What would you do if you were the CMO of a Community Platform Vendor

I polled readers to identify different taglines of 10 social software vendors, in an open-ended question I asked them what they would do if they were the CMO, here’s what they said:

“””Cart before the horse”” , “”Tail wagging the dog””

Two very good analogies when describing most social media platforms today. Unless there is a connection to some existing business purpose, goal or function, all of these types of solutions are noise on the wire to an enterprise. Enabling people and communities to better communicate and collaborate has its merits but you need to lead with business purpose. ”

Come up with something that doesn’t have “social” in it…

“Yes – it is clear that most are saying the same thing and most of these are not tag lines but category description statements. If positioning is to secure a specific “”space”” in your customers/prospects mind then these statements clearly don’t do that. And if a tag line is to illustrate that “”position”” with a clear phrase – then again most of these are not taglines. There are only 2 – 3 in this group that I would say are starting to break out in terms of taglines and attempting to establish a brand promise.

However, I do think that it is somewhat representative of where the market is – last year was about educating the market – “”what it is and what do you do?””

Most companies interested in these types of solutions were (and still) are just trying to understand this category, who might be a solution provider. The companies providing solutions – in their desire to gain attention and be included in the consideration set did use these generic, broad “”we do this”” kind of positioning and taglines.

This is pretty typical of a young and rapidly growing category.

Say something different than everyone else… and kill the buzzwords!
“1. Take this test and weep. 🙂
2. Get clear on what our clients believe makes us distinctive and make sure that’s on our home page (after my generic tag line).
3. Consider positing around our impact rather than our tool or our space.”
I’d stop being generic and start being remarkable. At least what the tagline is concerned…
“Not follow a “”me too”” strategy. . . . “”Leader in . . . . .”” give me a break. with over 100 of theses guys out there i imagine that 50+ use this moniker.

Set yourself apart – be unique and creative in approach – answer the question Why me?”

“1. Do not use “”leader””
2. I want to understand the value of your offering or how it relates to my business. Only “”What are you doing?”” and “”Your Brand Lives in the Voice of Your Customers”” rise to this level.”

Be more specific – Twitter is best, others are mostly insignifigant combination of the same things…

Drop the buzzwords, be memorable, tell me what problem you’re solving

These are all the same. I might give an outcome of the product to create a very simple tagline… “connecting people.
Seeing as I couldn’t answer any of these tagline questions even though I evaluated some of these companies, I probably wouldn’t be a very good CMO…

Speak to the benefit of your product to the consumer. Don’t just tell me what you are, aka “a social media blah blah blah”. Tell me what I’ll do with your product. That’s why Twitter’s stands out-although I do more than just tell my friends what I’m up to-that was the base for my engagement once I was in I began to use it in different ways.

Many of these taglines are way too generic and not memorable.

Identify (or manufacture!) some differentiators. Jeez! that was quite an informative exercise.
“Tag lines are meaningless unless they are unique and emotionally compelling. I don’t understand why IT marketing firms seem to ignore advertising that proceeds the Silicon Valley revolution. They are continually co-opting basic ideas and executing poorly. If the CMO has a short attention span… I’d recommend they read “”Ogilvy on Advertising””, it’s a good basic primmer on how to advertise in any medium.

A good CMO should:
Challenge their agency to find the Unique Selling Proposition (USP), for their product/s.
Develop and test concepts/campaigns (including tag lines).
Have the guts not to use a Tagline.”

Differentiate your message from the generic social media/social software language that is common everywhere on the web. The generic language is used by every consultant as well so you won’t stand out. Use results oriented language which quickly sells a benefit instead.

I would do an audit, try to differentiate more from my competitors. Many overlap or have the same message. A tagline should have meaning, really encompass the brand, not just be catchy or have buzzwords. If I didn’t research or cover some of these companies myself, I imagine I wouldn’t know many of these at all.

“I would not have a tag-line. They are over rated. Also, a lot of the messaging now for social media, and any “”enterprise 2.0″” company is the same. Everyone reaches for the exact same thing over-and-over again. This is the same in my company. I say this — but I am looked at as speaking out of line no matter how many times I say it, bring up valid points or evidence. It’s like I am speaking until my face turns white, my lungs are filled with CO2, and no one wants to listen. They just continue on with the same old rhetoric. The same old meetings.

People do not realize the web is an evolving market place. Innovation needs to occur and it needs to occur fast. Things need to evolve and things can. not. be. the. same. They. MUST. stand. a. part. DARE TO BE DIFFERENT.

One other thing I quite don’t understand is why a lot of Enterprise 2.0 companies are not even “”2.0.”” I see a lot of companies “”talk the talk”” but do not “”walk the walk.”” They preach social media, monitoring your brand and online reputation, getting “”online,”” etc. But do they? Do they really? I do not think so.

It all lies in upper managements’ willingness to listen, to engage and to trust those who they have hired to do *their* jobs or what not. However, it may have deeper roots than that if they can “”talk the talk, but not walk the walk”” as I am seeing.”
Honestly I would reach out to consultants that are researching these platforms instead of just to corporate decision makers.

Since we are so early in the adoption curve and social media/networking means something different to almost anyone you ask I would focus my message on connecting people

Put my name in the tagline for better brand recall

Hire a really good marketing company to come up with a snappy, meaningful tag line and then publicize it everywhere. Or, hold a company-wide contest for a new tag line.

most of them suck. saying you are a leader doesn’t make you one. and really, who cares if you are? I have to say, LiveWorld’s is the most appealing because it directly addresses WHY you would create an online community. Disclosure – I worked as a consultant with LiveWorld on doing content for their site, I didn’t do the tag line though.

refine the tagline to just say what the company does – it is very unclear for most what they are actually talking about and how it relates back to communities

Ask an open ended question to ‘engage’ the user. It’s being social.