CMOs must approach social technologies in an integration fashion
Although social technologies have been capturing marketers time for over four+ years in corporate, they’ve often been operated in a silo as experimental, or a separate deployment from traditional marketing. Yet the savvy marketing leader knows that reaching customers is increasingly becoming challenging as their touchpoints continue to fragment.
To reach the fragmented customer, marketers must apply an integrated approach. As an industry, we should dispel notions that social marketing and it’s subsequent tools should operate in a silo, but instead sit horizontally in the marketing organization as they impact so many different forms of marketing tactics, approaches, and mindsets. Furthermore, this has considerable impacts as social media organizations are founded and lead as they approach hub and spoke models to serve a variety of internal clients, as well as connect with customers in real time.
CMO Matrix: How Social Technology Must Integrate with Traditional Marketing, a Horizontal Approach
|Marketing Tactic||Why It’s Important||Opportunities of Social Technology|
|Market Research||You can’t effectively reach consumers till you know about them, and market research is a key function for any corporation. For some time, market research was limited to focus groups, consumer testing, and survey based methodology. This includes both traditional marketing research groups as well as competitive intelligence groups.||Now, with the advent of social technologies, at least three forms of opportunity have emerged: 1) Using brand monitoring technology to harvest what consumers are already saying in social channels, 2) Harnessing the crowd to find out their real time reactions, see how Communispace and Passenger have done this. 3) Using innovation tools like Salesforce Ideas, UserVoice, GetSatisfaction to build products in real time with consumers.|
|Corporate Website||The corporate website is a source of product factual information, and pro-brand materials. This is the master repository of a brand, it’s products, and services.||Social technologies are being integrated in three phases: 1) Standalone tools like communities are built, but not integrated, 2) Social login systems like FB connect and Open ID are increasing conversion rates 3) Social context is being developed so content is served up on the fly from social data. See my keynote at Gilbane’s CMS conference on social and corporate website integration.|
|Intranet||Marketing must influence internal stakeholders, including sales, field marketing, and product teams. The intranet is a key internal repository of information, this would also include any associated email communications.||Social technologies are being deployed internally like PBWorks, Socialcast, Basecamp, and Yammer without the consent of IT. The opportunity to use these tools to allow teams to find experts, information regardless of region or time are ripe.|
|Email Marketing||Email, one of the primary forms of digital communication is often a highly trusted source when customers have opt-in. When you look closely, email is a social network, see how Google wants to do it. In fact, the root information requirement for Twitter and Facebook is a verified email.||Email marketing companies are starting to offer ‘sharing’ features so recipients are encouraged to quickly share the information with their peers, as well as offering brands SMMS systems to manage this information. Expect the Facebook inbox and email marketing to quickly merge in coming years,|
|Search Marketing||A mature practice that attracts buyers and prospects during their core information seeking phase, SEM is critical to reaching the information starved through well placed sponsored information and advertisements||We’re also seeing an influx of social advertisements appear as the social graph is infused in search results. Example: We’re starting to see the content our friends recommend in search engine results, and Facebook’s foray with social ads.|
|Search Engine Optimization||Fine tuning websites so they are the first choice in organic search results is both a science and art by experienced practitioners.||Social media tools, esp blogs and ratings and review sites like Yelp score high in organic search due to many incoming links and freshly updated content.|
|Advertising||Often the bulk of most marketing budgets, advertising is key in many phases of the customer journey, in particular driving awareness and consideration.||Like SEM listed above, advertising can become more efficient in the future by tapping into social profile data (who is this person) and their social graph (who do they trust) to serve up relevant content. As Facebook spreads their features all over the web (analysis), expect a new form of advertising to appear based on social data. Twitter’s “Sponsored Links” bodes similar experimentation|
|Sponsorship||Marketers drive associative branding and qualified leads through sponsorship opportunities.||Social helps in two specific ways: New influencers have emerged such as ‘Mom and Dad bloggers” creating more niched inventory with deeper engagement to sponsor. Furthermore, all traditional sponsorship activities can use social marketing for further engagement.|
|eCommerce||While over a decade old, online shopping has continued to be primary low cost driver for the brick and mortar company.||The mainstay integration has been consumer ratings and reviews from the aggregation of the crowd, often powered by vendors like Bazzarvoice. Yet expect new forms of eCommerce to evolve as an individuals social graph is connected to eCommerce tools. See how Levi’s has done it, and attend our conference, the Rise of Social Commerce.|
|Mobile Marketing||While in it’s infancy, marketers may use these tools to connect with consumers as they are on a specific location, during a certain part of the day, with greater context.||Now, as consumers indicate their location and time while on the go, marketers may reach them using a variety of contextual information, advertisements, and harnessing what their friends have done before them in the same locations. See how Starbucks sponsored mayorship in Foursquare to increase both loyalty and WOM.|
|TV/Radio||The pioneering mediums in the electronic communication realm, these mediums provide content in a one way format.||Programs (radio hosts, newscasters, and stations) are using social technologies to infuse a two way relationship with listeners by finding new content in social channels (Watching Twitter) as well as integrating the voices of the audience, and empowering communities to build around them. Perhaps more importantly, this creates new forms of inventory for these mediums to enable brands to sponsor or get involved with.|
|From newspapers, magazines, to flyers, nothing creates an experience like holding physical paper in front of you.||Nearly all of these publications have associated social media properties, from Facebook fan pages, to supplementary blogs. In fact, if paper adoption continues to decrease, these social tools provide a low-cost method of publishing and interacting with their audiences. Magazines like Dwell have launched thriving online communities and nearly all national and many global newspapers have adopted social media in their online resources.|
|Field, Persona, Channel, and Regional Marketing||Marketing teams are often segmented by regions, or to sit with sales units in the field, or even to target specific consumer types, like moms. This segmented marketing approach is key for deeper context in approaching unique markets.||Like in other forms, don’t expect a one-size-fits all approach, each audience type will have a different penchant for social media technologies, which we call socialgraphics. Expect a tailored approach using social technologies to emerge for each of these groups as you reach different audiences.|
Executive Recommendations: Shatter the silo and integrate social across all marketing efforts now. The above matrix demonstrates that social technologies are already being integrated in the overall mix, yet marketing leadership is at a standstill on how to integrate. Approach the space in a pragmatic method, follow these three steps:
- Start by organizing your company in a Hub and Spoke, Dandelion, or Centralized model. Our research shows that companies are organizing in at least five different models. Whether you have a centralized team or a hub and spoke, develop a way for an internal team to assemble (often cross-functional) to share and learn, then serve internal stakeholders. Companies must know the 43+ points to get social business ready, watch our no-cost webinar and slides to learn more.
- Cascade training and encourage sharing to reduce risk and decrease time to market. Social technologies are still new and come with high degrees of risk as brands continue to have misteps in a new form of marketing. Yet to reduce risk, empower those that have already experimented to share with others, reward those that quickly fail and get back up, and provide a constant stream of training from external partners.
- Require your marketers to integrate social technology up front –not as last minute additions. Marketers are not in the mindset of combining social technologies in existing events, campaigns, or traditional marketing. Instead of being reactive and adding this as a last minute consideration, enforce a line item in marketing plans to include social integration up front.
I look forward to your additional comments, perhaps I’ve missed some key integration touchpoints, please leave comments below.