant in his observations however, and he offers enormous insight for CMOs, etc.

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  • Craig good point about IT. Often, they are a crutch to Marketing departments –here’s a chance for them to lead and be a true business partner.

  • Jeremiah, this is an interesting interview. The Microsoft MVP program is really an “expandable” example for a brand advocates program – probably quite unknown in Europe though. I am still waiting for a new example we can all talk about instead of Dell… Is there no other company performing, challenging and understanding social media in a similar way? What is your view on Adidas for example?

  • Most CMO’s and VP’s of Marketing will probably be threatened by any play on social media across the enterprise (at least now). They either aren’t equipped or feel the initiative will someone lessen their control over the brand. More education is needed (like from your blog Jeremiah) to hand hold them through this inevitable corporate shift.

    Moreover, in order to achieve anything across the enterprise, you’ll need support from each of the department heads as well as CEO support. Like a Chief Strategy Officer who ostensibly controls strategy for the organization, a new social media executive role needs to be created to handle corporate social media. Let’s call s/he a Chief Community Officer. Corporations can pay for the role by cutting back or eliminating their PR team. I’ve written more about this here:

  • Good interview. You always deliver the goods, Jeremiah.

    I have some very traditional corporate customers (Fortune 500) who seem to be becoming acutely aware of their need to develop a social media marketing program. Last week we started reaching out to them (with a 10 minute Demo-video to introduce our Social-smart dashboard for managing campaigns in-house. Responses ranged from “Very good timing, Mark…” to “What else can you send us…” I would say a lot of companies are ready to jump in.

    Jeremiah’s first two recommendations will be easy for most marketers to understand: they are experiencing social websites themselves; and nobody knows better than marketers that you need a long-term strategy, a plan, and a budget!

    But, I think it’s Jeremiah’s third recommendation that represents the most dramatic culture change. Most companies struggle with interdepartmental collaboration of any kind. How can you telegraph the social marketing messages to the edges? With intranets, Wiki’s, company social networks? How could you keep Advocates focused on campaign goals and objectives??

    We thought about this hard at Social-smart. We think we can achieve all THREE of Jeremiah’s recommendations with one integrated solution: A multi-channel campaign Dashboard that can be configured for the unique social marketing Goals & Objectives (#1) of a business; Assign ‘departmental’ advocates (#2) and give each a Social-smart dashboard sub-account; and have Marketing (and other stakeholders like legal) regularly pre-load ‘approved’ messaging, information, resources, and links, into Social-smart’s Message-menu (#3) — so all team-members (advocates) can manage real-time conversation more conveniently and consistently. The company’s outside Agency could have a sub-account, too — to feed the campaign messaging and creative content.

    Are there other creative ways to integrate the marketer’s experience?

  • Another example of a brand that is bringing social strategy and tools to their customers from their corporate site is Best Buy. Check out the Twelp Force community. I think this solution goes beyond what Comcast is doing with @comcastcares on Twitter. If you’re not familiar with Twelpforce, it’s a site that streams Best Buy employee’s Tweets. Customers can see and search what employees are talking about. Employees tweet under the collective Best Buy Twitter handle of @twelpforce. Their tweets are credited with a line at the bottom of the tweet – ‘via @mytwitterhandle’ What’s great about this strategy is not only the marketing/customer service piece, but also HR. The employee feels more a part of customer solution, not just a sales associate. Their contributions to the Tweet stream build satisfied and loyal customers that add to top line revenue. This is a win-win for everyone. Some of the posts include tips for using products, troubleshooting, and reviews of new products. Its not just a sales gimmick. The guidelines for employee participants are posted to the public and the whole thing is pretty authentic.

    bernierjohn » @michelle_millar Hi MM…the handhelds “do” more, but Flips are very easy to use for smaller events like Bday parties. love mine #twelpforce

    I’ve even seen Tweets where employees help customers locate stuff that BB doesn’t carry! It’s a nice community.

    BB also host forums and IdeaX, a site that has a simple form for people to post product ideas, reviews etc.

    Of course there is always something they could be doing better, such as showcasing community tools above the fold on their corporate site. Right now they are tucked into the page navigation at the bottom of the fold and use the main page to sell stuff. That’s cool too.

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