It is that simple. Right?
Love to think back to that time two years ago when Area 224 was just getting rolling as a marketing consultancy. Back when we were having tons of meetings with tons of businesses and trying to find out what was on everyone’s minds.
The everyone we met with on this particular day was the Chief of Sales for a B2B Concern. (Again, protecting the innocent here.)
This particular person (may have been a man, may have been a woman; protecting the innocent) wanted to buy a “solution.” “Viral marketing,” said s/he, “will solve our problems.”
And…what are those particular problems?
The long silence was deafening.
Seems the CEO had seen a video on YouTube and thought “we should do that.”
The knee-jerk response, two years later, from the C-suite, seems to be “Social Media will solve our problems.”
This possibly brings about the opportunity for us to help you – or for another top-notch marketing consultancy to help you. BUT not before you figure out what the problems are.
What business problem are you attempting to solve?
Dave from Area 224 used to work for a very smart guy who abhorred busy work. And, in the “pre-social media epoch” (right before the YouTube era), he’d ask the above question all the time. Saved us a lot of busy work, but also saved the organization a lot of wasted effort on things that just didn’t make strategic sense.
Your job – as a marketing executive, as a C-suite aspirant, as the guy or gal who needs to translate all this stuff for the bosses (or for yourselves if you’re one of the bosses) – is to ask these questions first. And here’s a little how-to guide.
Why are we doing this? Doesn’t quite matter what the “this” is – could be a video campaign, could be getting the boss on Twitter, could be blogging. The objectives for each could be radically different. You want a video so the CEO can show how passionate s/he is about the business so that your startup can raise its next round of capital. You need to Tweet because it’s the most laser-focused way to reach the 15 influencers you have targeted for relationship building. Your blog has to be launched because you have a network of people who can write insanely well and you want to be the centerpiece of a budding community.
What will happen if we don’t do this? Seriously – you need to think about the alternatives. You may even have to negotiate with your bosses.
Roger Fisher and William Ury wrote a best-seller called “Getting to Yes,” and they coined the term “Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement,” or “BATNA.” Consider the BATNA in your social media planning.
If we don’t get social with our marketing – will our competitors do that? If our competitors do that, will they be able to effectively tell the story that we can tell better? Will they win market share if they beat us to the market?
It might be likely that your competitors are NOT in the position to win lots of eyeballs and market share. It might even be likely that, while they focus on “social,” your focus on product excellence, or distribution channels, or fine-tuning your message could be the best thing for your business.
Upshot: Insert Social Media Here at your own peril – and not without some serious thinking and planning first.